Rethinking the Monstrous: Transgression, Vulnerability, and Difference in British Fiction Since 1967
- Publish Date: 2015-11-19
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: Jim Byatt
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This book examines the various ways in which British fiction since the late 1960s has addressed the marginalization of anomalous identities in an era of increasing social inclusivity, and the ways in which the category of the monstrous has been applied to various figures in society. Drawing on a diverse range of theoretical positions, from body politics to theories of domestic space, the book highlights parallels between the management of medical conditions, including locked-in syndrome, terminal illness and Down syndrome, and psychological anomalies including tendencies toward paedophilia, incest and violence toward minors.
By addressing such a range of disparate identities under the banner of monstrosity, the book seeks to identify a degree of continuity between the treatment of the vilified predator and the vulnerable individual in contemporary Britain. The fictional works discussed include a number of novels that have made little impact in commercial and critical terms, yet which function as penetrating and insightful accounts of life in the margins. These works offer valuable and unique perspectives on figures in society whose stories often go unheard, and serve to outline the logic behind seemingly illogical gestures and acts.