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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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Angela Carter’s ‘rigorous system of disbelief ’: religion, misogyny, myth and the cult

Angela Carter’s ‘rigorous system of disbelief ’: religion, misogyny, myth and the cult

(p.145) 7 Angela Carter’s ‘rigorous system of disbelief ’: religion, misogyny, myth and the cult
The Arts of Angela Carter

Marie Mulvey-Roberts

Manchester University Press

Angela Carter professed her atheism as a rigorous system of disbelief and demythologized religion throughout her work. This included her surrealist art film, The Holy Family Album (1991), and her satire of medieval Catholicism in The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman (1972), whose sadomasochistic theology practised by centaurs is particularly damaging to women. The polarized representations of woman as profane whore or holy virgin is explored by Carter in ‘The Wrightsman Magdalen’ (1993). In The Passion of New Eve (1977), she exposes the fallacy of the idealization of women from earth mother to screen idol, and the continuing denigration of women within religious belief. For the first time, there will be a detailed analysis of the guru Zero as based on Charles Manson’s infamous sex cult, responsible for the brutal murder of the film actress Sharon Tate, in an expose of the dark underbelly of the ethos of free love in the counter-culture of the 1960 and 1970s. Carter’s iconoclastic radical scepticism ranged from expressions of traditional Christianity of the Middle Ages up to that of a twentieth-century guru and was informed by her feminism, and political and ideological outlook on the world, which is reflected throughout her writing.

Keywords:   demythologizing, Christianity, the Fall, Magdalen, Charles Manson

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