Technological Myth-Making in Angela Carter’s The Passion of New Eve


Yılmaz S.

European Languages and Cultures Research and Application Center (ADİKAM) Conference: "Myth-Making Across Boundaries", İzmir, Turkey, 22 - 24 October 2014

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Unpublished
  • City: İzmir
  • Country: Turkey

Abstract

Angela Carter is noted for her rewritings of well-known myths and fairytales, whose plots she deconstructs and reconstructs through her unique writing. Her postmodern novels also have references to myths, history writing and other literary texts. As a postmodern author, Carter integrates various literary genres and tropes into her work, such as fairytales, fantasy, gothic fiction and science fiction. Among these genres, science fiction is important in providing Carter with new technological possibilities in her postmodern experimentations with metanarratives such as myths. In her novel The Passion of New Eve (1977), Carter exhibits a myth-making process in a future setting, with an underground laboratory that can create myths and mythical beings with the help of advanced technology. Through technological operations such as surgery and personality programming, Carter exposes the construction process of myths; how their makers integrate their ideologies into their stories and characters. She criticizes both the patriarchal myths and equally rigid radical feminist (rewritten) myths for imposing social and gender roles on people. Carter also includes contemporary myth-makers such mass media and Hollywood to indicate that myths are still produced to instil certain ideologies into people’s minds. In the light of all these, this paper analyzes the use of science fiction elements in The Passion of New Eve and argues that these elements enable Carter to expose the ideologies behind myth-making as they provide settings and technologies for re-enacting the process.