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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

. A Momentary Taste of Being

. A Momentary Taste of Being

(p.186) VI. A Momentary Taste of Being
Alien Plots

Inez Van Der Spek


This book has examined James Tiptree Jr's ‘A Momentary Taste of Being’, a story about alien encounter, and its strange spatio-temporal settings from an interstellar spaceship to the vastness of outer space and indefinite time. By reading Tiptree's narrative within the framework of a variety of theoretical discourses, heuristic images, and intertexts, it has uncovered a range of possible layers of the text, including the alien mother/daughter plot and the plots of Dr Aaron Kaye and his sister Lory. The book has also discussed the three salient issues of the text: the painful quest for female subjectivity, the figuration of the posthuman, and a multiple vision of the divine. This chapter further elaborates on female subjectivity, the posthuman, and the divine beyond the boundaries of ‘A Momentary Taste of Being’. It considers the figuration of the posthuman in relation to negativity in the formation of (female) subjectivity and to the unfathomability of the alien.

Keywords:   alien, James Tiptree Jr, Taste of Being, alien encounter, spaceship, outer space, mother/daughter plot, female subjectivity, posthuman, divine

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