Eliza Claudia Filimon
Worlds in Collision - Angela Carter's Heterotopia by Eliza Claudia Filimon Summary
Doctoral Thesis / Dissertation from the year 2009 in the subject English - Literature, Works, grade: magna cum laudae, , course: English Literature, Film Studies, language: English, abstract: Angela Carter’s work is a collage of discourses and genres tackling such issues as identity construction, marginality, myth as foundation of ideology, fluidity of boundaries. Her playful intertextual allusions to literature, psychology, politics and popular culture are infused with irony and wit, and the challenge of finding a critical framework complex and accurate enough by which to study her work has remained, since no classification seems to do her justice. My solution in this study is to move away from the urge to approach her works according to literary frames, to a discussion informed by a different metaphor, denoting enigmatic spaces, conterdiscourses, borders of otherness – heterotopia. My looking-glass examines five novels out of nine, five short stories out of thirty-five, as well as Carter’s two film adaptations. I have condensed her rich patchwork of stories, characters and techniques into a term extricated from its medical and geographical roots, befitting the rich intertextuality of her themes, her interest in boundaries between fact and fiction, margins and centres, or the interplay between sacred and profane. The concept of heterotopia emphasizes the ambiguity, as well as the dialogic interaction of Carter’s often discordant discourses. The spectacular and the pragmatic threads of her texts, framed by extreme seriousness and witty humour, have delighted and offended readers, consequently maintaining Carter’s literary and cinematic montage at the top of the literary canon, as the present study will show.