Feminist Difference / Edition 1

Feminist Difference / Edition 1

by Barbara Johnson
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674001915

ISBN-13: 9780674001916

Pub. Date: 05/19/2000

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Embattled and belittled, demonized and deemed passé, feminism today seems becalmed without being calm. This is as true in literary criticism as elsewhere in the culture--yet it is in literary criticism that these essays locate the renewed promises, possibilities, and applications of feminist thought. In fresh readings of a wide array of texts--legal,

Overview

Embattled and belittled, demonized and deemed passé, feminism today seems becalmed without being calm. This is as true in literary criticism as elsewhere in the culture--yet it is in literary criticism that these essays locate the renewed promises, possibilities, and applications of feminist thought. In fresh readings of a wide array of texts--legal, literary, cinematic, philosophical, and psychoanalytical--renowned literary theorist Barbara Johnson demonstrates that the conflicts and uncertainties that beset feminism are signs not of a dead end, but of a creative turning-point.

Employing surprising juxtapositions, The Feminist Difference looks at fiction by black writers from a feminist/psychoanalytic perspective; at poetry from Phillis Wheatley to Baudelaire and Marceline Desbordes-Valmore; and at feminism and law, particularly in the work of Patricia Williams and the late Mary Joe Frug. Toni Morrison and Sigmund Freud, John Keats and Jane Campion, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Nathaniel Hawthorne, Nella Larson and Heinz Kohut are among the many occasions for Johnson's rich, stimulating, unfailingly close reading of moments at which feminism seems to founder in its own contradictions--moments that re-emerge here as sources of a revitalized critical awareness.

In the final analysis, Johnson argues, literature is essential for feminism because it is the place where impasses can be kept and opened for examination, where questions can be guarded and not forced into a premature validation of the available paradigms. In her book literature appears not as a predetermined set of works but as a mode of cultural work, the work of making readable those impossible and necessary things that cannot yet be spoken.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674001916
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
05/19/2000
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
768,733
Product dimensions:
0.51(w) x 5.00(h) x 8.00(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction

Literary Differences: Psychoanalysis, Race, and Gender

Is Female to Male as Ground is to Figure?

The Quicksands of the Self: Nella Larsen and Heinz Kohut

The Re(a)d and the Black: Richard Wright's Blueprint

'Aesthetic' and 'Rapport' in Toni Morrison's Sula

Gender and Poetry

Euphemism, Understatement, and the Passive Voice: Phillis Wheatley and the Genealogy of African-American Poetry

Gender and Poetry: Charles Baudelaire and Marceline Desbordes-Valmore

Muteness Envy

The "Voice" of the Author

Lesbian Spectacles: Reading Sula, Passing, Thelma and Louise, and The Accused

The Alchemy of Style and Law

The Postmodern in Feminism: A Response to Mary Joe Frug

Notes

Credits

Index

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