The Castle and Other Plays

  • Alireza FakhrkonandehEmail author


This chapter begins by pondering the interwovenness of libidinal economy and political economy in Barker’s work (and The Castle) by scrutinizing the dynamics of women’s deconstruction of the pivots of the patriarchal symbolic order. The Castle, thus, manifests how three crucial dimensions of characters’ lives are indelibly linked: their mode of ethics, metaphysics, and economy of desire. Accordingly, characters’ distinctive idiosyncrasies in every respect are conspicuously reflected in conceptions of time, space, the body, and language. Underpinning the discussion throughout this book is the exceedingly emergent correlation between the symbolic order/constructs (involving gender metaphysics and politics) and the material order (involving corporeal-spatial-architectural); more specifically, the analogy between the castle and female body (genital organ). Following the trajectory of the castle from an initially phallic/phallocratic structure to its cumulative accrual of circular layers and folds, culminating into its relapsing into an “amorphous” mass of walls, I will argue that the castle in its final form incarnates a chaos (chiasmatic) dynamics. As regards time, critically drawing on Irigaray’s gender-based distinction between two modes of temporality/time perception, namely, anastrophe and catastrophe, this chapter will demonstrate how the treatment/conception of time by (1) Ann and (2) early Krak and Stucley can be associated with anastrophe and catastrophe, respectively. It will be shown how anastrophe is traversed by the untimely realm of becoming, time as the eternal recurrence of difference and not the same.


Catastrophe and anastrophe as modes temporal consciousness Chiasmatic space/structure Formal chaos Immanent and transcendental visions of history 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

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