Hymenality: On Chesil Beach
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This chapter offers a conceptualisation of the ‘heterotopic hymen’. Reading Foucault’s essay ‘Of Other Spaces’ (1984) and Derrida’s ‘The Double Session’ together with Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach (2007), Davies analyses the exceptionality of the hymen, which entails spatiotemporal indetermination. In relation to the hymen, Davies examines the exceptional time of the protagonists’ honeymoon night and its coextensive space, the honeymoon suite. His theory of the heterotopic hymen offers an exceptional way to read this membrane and rethink first-time sexual experiences as well as the spatiotemporality of the honeymoon and the disruption of exceptionality caused by a preoccupation with history.