Angela Carter's scarred texts
This thesis aims to describe a poetics of Angela Carter's fiction. It examines the way in which Carter's novels and some of her short stories mobilise the reader into speculation about possible ontologies, provoking them to think beyond the binary oppositions which sustain Western metaphysical thought. The thesis focuses upon Carter's "originary" symbol, the first motif in her first novel, which is a scar. In Chapter One, I argue that the scar is a re-presentation of the mythical wound of female castration which actually works to challenge patriarchal discourses on femininity and female sexuality, introducing feminist theories in order to fully explain the gaps in such discourses. Each of the five chapters which construct the thesis traces the way in which the scar/womb/wound image opens up different but related issues surrounding sexuality representation, signification and transgression. Shadow Dance, The Magic Toyshop, The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman, The Passion of New Eve, The Bloody Chamber, Nights at the Circus and Wise Children are all considered as interrogatory texts in dialogue with one another and with other literature and theories, effecting a breakdown between disciplines and generic categories, yet simultaneously creating a dynamic "new" form of textuality which can be viewed as potentially transfon-native.