Jaime 2015 Abuse

Title Information


Author: Maria Elena Jaime de Pablos

Title: Child Sexual Abuse and Traumatic Identity in Down by the River by Edna O'Brien

Subtitle: -

In: Identities on the Move: Contemporary Representations of New Sexualities and Gender Identities

Edited by: Silvia Pilar Castro Borrego and Maria Isabel Romero Ruiz

Place: London

Publisher: Lexington Books

Year: 2015

Pages: 53-

ISBN-13: 9780739191699 (cloth) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9780739191705 (ebk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | Irish History | Representations: Literature / Edna O'Brien; Types: Child Sexual Abuse



Full Text


Link: Google Books (Limited Preview)



Additional Information


Author: Maria Elena Jaime de Pablos, Departamento de Filología, Universidad de Almería

Abstract: »Child sexual abuse and its relationship with the development of a traumatic gender identity is the main topic in Elena Jaime's discussion of Edna O'Brien's novel Down by the River (1996). Incest has been traditionally considered a taboo subject and the most heinous of crimes, and writing about it can perhaps offer the possibility of healing for the victim, especially in Ireland. The protagonist of the story belongs to the category of "Magdalene" within the Irish Catholic state as a sexual object and in connection with regulatory and discursive practices once more. In this context, Julia Kristeva'a concepts of "defilement" and "abjection" become relevant to the exertion of patriarchal power and authority. Sexual abuse provokes in the victim a sense of an objective evil, of defilement, and the danger of filth that this aggression produces is representative of the frailty of the symbolic order. In the same vein, the Kristevan notion of the abject emerges in the scene of the sexual crime as she defines it as caused by "what disturbs identity, system, order. What does not respect borders, positions, rules. The in-between, the ambiguous, the composite." However, the protagonist overcomes her traumatic experience and gains some sort of agency.« (Silvia Pilar Castro Borrego and Maria Isabel Romero Ruiz. »Introduction: Gender Strike! Seeing Gende and Sexual Identity in the Twenty-first Century.« Identities on the Move: Contemporary Representations of New Sexualities and Gender Identities. Edited by Silvia Pilar Castro Borrego et al. London 2015: 5)

Wikipedia: Child sexual abuse; Edna O'Brien


Added: January 24, 2015 – Last updated: January 24, 2015