By exposing the North as an abject that signals as much about the subject (South) as it does about the hated object (North) itself, the text effectively deconstructs the binary opposition of North/South, suggesting instead a politics of mutual recognition.
When the abject resurfaces, it resurfaces as a territory on the border with the North, and by extension, it is the border with the North, and the North itself, that Clara perceives as abject.
Laurence mirrors Clara's rejection of the North, but he extends the borders of his own abject, symbolically speaking.
Because he recognizes the abject within himself, he has a constant desire to run and to explode:
in and out' evokes Kristeva's placement of the abject as a borderline condition: neither exteriorized, nor interiorized, but threatening the integrity of the subject--as a dangerous, 'shattering' collision of the inside and the outside (p.
As we have seen, for Kristeva, the abject is always connected to 'maternal entity even before ex-isting outside of her' (p.
212)--Clara links the abject with the process of writing itself, which simultaneously works as a confrontation with and release from terror.
Beyond her fear of the abject re-appearing in the slippery path of writing, Clara's writing also becomes an act of revolt, which requires existential and intellectual courage.
Johnston's novel reveals that the abject never points to one object but, as Kristeva contends, to a 'composite' (p.