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Original scientific paper

On Some Aspects of Female Monstrosity in Belief Legends

Nataša Polgar orcid id ; Institut za etnologiju i folkloristiku, Zagreb

Full text: croatian pdf 205 Kb

page 133-148

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This article examines Foucault’s thesis about the monstrous as an empty category and J. Cohen’s thesis about the monstrous as the return of the repressed. The data comes from oral tradition and literature, more specifically from a corpus of belief legends that are typically considered mythical, mythological or demonological. Using etymological information, as well as the three basic components of the monstrous – the aesthetic, the ethical/moral and especially the spatial component – the article shows how the monstrous is constructed and represented in belief legends, and that it is – to this day – usually coded as female. Relying on psychoanalytic criticism, the paper discusses the functions of monstrous female beings in oral culture: in addition to having demonstrative and cautionary attributes, they also include an affective element, particularly fear and anxiety related to the female body and its (transformative and fluid) abilities.


monsters, monstrous, witches, moras, belief legends

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Article data in other languages: croatian

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