The Erotics of Talk: Women's Writing and Feminist Paradigms

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Oxford University Press, 12 dic 1996 - 256 pagine
Is feminism in "crisis?" With many feminists now questioning identification and focusing on differences between women, what is the fate of feminist criticism's traditional imperative to rescue women's stories and make their voices heard? In this provocative rereading of the classic texts of the feminist literary canon, Carla Kaplan takes a hard look at the legacy of feminist criticism and argues that important features of feminism's own canon have been overlooked in the rush to rescue and identify texts. African-American women's texts, she demonstrates, often dramatize their distrust of their readers, their lack of faith in "the cultural conversation," through strategies of self-silencing and "self-talk." At the same time, she argues, the homoerotics of women's writing has too often gone unremarked. Not only does longing for an ideal listener draw women's texts into a romance with the reader, but there is an erotic excess which is part of feminist critical recuperation itself. Drawing on a wide range of resources, from sociolinguistics and anthropology to literary theory, Kaplan's highly readable study proposes a new model for understanding and representing "talk." She supplies fresh readings of such feminist classics as Jane Eyre, "The Yellow Wallpaper," Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and The Color Purple, revealing how their "erotics of talk" works as a rich political allegory and form of social critique.

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Sommario

In Search of an Ideal Listener
3
THE POLITICS OF RECUPERATION
21
THE EROTICS OF TALK
69
Auditions
144
Notes
165
Bibliography
207
Index
227
Copyright

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Pagina 110 - We younger Negro artists who create now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame. If white people are pleased we are glad. If they are not, it doesn't matter.
Pagina 36 - As soon as it was moonlight and that poor thing began to crawl and shake the pattern, I got up and ran to help her. I pulled and she shook. I shook and she pulled, and before morning we had peeled off yards of that paper.
Pagina 47 - The dream of my life is not yet realized. I do not sit with my children in a home of my own. I still long for a hearthstone of my own, however humble.
Pagina 35 - Personally I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good. But what is one to do? I did write for a while in spite of them; but it does exhaust me a good deal — having to be so sly about it, or else meet with heavy opposition.
Pagina 94 - The confession is a ritual of discourse in which the speaking subject is also the subject of the statement; it is also a ritual that unfolds within a power relationship, for one does not confess without the presence (or virtual presence) of a partner who is not simply the interlocutor but the authority who requires the confession, prescribes and appreciates it, and intervenes in order to judge, punish, forgive, console, and reconcile...
Pagina 35 - And she is all the time trying to climb through. But nobody could climb through that pattern - it strangles so; I think that is why it has so many heads. They get through, and then the pattern strangles them off and turns them upside down, and makes their eyes white!
Pagina 147 - Moving from silence into speech is for the oppressed, the colonized, the exploited, and those who stand and struggle side by side a gesture of defiance that heals, that makes new life and new growth possible. It is that act of speech, of "talking back...
Pagina 36 - It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide— plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions.

Informazioni sull'autore (1996)

Carla Kaplan is Associate Professor in the English Department at Yale where she also teaches in Women's Studies, African-American Studies, American Studies. She publishes widely on feminist theory and criticism, women's writing, African-American literature, American literature, and modernism.

Informazioni bibliografiche