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

. Father in Crisis, Mother Rises?

. Father in Crisis, Mother Rises?

1. The Choric Fantasy

(p.85) III. Father in Crisis, Mother Rises?
Alien Plots

Inez Van Der Spek


In her book The Mother/Daughter Plot, Marianne Hirsch investigates the divergent versions of the family romance that surface in female-authored novels by focusing on the relation between mothers and daughters. This chapter examines James Tiptree Jr's ‘A Momentary Taste of Being’, a story about alien encounter, as a mother/daughter narrative in the guise of science fiction. More specifically, it reads the text as a choric fantasy; the chora, a notion derived from Julia Kristeva, refers to the maternally connoted dimension of the construction of the subject, which stands in a dialogical relation to the paternally connoted symbolic. By reading Tiptree's text in light of Kristeva's theory, the chapter analyses the narrative text and the feminist reception of Kristeva's theory of the maternal. It also argues that mother/daughter plots in science fiction may be expressed in rather unusual and sometimes opaque terms, such as in the case of ‘A Momentary Taste of Being’.

Keywords:   family romance, mothers, daughters, James Tiptree Jr, Taste of Being, alien encounter, choric fantasy, chora, Julia Kristeva, mother/daughter plots

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 .