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Abjection and Representation


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Table of Contents

Contents Preface Introduction 1. Unpacking Abjection 2. A Cultural History of Abjection 3. Recovering the Sacred: The Abject Body 4. Abjection in the Visual Arts 5. The Formless 6. Abjection and Film 7. Abjection in Literature Concluding Remarks

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About the Author

Rina Arya is Reader at the University of Wolverhampton, UK. Her areas of expertise include art theory and post-war art, and she has written extensively on Francis Bacon and Georges Bataille. Previously published works include Francis Bacon: Painting in a Godless World (2012), which was long-listed for the William M. B. Berger Prize for British Art History, Contemplations of the Spiritual in Art (2013) and Abject Visions: Powers of Horror in Art and Visual Culture (co-edited with Nicholas Chare; 2015).


'Rina Arya's Abjection and Representation is a clearly written and accessible introductory guide to our various social, political, psychic, corporeal, and aesthetic 'adventures of abjection' in contemporary theory, art, literature, and film. The book is long-needed and effectively has no peers.' Calvin Thomas, Georgia State University, USA

'The theme of abjection involves necessarily close attention to the work of Georges Bataille and Julia Kristeva. It begins in our human experience of the body in all its complexity, involving a profound sense of the sacred and the dark depths of psychoanalysis in Kristeva's writings. At the same time, the relationship between experience and the theoretical is central to Arya's work. She covers the fields of art, film and literature with equal ease and leaves us profoundly in her debt. This is a mature, articulate book that traverses difficult terrain for the reader who will find the author a sure and invaluable guide.' - David Jasper, University of Glasgow and Renmin University of China, Beijing

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