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The Arts of Angela CarterA Cabinet of Curiosities$
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Marie Mulvey-Roberts

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526136770

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526136787

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Psychogeography in the curiosity cabinet: Angela Carter’s poetics of space

Psychogeography in the curiosity cabinet: Angela Carter’s poetics of space

(p.39) 2 Psychogeography in the curiosity cabinet: Angela Carter’s poetics of space
The Arts of Angela Carter

Anna Kérchy

Manchester University Press

This chapter explores how Angela Carter’s fictional spaces metanarratively reflect upon creative authorship and textual productivity along the lines of a feminist psychogeographical poetics of spatiality. It scrutinizes the individual affective charge fictive locations hold for the woman writer who composes herself into being within sites of her own mak(e-believ)ing. It starts out from a brief overview of geographical interpretations of Carter’s fictional places, which associate her trademark challenging of generic conventions and gender roles with spatial explorations that surface both on a thematic and stylistic level of her work. It then argues that Carter’s decentralization project resonates with the poststructuralist notion of an ‘open text’, which allows readers to meander in a labyrinthine narrative while tackling the ultimate metafictional dilemma: ‘Where do stories come from?’ After a brief analysis of the affective investment of spatial imagery in Carter’s short fiction, my close reading of ‘The Scarlet House’ shows how the narrator protagonist’s mental mapping of her traumatic past becomes a survival strategy when the stake of maintaining her sense of space is the preservation of her sense of self.

Keywords:   psychogeography, spaces, stories, room

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