Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Alien PlotsFemale Subjectivity and the Divine in the Light of James Tiptree's 'a Momentary Taste of Being'$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Inez ven der Spek

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780853238140

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780853238140.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of
date: 25 June 2022

. Sexual Universes

. Sexual Universes

(p.53) II. Sexual Universes
Alien Plots

Inez Van Der Spek


James Tiptree Jr's ‘A Momentary Taste of Being’, a story about alien encounter, is divided into four parts, in which the events are chronologically narrated. Dr Aaron Kaye, resident psychiatrist of the spaceship Centaur, is the focalising agency throughout the story and is also the narrator, but only in the last part; the first three parts are told by an external narrator, an impersonal agency. This chapter examines Kaye's narrative viewpoint and the series of dreams that haunt him. It considers the kind of masculinity that Kaye represents and how it relates to the overall tenor of the text. In particular, the chapter looks at what visions of sexuality and reproduction emerge from the text when Kaye's perspective is followed. It also analyses the concept of the grotesque and the model of entropy/dissipation, before concluding with a discussion of the pervasive – predominantly phallic – sexual imagery of ‘A Momentary Taste of Being’.

Keywords:   dreams, James Tiptree Jr, Taste of Being, masculinity, sexuality, grotesque, entropy, dissipation, sexual imagery, alien encounter

University Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .