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Subjecting Spaces: Angela Carter's Love

Subjecting Spaces: Angela Carter's Love A N D R E W H O C K S O O N N G Experiencing buildings in terms of metaphors is not unusual. Witold Rybczynski, The Most Beautiful House in the World riticism of Angela Carter's works has mainly focused on questions of subjectivity, especially in its subversive, carnivalesque representations. The inevitability of such a development may perhaps be due to Carter's own deep interest in performances and performatives manifested through the instrument of the body, which are then translated into modalities of subjectivity. Many of the depictions of performance/performativity in her narratives are also related to sexuality which, for Carter, is simultaneously a site for transgression against and abject conformity to the patriarchal, heteronormative status quo. Unsurprisingly, then, her writings often revolve around themes and representations of (female) victimhood, sadomasochistic strategies, (symbolic) castration, and the grotesque. Also unsurprising is the fact that of all her works, Nights at the Circus (1988), perhaps her most celebrated novel, is also the most studied, for the various issues of subjectivity that significantly mark Carter's oeuvre culminate in this penultimate novel.1 Although this essay will also focus on subjectivity, I wish to do so from a perspective that has http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Literature University of Wisconsin Press

Subjecting Spaces: Angela Carter's Love

Contemporary Literature , Volume 49 (3) – Jan 10, 2008

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University of Wisconsin Press
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Copyright © University of Wisconsin Press
ISSN
1548-9949
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Abstract

A N D R E W H O C K S O O N N G Experiencing buildings in terms of metaphors is not unusual. Witold Rybczynski, The Most Beautiful House in the World riticism of Angela Carter's works has mainly focused on questions of subjectivity, especially in its subversive, carnivalesque representations. The inevitability of such a development may perhaps be due to Carter's own deep interest in performances and performatives manifested through the instrument of the body, which are then translated into modalities of subjectivity. Many of the depictions of performance/performativity in her narratives are also related to sexuality which, for Carter, is simultaneously a site for transgression against and abject conformity to the patriarchal, heteronormative status quo. Unsurprisingly, then, her writings often revolve around themes and representations of (female) victimhood, sadomasochistic strategies, (symbolic) castration, and the grotesque. Also unsurprising is the fact that of all her works, Nights at the Circus (1988), perhaps her most celebrated novel, is also the most studied, for the various issues of subjectivity that significantly mark Carter's oeuvre culminate in this penultimate novel.1 Although this essay will also focus on subjectivity, I wish to do so from a perspective that has

Journal

Contemporary LiteratureUniversity of Wisconsin Press

Published: Jan 10, 2008

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