Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary Woolf$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ann Martin and Kathryn Holland

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780989082624

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780989082624.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Mystical Gibberish or Renegade Discourse?

Mystical Gibberish or Renegade Discourse?

Poetic Language According to Orlando

(p.196) Mystical Gibberish or Renegade Discourse?
Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary Woolf

Christopher Brown

Liverpool University Press

This chapter explores how Virginia Woolf's Orlando refigures adult subjectivity by restoring the fluid dynamics of the semiotic chora to relationships, thus moving away from the patriarchal ordering of language that seems to haunt Julia Kristeva's approach to culture. In a biography of Melanie Klein, Kristeva defends psychoanalysis as “an ethics of subjective emancipation” that defies identity politics by recognizing the “sexual polymorphism” in all persons. The statement alludes to Kristeva's own concept of the semiotic chora, a “receptacle” of drives and affects that bond mother and infant prior to the Oedipal complex and the advent of subjectivity. The rest of the chapter discusses the configuration of repression and poetic expression in Orlando, and how the novel challenges the notion that sexual identity determines one's relation to an archaic maternal principle and reveals the contingency of Kristeva's formulation on a paternal model of culture.

Keywords:   culture, Orlando, subjectivity, semiotic chora, language, Julia Kristeva, repression, poetic expression, sexual identity

Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.