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Download e-book for iPad: Ambiguous Discourse: Feminist Narratology and British Women by Kathy Mezei

By Kathy Mezei

ISBN-10: 0807822906

ISBN-13: 9780807822906

Rigorously melding concept with shut readings of texts, the members to Ambiguous Discourse discover the position of gender within the fight for narrative keep an eye on of particular works through British writers Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, Anita Brookner, Angela Carter, Jeanette Winterson, and Mina Loy. This number of twelve essays is the 1st e-book dedicated to feminist narratology--the mix of feminist conception with the examine of the buildings that underpin all narratives. until eventually lately, narratology has resisted the advances of feminism partially, as a few individuals argue, simply because thought has replicated prior assumptions of male authority and standpoint in narrative. Feminist narratology, although, contextualizes the cultural structures of gender inside its research of narrative concepts. 9 of those essays are unique, and 3 were revised for booklet during this quantity. The members are Melba Cuddy-Keane, Denise Delorey, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Susan Stanford Friedman, Janet Giltrow, Linda Hutcheon, Susan S. Lanser, Alison Lee, Patricia Matson, Kathy Mezei, Christine Roulston, and Robyn Warhol.

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Of course, Sir Walter looks at women, too; his complaint that on the streets of Bath one handsome woman "would be followed by thirty, or five­and­thirty frights" (155) reveals, though, that he looks always to objectify, always to evaluate the body's surface.  Shabby fellows, both of them!  As the male partner in the novel's one solidly "attached and happy" marriage (88), Admiral Croft embodies a masculine propensity for not looking at the body or its ornaments.  Anne never makes the connection explicit, but the words she applies to her would­be suitor are an apt summary of her own father's characteristics.

The shift in narrative attitude toward the emotional mother's body indicates a development in Anne's own increasing comfort with female bodily experience, suggesting that maternity, tenderness, and physicality can come together in Anne's own experience of marriage after the novel's end.  The text's sensations are the heroine's own; in the end, her gaze is represented as entirely integrated with the life of her body.  See Julia Prewitt Brown's critique of narrow feminist readings of Austen, and note the pitfalls in her own feminist­historicist criticism that treats characters as if they were "real people" whose marital fate depends on their situation in history (1990).

Love quite literally hurts in Persuasion, and if the female body is the vehicle and object of the empowering language of looking, it is also the site of much discomfort.  Speaking strictly historically, one could surmise that a woman of Anne Elliot's class and marital status would have had very little opportunity for solitude or for choosing whether to be present at social and family events.  Throughout much of Persuasion, the heroine's body must necessarily be a body in pain.  But the passage also suggests that "tenderness" is the exclusive right of the slender, virginal, relatively youthful female body, inappropriate to the body of the sexually experienced mother.

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Ambiguous Discourse: Feminist Narratology and British Women Writers by Kathy Mezei


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