The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-century Literary Imagination

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Yale University Press, 1984 - 719 pagine
'Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar offer a bold new interpretation of the great 19th century women novelists, and in doing so they present the first persuasive case for the existence of a distinctly female imagination. Like gnostic heretics who claim to have found the secret code that unlocks the mysteries in old texts, the authors force us to take anew look at the grandes dames of English literature, and the result is that they will never seem quite the same again.' -Le Anne Schreiber, The New York Times Book Review

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LibraryThing Review

Recensione dell'utente  - BarbBowling - LibraryThing

This is must-reading for anyone who loves to read serious literature. My copy is dog-eared and marked up; I use it for reference and short reading, as it reads for me more like a text-book than a page ... Leggi recensione completa

LibraryThing Review

Recensione dell'utente  - mudville - LibraryThing

Feminist revisionist study of major female 19th Century authors: Jane Austin, Mary Shelley, Emily Bronte, Charlotte Bronte, George Elliot, and Emily Dickinson. A genuinely major work of literary ... Leggi recensione completa

Informazioni sull'autore (1984)

A poet, feminist critic, and professor of English at the University of California at Davis, Gilbert received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1968. Her early work addressed canonical male figures, but in the 1970s she began to focus on women writers from a feminist perspective, teaming up with Susan Gubar in what has proven to be a very influential collaboration. In 1979 they published their first joint efforts, a collection of feminist essays on women poets, Shakespeare's Sisters, and The Madwoman in the Attic, an exploration of major nineteenth-century women writers, which has had a major role in defining feminist scholarship. This massive volume takes its title from Jane Eyre's "mad" and monstrous double, Bertha, hidden away in the attic by Jane's would-be lover, Rochester; Gilbert and Gubar see figures like Bertha as resisting patriarchy, subversive surrogates for the docile heroines who populate nineteenth-century fiction by women. Although Gilbert and Gubar's ideas have been very influential, many critics, particularly poststructuralists, have taken issue with them. For Gilbert and Gubar, a woman writer is by definition angry, and her text will express that anger, albeit in disguised or distorted form. Reading hinges on knowing the sex of the author, rather than on a careful analysis of the text itself and the multivalency of its language. Gilbert and Gubar's work is part of a debate about essentialist and antiessentialist feminist theories, which has addressed issues like "the signature" (the significance of knowledge about the author and authorial intentions) and gendered expression in general.

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