Title

Decomposing the Gothic Body in Castle Rackrent

Department

English

Document Type

Article

Publication Source

Études Irlandaises. Volume 42, Issue 1, Pages 31-42.

Publication Date

2017

Abstract

This article argues that the corpse seizure in Maria Edgeworth’s Castle Rackrent epitomizes the fragmentation of Irish cultural identity, employing Julia Kristeva’s theory of abjection to reveal the gothic body as a site of indeterminacy. Narrative inconsistencies, or dislocutions, “de-compose” the text, registering both a distinctively gothic horror of loss and an obsessive need to record the abject state of the colonized. The dislocution of traumatic events signals a dissolving cultural distinctiveness that destabilizes time and meaning itself.

Keywords

gothic literature, Edgeworth Maria, novels, national identity, body, imperialism, colonialism

DOI

10.4000/etudesirlandaises.5087

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