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De-composing the Gothic Body in Maria Edgeworth’s Castle Rackrent

Nancy Marck Cantwell
p. 31-44

Résumés

Cet article montre que la saisie du cadavre dans Castle Rackrent de Maria Edgeworth emblématise la fragmentation de l’identité culturelle irlandaise. En s’appuyant sur la théorie de l’abject de Kristeva, il révèle le corps gothique comme un site d’indétermination. Des incohérences narratives décomposent le texte, et font apparaître à la fois un sentiment spécifiquement gothique lié à la perte et le besoin obsessionnel de formuler l’état abject des colonisés. Le brouillage narratif des événements traumatiques signale la dissolution d’une spécificité culturelle qui déstabilise la temporalité et le sens.

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Extrait du texte

Ce document sera publié en ligne en texte intégral en juin 2019.

Plan

Introduction
Dead metaphors: de-composing the gothic corpse
Time and the fallen: dislocating the gothic body politic
Conclusion: the corpse and gothic indeterminacy

Aperçu du texte

Introduction

Published just prior to the Act of Union, Maria Edgeworth’s Castle Rackrent (1800) forecasts the dissolution of Irish identity in terms of a disorienting horror. The novel shares a preoccupation with loss and death with popular gothic productions of its day, like Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) and Matthew Lewis’s The Monk (1796), but while its prevailing atmosphere of deterioration envisages a grimly uncertain future for Ireland and its people, Edgeworth elevates this loss of identity to a transgressive fragmentariness, imagining colonization as a traumatic familial and national event capable of destabilizing meaning itself. And, to emphasize the profound personal impact of this appropriation, Edgeworth narrates this pervasive decay through the gothic body, a site of multiplying and unfathomable alternities.

To introduce this troubling unpredictability, Castle Rackrent begins with an ending; the first of four family biographies told by self-appointed memo...

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Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Nancy Marck Cantwell, « De-composing the Gothic Body in Maria Edgeworth’s Castle Rackrent », Études irlandaises, 42-1 | 2017, 31-44.

Référence électronique

Nancy Marck Cantwell, « De-composing the Gothic Body in Maria Edgeworth’s Castle Rackrent », Études irlandaises [En ligne], 42-1 | 2017, mis en ligne le 29 juin 2019, consulté le 22 octobre 2017. URL : http://etudesirlandaises.revues.org/5087 ; DOI : 10.4000/etudesirlandaises.5087

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Auteur

Nancy Marck Cantwell

Nancy Marck Cantwell is Associate Professor and Chair of the English ­Department at Daemen College in Amherst, New York, where she teaches British and Irish literature. Her scholarly work investigates texts produced by nineteenth-century novelists from England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.  Recent publications include an article on Thackeray’s Vanity Fair in Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies, as well as book chapters in Jane Austen and Philosophy, The Contemporary Irish Detective Novel, and Biographical Misrepresentations of Women Writers: A Hall of Mirrors, and entries in The Cambridge Guide to the Eighteenth Century Novel, 1660-1820. Her current projects include an article on the subversive aspects of tourism in works by Sydney Owenson and Susan Ferrier and a book-length study of nationalism in 19th century novels by Four Nations women.

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Droits d’auteur

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