THE ABJECT, abjection (Kristeva): 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. The primary example is the corpse (which traumatically reminds us of our own materiality); however, other items can elicit the same reaction: the open wound, shit, sewage, even a particularly immoral crime (e.g. Auschwitz). Kristeva posits that abjection is something that we must experience in our psychosexual development before entering into the mirror stage, that is, the establishment of such boundaries as self and other or human and animal. See the Kristeva module on the abject.Kristeva also associates the abject with the maternal since the establishment of the boundary between self and other marks our movement out of the chora. See the Kristeva module on psychosexual development.
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