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Cultures of Addiction By Jason Lee

Chapter 1:  Tracking Cixous’s Medusa?
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Cultures of Addiction

Chapter 1

Tracking Cixous’s Medusa?

A Comparative Analysis of Literary Representations of Women and Their Addiction

Nycole Prowse

Introduction

The topic of drug addiction has permeated discourses as diverse as U.S. presidential debates and policy statements to the warnings on the packaging of the very substances that are deemed addictive. But it is in literature, with its ability to transcend politics or the moral blind spots of an era, that honesty about the topic of drug addiction is to be found. For well over a century, male drug literature has portrayed the insidiousness, horror, disgust, degradation, disappointment, and disillusionment of drug addiction. But it has also exacted its ecstasy, illumination, joy, and freedom. In essence, it has portrayed life. That is, male drug literature exposes more about the state of the subject within society than it does about addiction. Writing about and through the extremities of addiction magnifies the effects of the stabilization, regulation, uniformity, and constraint that society places on any subject, whether addicted or not. For all its insight,