Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

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Chapter 1, Approaching Abjection

• Kristeva gives what she calls a "phenomenological" account of the abject, meaning she begins her investigation by relating and describing her own personal experience of the abject in order to give the reader a better understanding of it.

• Kristeva says one of the chief features of the abject is its ambiguity, meaning it is somewhere between being an object and not being an object.

• Kristeva says a person relates to his or her world through language and therefore when something is excluded by one's language, it is impossible for that person to fully relate to it.

• In the case of the abject, Kristeva says there is an awareness that "something" exists and this awareness can be frightful.
• Kristeva believes the abject is created from repressing certain basic lusts, and as a Freudian, Kristeva makes use of the Oedipus complex to explain this genesis.

• As a...

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