Rich and Strange: Gender, History, Modernism

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Princeton University Press, 27.10.1991 - 248 Seiten

Like the products of the "sea-change" described in Ariel's song in The Tempest, modernist writing is "rich and strange." Its greatness lies in its density and its dislocations, which have until now been viewed as a repudiation of and an alternative to the cultural implications of turn-of-the-century political radicalism. Marianne DeKoven argues powerfully to the contrary, maintaining that modernist form evolved precisely as a means of representing the terrifying appeal of movements such as socialism and feminism. Organized around pairs and groups of female-and male-signed texts, the book reveals the gender-inflected ambivalence of modernist writers. Male modernists, desiring utter change, nevertheless feared the loss of hegemony it might entail, while female modernists feared punishment for desiring such change. With water imagery as a focus throughout, DeKoven provides extensive new readings of canonical modernist texts and of works in the feminist and African-American canons not previously considered modernist. Building on insights of Luce Irigaray, Klaus Theweleit, and Jacques Derrida, she finds in modernism a paradigm of unresolved contradiction that enacts in the realm of form an alternative to patriarchal gender relations.

 

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Inhalt

Modernism under Erasure
19
A Different Story The Yellow Wallpaper and The Turn of the Screw
38
CONRAD AND OTHERS
65
Darker and Lower Down The Eruption of Modernism in Melanctha and The Nigger of the Narcissus
67
The Vaginal Passage Heart of Darkness and The Voyage Out
85
The Destructive Element The Awakening and Lord Jim
139
IN THE WAKE OF EARLY MODERNIST NARRATIVE
177
AntiCanonical Modernism
179
After Modernism
208
NOTES
217
INDEX
245
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