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Alien PlotsFemale Subjectivity and the Divine in the Light of James Tiptree's 'a Momentary Taste of Being'$
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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

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date: 25 June 2022

. (Counter) Apocalypses

. (Counter) Apocalypses

(p.142) V. (Counter) Apocalypses
Alien Plots

Inez Van Der Spek


In James Tiptree Jr's ‘A Momentary Taste of Being’, a story about alien encounter, the main protagonist, Dr Aaron Kaye, experiences oceanic awareness, which in Freudian psychoanalysis refers to the (revived) feeling of the symbiotic-semiotic oneness with the mother – that is, the imaginary return to paradise. This chapter examines the narrative viewpoint of Lory Kaye, Dr Aaron Kaye's younger sister, and analyses her submerged story in the interpretative framework of the apocalyptic imagination of science fiction. It discusses a variety of theoretical perspectives on the apocalyptic orientation of science fiction in relation to the particular, feminist apocalypse of the story. The chapter also considers possible revisions of the imagery of the Book of Revelation as well as the structure of apocalyptic imagination in the text.

Keywords:   alien encounter, James Tiptree Jr, Taste of Being, oceanic awareness, science fiction, apocalypse, imagery, Book of Revelation

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