Återaktualisering av abjektionen i den elfte timmen – en läsning av Mara Lee och Jenny Tunedal

Min masteruppsats i litteraturvetenskap från Köpenhamns universitet. Finns att läsa här: LÄNK

 

Abstract

Repetition of the Abjection in the Eleventh Hour: A Reading of Jenny Tunedal and Mara Lee

The aim of this thesis is to investigate whether the process and experience that a daughter goes through in the time leading up to a mother’s death can be understood as a repetition of a pre-oedipal phase, and if so, how poetry can frame this repetition. By reading selected works by Swedish poets Jenny Tunedal and Mara Lee, I argue that the abjection phase, as defined by linguist and psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva, can manifest again in a new shape in the specific time period just before a mother’s death. Abjection is defined as a separation from the symbiosis with the mother, which the child goes through in the pre-oedipal phase in order to become an autonomous subject. The temporality which the mother and daughter are situated in is described in this thesis through inspiration from Lee’s own concept of “the eleventh hour”, the time before is becomes was, where death is constantly present. By combining psychoanalysis, the concept of intertextuality from literature professor Gérard Genette and Lee’s notion of the eleventh hour I examine the daughter’s psychological and sometimes bodily progression while separating from the mother figure before her death. I understand this process as deeply ambivalent and complex for the daughter who is once again forced to separate from the mother to be able to shape herself as an autonomous subject. I intend to highlight the different aspects of this separation which include, grief, melancholy, and to search for a verbal fellowship in the intertextual relationships. In the pre-oedipal phase, the child goes from pre-verbal communication to communication through language; the aim here is to clarify how this is reestablished in the eleventh hour. Through close analysis of poetry with special emphasis on vocality, fragmentation, sound and repetition, I conclude that poetry has a unique position for expressing the pre-verbal communication which defines abjection and can therefore display and resolve a repetition of the same. By looking at the eleventh hour in poetry as a repetition of the abjection for the daughter, this temporality can be understood as a specific phase of identity building for daughters.

Master Thesis
Magdalena Rozenberg
University of Copenhagen
May 2019

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