By Linden Peach (auth.)
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Extra info for Angela Carter
It retains a singular moral function - that of provoking unease. (pp. 244-5) Carter's early novels, however, are not simply Gothic in the traditional sense of the term. The Gothic genre is itself subversive, giving expression to what is culturally occluded such as sexual fantasy and female desire. However, Carter's novels are frequently subversions of the genre; themes and ideas first explored - albeit however crudely - in Gothic writing are re-examined, challenged and expanded. The Gothic becomes a mode of awareness within the novels which challenges, contradicts or confirms other perspectives, as diverse as social realism, Jungian psychoanalysis and 'projection' theory, and is in turn subverted and/ or expanded by them.
There is, however, a difference between cannibalism as it is practised by the river people and that employed by the chief or suggested by the 'buzzard' part of Honeybuzzard's name. As Baudrillard (1993) maintains, cannibals 'don't just eat anybody ... whoever is eaten is always somebody worthy, it is always a mark of respect to devour somebody since, through this, the devoured even becomes sacred' (p. 138). ). Contentiously, Shadow Dance associates the mutilation of Ghislaine with a latent necrophagy in society as a whole.
79) At one point in Shadow Dance, Morris squeezes too hard on a pimple so that blood and pus flow together. Such an image in the American Gothic configuration of the world would warn of the dangers of expelling pus at the expense of the blood. Carter would seem to have this and her earlier image in mind when Morris warns Oscar: 'You want to know all sorts of lovely, gory details and you think you can squeeze them out of me' (p. 33). However, Carter's work challenges the Janus configuration of the American Gothic.
Angela Carter by Linden Peach (auth.)