Monstrous Landscapes: The "Abject" in Body and Setting in Angela Carter's The Passion of New Eve

Ozum A.

FOREIGN LITERATURE STUDIES, vol.35, no.3, pp.101-110, 2013 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 35 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.101-110
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


In Angela Carter's The Passion of New Eve (1977) the retrospective narrative of Eve(lyn) brings together in a reconstructive manner the representations of setting and gender as s/he experiences violent practices applied on his/her body in different locations. These paralleled constructions of the landscapes of body and setting are rather problematic because the duality in gender and the way the setting is created are equally prioritised in the novel as monstrous and "abject," as Julia Kristeva put it. They are depicted as such because they are ambivalently constructed and described by the narrative voice of Eve(lyn) both as violent and victimised, barren and pure, grotesque and familiar. This essay analyses the monstrous and abject identities of Eve(lyn) and the plight of the setting by focusing on the similarities and stresses that the use of space is hence inseparable from the notion of problematised gender in the text. It also clarifies that in the novel Carter poses alternatives for absolute grounds by creating paralleled ambiguities in the landscapes of body and setting and by questioning the fixed mythic and irrational interpretations of essentialist claims about the sexed body in general and subjectivities in particular just as she implicitly reinforces utopic non-technologised landscapes and a yearning for peaceful life.