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Cultural Liminality: Gender, Identity, and Margin in the Uncanny Stories of Elizabeth Bowen

  • Paromita Mukherjee
Chapter

Abstract

Mukherjee explores liminal figures in Elizabeth Bowen’s stories, focusing on female characters engaged in transition, suggesting that these liminal identities destabilize cultural assumptions about selfhood and challenge traditional notions of female subjectivity. In reading Bowen’s stories, Mukherjee focuses on experiences of the phantasm: ghostly, hallucinatory, and irrational experiences that challenge the borders of what is accepted as normal or real. Characters in these texts gain access to the other only through these ambiguous, ephemeral, and phantasmatic experiences. The experience of the uncanny, defined by Freud as paradoxically both familiar and strange, can have the effect of destabilizing identity; the boundaries between self and other can temporally dissolve, and the self––especially because of its imminent mortality—can be figured outside of itself and become other.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paromita Mukherjee
    • 1
  1. 1.Amity UniversityKolkataIndia

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