Powers Of Horror. An Essay On Abjection New York 1982

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Abjection preserves what existed in the archaism of pre-objectal relationship.12 This explains the urgency of an, often ritualistic, purification from the abject, where the original contact with the abject is renewed, so that it can then be ejected and the demarcation line between subject and that which threatens its existence can be redrawn more rigidly.

Kristeva explains: [A]bjection is above all ambiguity.

Because, while releasing a hold, it does not radically cut off the subject from what threatens it-on the contrary, abjection acknowledges it to be in perpetual danger.

As described above, that body is inextricably linked with the repressed world of the mother, so that defilement rites such as the horror film visualize the frontier between the repressed maternal-semiotic authority and the symbolic Law of the Father as in The Exorcist (William Friedkin, USA, 1973), etc.16 In traditional conceptualizations of the genre, its fascination with blood, especially the bleeding female body (said to symbolize not only her own 'castrated' state, but also the possibility of castration for the male) points towards castration anxiety as one of the basic motives of the horror film.17 Barbara Creed, however, demonstrates that the representation of the monstrous-feminine in the genre could also be based on entirely different anxieties, situated beyond the phallocentric patriarchal order.

Such dangerous femininity can be found in representations of the primal scene, of birth and death.


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