I See the Dogs Inside You: Reclaiming Monstrosity for a Visionary Poetics
Khaliq, Jasmine Ariana
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Monsters have been made and used and reanimated in art since antiquity. Monstrosity, in this paper considered first through Ovid, has always been most inflicted upon marginalized people, notably women. Through the poetry of Kim Hyesoon and Mia Ayumi Malhotra, as well as the art of Kiki Smith, I examine in this paper the reclamation, subversion, and repurposing of monstrosity and the monstrous tradition (including the formless, the grotesque, the abject, and the sublime) by women to create a visionary poetics and practice that is truer in expressing the complicated realities marginalized people live; grants power and agency to these people; is truer at expressing a selfhood for people unwelcome or once unwelcome in traditional and dominant subjectivity/people who have been marked other; makes space for these people to imagine a freer future where the self is safer from consumption in its incomprehensible monstrosity; and extends a radical empathy to all animals, people, monsters, and things—an empathy that can be practiced in our lives to make that freer future real.
- English