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Likewise Kristeva’s work, and for that matter feminine experience andwriting, is neutralized by the Assumption. In the notion of the bodilyAssumption of Our Lady, the body and soulof Mary are taken up into heavenlyglory where she is ‘exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that shemight be more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror ofsin and death’ (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1994).In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave theworld, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceivedthe living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.Byzantine Liturgy, Troparian, Feast of the Dormition, August 15th(LibreriaEditrice Vaticana, 1994, Lumen Gentium 59)She is the exemplary realization (typus) of the Church.Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994: 208 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1994)In a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope andburning charity in the Saviour’s work of restoring supernatural life to souls. Forthis reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace.(Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1994, Lumen Gentium 61)Kristeva, in her writing, poses a threat to male order, by her bodily Assumptioninto the male text she is ‘more fully conformed to her son’, in this sense, the sonbeing her writing: in Derrida’s terms, the ‘miserable son’ (Derrida, 1981: 145).The suffering Mother and the miserable Son to whom she is conformed morefully are the emblems of the incorporationof the Mother into the text. In orderto say and to overcome the ‘anxiety of influence’ suffered by every writer whenit is ‘his (sic) turn to wield his language (his pen)’ (original parentheses)(Todorov, 1981 in Bloom, 1982: 24) Kristeva, as experience and as writing, isreceived body and soul into the trajectory of the male text: honoured and yetdisavowed. She is made Virgin in order to make the elevation possible. This is abizarre transgression by which the appropriation is by what is conferred ratherthan by what is taken. By rendering real women into mere representations theirreal power is neutralized and made safe. If the feminine threatens to subvert thetext, then the move to affirm the notion of the Assumption, bodily and spiritualsubjection to the Law, is the reversal of that potential for transgression. Thefeminine isincorporatedinto the text and, via its elevation, made part of the
Julia Kristeva101Word: inseparable from the Word. In this way, women and their work, thefeminine and its ways of being, are made to conform with the phallogocentricorder.In organizational terms, all that is feminine is other, is sensuous, is excludedby this subjection. Since the feminine must enter the organization withoutbringing contamination – of menstrual blood, of breast milk, of pregnant bodies– it must enter as representational. However, the feminine might equally wellenter as the representation of the Whore. The argument here is confined tomotherhood and the mother. As representational, the image of the Virgin thus