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Title: The spectral figure unbound : a psychoanalytic reading of female gothic literature and film
Author: Quazi, Sobia
ISNI:       0000 0004 2736 2431
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis examines the spectral figure in female gothic literature and film. I argue that the spectral figure is a trope, symbol and narrative device that recurs: throughout the female gothic genre, from early female gothic novels such as The Mysteries of Udolpho (Ann Radc1iffe, 1794) and Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte, 1847) to Rebecca (Daphne du Maurier, 1938). I also examine the representation of the spectral figure in film, in the adaptation of Rebecca (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1940) .and in contemporary Japanese horror film, which, I argue, is a powerful female gothic narrative. The spectral figure appears as a ghostly presence or even an absence at . the heart of the female gothic narrative that makes its presence strongly felt, and permeates the materiality of the text In the early female gothic works, the spectral figure is maternally connoted and appears mainly in relation to the heroine who textually operates as a "daughter". In contemporary female gothic narratives the locus of spectrality has shifted to the daughter-figure, who exists in relation to the now maternally characterized heroine. In both cases, the mother- daughter bond is foregrounded through the dynamics of the spectral figure. I argue that the reason these texts utilize the spectral figure lies in their interest in an important stage/aspect of female subjective development that is narratively signalled by such a figure. Thus the spectral figure and its issue of maternal absence can be best explored through the psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein, Julia Kristeva and Donald . Winnicott. In utilizing their work, I am:. also making an intervention into psychoanalytic theories of female subjective development, since I build on the notion of maternal absence to point to the important cultural shift of the last few decades, one that has resulted in the appearance of a spectral daughter figure.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available