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"Beasts who walk alone": Narrating Queer Abjection in Djuna Barnes's Nightwood and Jordy Rosenberg's Confessions of the Fox

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abstract
This essay explores paradoxes surrounding queer abjection by examining two novels which dwell on both the pleasures and pains of alterity. Both Djuna Barnes’s 1936 Nightwood and Jordy Rosenberg’s 2018 Confessions of the Fox posit an intensely ambivalent notion of queerness, one which embraces transgressive possibilities and desires at the same time as it registers horrifying social and semiotic heteronormative violence. In particular, these novels feature queer figures who navigate abjection through metaphorical identifications with animals which are sometimes erotic, other times troubling, and very often both at once. Barnes and Rosenberg also interrogate the role of traditional narrative forms in reifying queer abjection by employing self-reflexive narrative disruptions. For their queer figures as for Barnes and Rosenberg themselves, narrating from a position of abjection necessarily encompasses negative and positive affects, a combination which complicates theoretical debates in the fields of queer studies, modernism, and postcolonial studies alike.
subject
abjection
Djuna Barnes
Jordy Rosenberg
modernism
postcolonial studies
queer studies
contributor
McGuirk, Jake Jeffries (author)
Hena, Omaar (committee chair)
Farmer, Meredith (committee member)
Holdridge, Jefferson (committee member)
date
2021-06-03T08:36:06Z (accessioned)
2021-06-03T08:36:06Z (available)
2021 (issued)
degree
English (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/98802 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
"Beasts who walk alone": Narrating Queer Abjection in Djuna Barnes's Nightwood and Jordy Rosenberg's Confessions of the Fox
type
Thesis

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