Becoming Legend in Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend: The Semiotic Last Resort for Survival
Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

In Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend (1954), vampires and the protagonist are regarded as the incumbents of legend-based subject positions respectively. This full circle and chiasmastic changeability in the incumbency of legend-based subject positions have been read through several postcolonial and racial critical paradigms. The present study, while acknowledging the merit of these readings, puts the changeable incumbencies of legend-based subject positions of this novel within Julia Kristeva’s critical conceptualization of chora. Such a reading acknowledges the repressive features of becoming a legend in symbolic order of signification, and at the same time, bespeaks the eruptive and threatening inklings of the semiotic and irrepresentable aspects of becoming a legend for such orders. The reading also manages to distance itself from those studies and analyses which see in legends some transcendental or holy teleology. This study argues that it is the very irrepresentable but materialistic and heterogeneous developments in the process of legend formation which make the incumbencies of legends motile, semiotically enabling and eruptive, and overall choric. In the novel’s post-apocalyptic, always-changing and chaotic world, becoming a legend can ensure one’s symbolically irrepresentable but semiotically perpetual survival.

Journal of Critical Literary Studies, Volume:3 Issue: 2, Spring and Summer 2021
5 to 20  
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