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Issue Details: First known date: 2006... 2006 Over Her Dead Body : Expelling The Monstrous-Feminine in Touching Earth Lightly
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Kathryn James' close analysis of Margo Lanagan's Touching Earth Lightly (1996) explores the 'sex-leading-to-death' motif and the inextricable link between death and sex/sexuality that is a pervasive part of the Western cultural imagination. James draws from the work of Foucault and Kristeva, to argue that the repression of cultural anxieties regarding death in Western societies re-emerge as an erotic pleasure which is a 'symbolic response to the uncontainable threat of mortality through the figure of the dead feminine body' (25). James argues that Lanagan's novel highlights how 'literal or symbolic death represents one of the ways that the 'perverse' body can be removed from the sexual economy and thus work to reinforce the heterosexual norm' (p25). In Lanagan's text, this is signified through Janey, a sexually promiscuous girl with a sordid family life, who exceeds the boundaries of acceptable sexuality in adolescents and dies violently and brutally at the end of the novel. James argues that the conclusion of the text 'locates the female subject firmly within phallocentric systems of representation' through the containment of Janey's 'dangerous sexuality'. James concludes that the representation and resolution of Janey as a sexual threat fundamentally supports the underlying ideology of heterosexual romance and its demand that female sexuality remain contingent upon masculine desires (p.30).

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Last amended 28 Mar 2018 14:05:51
25-32 Over Her Dead Body : Expelling The Monstrous-Feminine in Touching Earth Lightlysmall AustLit logo Papers: Explorations into Children's Literature