Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for Abjection

Welcome to my blog. We are now in the A to Z blog challenge. I figured why not start the month off with something a little different. Abjection is a concept that can be useful in a story, however, I know it more from the years I competed in college policy debate. I wrote an entire negative strategy based off abjection. So thought I'd put the info to use here too. Enjoy. ;-)

If you don't know about the challenge, and if you're here I'm surprised if you don't know, but here is the link:

What is Abjection?
Definition: Abject - 1. brought low in condition or status, 2. being of the most contemptible kind, 3. being of the most miserable kind; wretched. (Free Dictionary Dot Com)

The author who is known for writing books on the topic: Julia Kristeva

Her definition: "Our reaction (horror, vomit) to a threatened breakdown in meaning caused by the loss of the distinction between subject and object or between self and other."

Want to read some interesting concepts about the dichotomy of self versus other. Read books and articles by Kristeva or about what Kristeva wrote about somewhere online. I recommend Power of Horror. 

I like to consider the struggle of the self versus the other when I'm plotting. In one of my novels that I considered writing for NaNoWriMo 2012 involves the concept, though the main character is an "other" in the story in a literal sense. Might write that novel some day.

Another way to look at the concept of abjection is by looking at the tarot card, The Tower.

One of the worst cards to get in general (yep worse than the death card most of the times and yeah I sometimes do tarot readings). Most of the time, the image on this card in the deck is a tower struck by lighting and or on fire, top part blown off, bits of the walls crumbling down and someone falling. Usually it's two but I thought the image above looked kinda cool. The lightning, breaking down of the barriers (walls/tower) and the fall all tie into both the abject horror and the time when there is a loss of the distinction between subject and object, or between self and other.

What do you think?
Welcome to my Blog.


SA Larsenッ said...

Interesting concept and Tarot card. Hmm...

Allyson Lindt said...

Love the tarot image you found - I wouldn't mind owning that deck.

Interesting word, too. It's got a lot of depth and is worth pondering a bit. I think I'm going to be stuck on that one for a while.


Find me:
Twitter: @AllysonLindt

Jay Noel said...

Love this word, despite it's negative connotation. I just thought of a perfect place for the use of "abject" with one of my projects.


Anonymous said...

thank you! I've learned something new and useful today

Susan Kane said...

A good word to remember.

Robin said...

If the definition is being brought low in condition or being the most miserable and the Tarot card is the Tower... lack of distinction between self and the other. That says to me that there is a huge disconnect for someone who is experiencing abjection. They feel like have lost the best part of themselves and perhaps even their connection to Spirit. Is that right?

Kate OMara said...

I like abject but prefer wretched. Wretched just seems harsh, as are the circumstances.
Good A :)

Dawn Embers said...

Thanks Everyone.

SA Larsen - It is an interesting card, I can only imagine what the others in the deck look like.

Allyson Lindt - *waves hi* Have fun with it. I still have all my evidence from my debate days. Have book by Kristeva too but haven't read it all yet.

Jay Noel - Sweet. Have fun with what it. ;-)

sassyspeaks - Cool. Glad to facilitate the learning process. hehe

Susan Kane - Indeed.

Robin - That is an interesting question. I don't know the exact answer but my first thought is that they would lose more than just the best part, but a good portion but with that loss comes a different understand. My main use was to explain why we need to have the horrible experiences, what they brought to our existence.

Kate Omara - Wretched is a good word too. Maybe I'll use that for W.