Abjection (322 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

  • Editors
  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume : WORLD HISTORY AND IDEAS: A CROSS-CULTURAL VOLUME.


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“Abjection” is a central concept in Julia Kristeva’s psychoanalytic work which is very much influenced by, and taking its critical distance from, Jacques Lacan’s “return to Freud”. The concept is particularly developed in her essays translated and collected in the influential book The Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection (New York, Columbia University Press, 1982). For Kristeva, the human sense of abjection is inaugurated by the child’s loss of its imaginary identification with the mother and by its encounters with the social rules which determine appropriate patterns of defecation (i.e. its move from the oral to the anal stage in Freudian terms, its induction into social regulation; similarly, in Lacanian terms,…

Editors. "Abjection". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 April 2011
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=16296, accessed 25 October 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Psychoanalysis