By Lucie Armitt (auth.)
This quantity examines a wide selection of the ways that the wonderful has impacted upon modern women's fiction. many of the matters addressed contain: the significance of the cyborg and the spectre to serious and fictional discourses of gender; the interface among the gruesome and modern readings of feminist utopianism; the starting to be similarity among past due twentieth-century gothicism and the mystical genuine. The research is predicated upon the paintings of fifteen writers and contains novels by way of Allende, Atwood, Carter, Head, Morrison, Weldon, Winterson and Wittig.
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Extra info for Contemporary Women’s Fiction and the Fantastic
We have more agency about what we take through time and space than we may realise. At the same time, we have seen that Pearce’s key reservation about Winterson’s novel revolves around its usage of the polychronotopic in a manner that suggests that we can free ourselves from our material circumstances and float through time and space at will. 6 This qualm certainly cannot be levelled at Kindred, for Dana’s shifts between chronotopes are always stimulated by violence and ultimately result in actual and irreversible bodily mutilation: “I lost an arm on my last trip home.
24 It is the utopian aspects of this text that enable characters like Winterson’s Fortunata to anticipate the next historical move in the chain leading endlessly upwards into infinity. Inhabiting an unspecified location known only as “a remote place” [SC, 76], it is there she teaches pupils that “Through the body, the body is conquered” [SC, 76]. Jordan’s inability to take possession of her in the manner that Walser does Fevvers means that his compulsive desires always drive him on further towards an end that has no end: Curiously, the further I have pursued my voyages the more distant they have become .
Beyond] marriage, medicine and science warned that such ambitions would lead to sickness, freakishness, sterility and racial degeneration. In France, the femme nouvelle was often caricatured as a cerveline, a dried-up pedant with an oversized head . . 17 Paradoxically, it may actually be this trend which explains why Fevvers, though anatomically deviant, proves disappointingly conformist in social terms in the end. ” 18 Linda Ruth Williams goes further still, discussing Fevvers as an embodiment of woman as (Freud’s) enigma, not least in the fact that she perceives, in her narrative relationship with Walser, Freud’s own story of the castration complex.