Arms and the Woman: War, Gender, and Literary Representation / Edition 1

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Although the themes of women's complicity in and resistance to war have been part of literature from early times, they have not been fully integrated into conventional conceptions of the war narrative. Combining feminist literary criticism with the emerging field of feminist war theory, this collection explores the role of gender as an organizing principle in the war system and reveals how literature perpetuates the ancient myth of "arms and the man."

The volume shows how the gendered conception of war has both shaped literary texts and formed the literary canon. It identifies and interrogates the conventional war text, with its culturally determined split between warlike men and peaceful women, and it confirms that women's role in relation to war is much more complex and complicitous than such essentializing suggests. The contributors examine a wide range of familiar texts from fresh perspectives and bring new texts to light. Collectively, these essays range in time from the Trojan War to the nuclear age.

The contributors are June Jordan, Lorraine Helms, Patricia Francis Cholakian, Jane E. Schultz, Margaret R. Higonnet, James Longenbach, Laura Stempel Mumford, Sharon O'Brien, Jane Marcus, Sara Friedrichsmeyer, Susan Schweik, Carol J. Adams, Esther Fuchs, Barbara Freeman, Gillian Brown, Helen M. Cooper, Adrienne Auslander Munich, and Susan Merrill Squier.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
Presents critical readings of a variety of women's and men's writings about warfare. Ranging from Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida to Marguerite Duras' film about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the collection offers an eclectic selection of novelistic, autobiographical, non-fictional, dramatic, poetic texts that examine how the issues of war are confronted by the issues of gender.--Novel: A Forum on Fiction
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807842560
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/1989
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 370
  • Product dimensions: 0.83 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Helen M. Cooper is author of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Woman and Artist.

Adrienne Auslander Munich is author of Andromeda's Chains: Gender and Interpretation in Victorian Literature and Art and coeditor of Robert Browning: A Collection of Critical Essays.

Susan Merrill Squier is author of Virginia Woolf and London: The Sexual Politics of the City and editor of Women Writers and the City: Essays in Feminist Literary Criticism.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction xiii
War and Memory 1
Arms and the Woman: The Con[tra]ception of the War Text 9
"Still Wars and Lechery": Shakespeare and the Last Trojan Woman 25
Rewriting History: Madame de Villedien and the Wars of Religion 43
Mute Fury: Southern Women's Diaries of Sherman's March to the Sea, 1864-1865 59
Civil Wars and Sexual Territories 80
The Women and Men of 1914 97
Corpus/Corps/Corpse: Writing the Body in/at War 124
May Sinclair's The Tree of Heaven: The Vortex of Feminism, the Community of War 168
Combat Envy and Survivor Guilt: Willa Cather's "Manly Battle Yarn" 184
"Seeds for the Sowing": The Diary of Kathe Kollwitz 205
A Needle with Mama's Voice: Mitsuye Yamada's Camp Notes and the American Canon of War Poetry 225
Feminism, the Great War, and Modern Vegetarianism 244
Images of Love and War in Contemporary Israeli Fiction: A Feminist Re-vision 268
Nuclear Domesticity: Sequence and Survival 283
"Epitaphs and Epigraphs: 'The End(s) of Man'" 303
A Bibliography of Secondary Sources 323
The Contributors 331
Index 335
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