Beauty or a Beast? Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus Transgressing Seemingly Established Concepts of Beauty, Good, and Evil

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KOTUCZ Barbora

Rok publikování 2020
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Citace
Popis When it comes to breaching boundaries, Angela Carter’s magical realist writing, especially the novel Nights at the Circus, offers a palette of seemingly established notions deconstructed as soon as her stories begin. Omnipresent elements of the carnivalesque both underline and undermine the absurdity of the magical which, paradoxically, features concepts inherent to everyday ordinary life of an individual’s mind. Embodiments of these ideas, such as the winged woman Fevvers – the central figure protagonist in Nights at the Circus – epitomizing the concept of incredulous beauty, seem to constantly shatter the reader’s recognition of these abstract notions as understood and accepted as somehow established in society’s common mind. Fevvers is presented as relativizing the concept of beauty, being regarded as both a unique jewel hatched from an egg destined for high life and a beast designed to spend her life in the “Museum of Women Monsters”. One can barely find Carter’s own definitions of such notions but is left rather insecure about how easily she manages to break what the reader thought was an established image in one’s mind. This transgressive power also includes the concepts of good and evil, whose definitions and representations become as obscure as the concept of beauty.
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