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Issue Details: First known date: 1999... 1999 The Abject and the Oedipal in Sonya Hartnett's 'Sleeping Dogs'
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McPherson explores how Sonya Hartnett's Sleeping Dogs reflects the binary positionality of Julia Kristeva's exposition of abjection and the Oedipal stage of a child's psycho-sexual development, through each of the text's characters, all of which embody the abject in some way (15). She begins with a consideration of Kristeva's theory of abjection, which 'maps the physical and psychical develoment of the subject from an abject borderline state' to its insertion within the symbolic order as a 'speaking subject' (15). She explains how the 'ability to take up a symbolic position as a social and speaking subject is predicated upon the subjects rejection of the borderline, the unpredicatable, the ambiguous and the unclean' (15). While the Oedipul drama in Sleeping Dogs concerns the son's love for the daughter/sister rather than the mother/lover, McPherson argues that fundamentally, the narrative reinforces the status quo of patriarchal dominance, particularly as 'the powerless and abject maternal stands in constant, inadequate opposition to the paternal rule governing the symbolic order' (21).

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Last amended 8 Nov 2007 11:02:55
15-22 The Abject and the Oedipal in Sonya Hartnett's 'Sleeping Dogs'small AustLit logo Papers : Explorations into Children's Literature