Getting dirty with the body : abjection in Mary Shelley’s FrankensteinPart of : Γράμμα : περιοδικό θεωρίας και κριτικής ; Vol.11, No.1, 2003, pages 31-38
Bodies wrestling with representation
This paper argues that Mary Shelley's Frankenstein upsets the tradition of anatomy, according to which scientific knowledge is inscribed upon the body and the sanitized corpse is transformed into a text. Shelley's novel decorporealizes its characters and subordinates them to a hygienic selfhood, merely in order to draw them back to stark corporeality as corpses. The assemblage of incongruous bodily parts onto the monster's hideous form mocks the humanattempt to cleanse the self from its unbearable fleshiness, while the monster's obscene gaze falling into our inner reality speaks to the mysterious fears of our nature. It is a fear of our own inherent abjection, the anxiety that a living being is always too close to death not to get dirty with it.
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