The Flesh Made Word: Female Figures and Women's Bodies

Overview

Helena Michie's provocative work looks at how women's bodies are portrayed in a variety of Victorian literary and non-literary genres from paintings, poems, and novels, to etiquette books, sex manuals, and pornography. After identifying a series of codes and taboos that govern the depiction of women in such activities as eating and working, she then turns to physical descriptions of Victorian heroines, focusing on those parts of their bodies that are erased or fetishized in conventional description. Her vivid ...
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The Flesh Made Word: Female Figures and Women's Bodies

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Overview

Helena Michie's provocative work looks at how women's bodies are portrayed in a variety of Victorian literary and non-literary genres from paintings, poems, and novels, to etiquette books, sex manuals, and pornography. After identifying a series of codes and taboos that govern the depiction of women in such activities as eating and working, she then turns to physical descriptions of Victorian heroines, focusing on those parts of their bodies that are erased or fetishized in conventional description. Her vivid analysis moves forward in time to a consideration of 20th-century "second wave" feminism and to a discussion of the poetics of the body as articulated by feminist writers on both sides of the Atlantic. Making use of feminist, poststructuralist, and psychoanalytic accounts of the figure of woman, and the relation of the body to the text, The Flesh Made Word offers fresh readings of works by writers as diverse as the Brontes, Dickens, Eliot, Gaskell, Trollope, Hardy, Adrienne Rich, Olga Broumas, Audre Lorde, and Louise Gluck.

This provocative work examines how women's bodies are portrayed in a variety of Victorian literary and non-literary genres.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195060812
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/28/1990
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.19 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Constructing the Frame 3
Chapter I Ladylike Anorexia: Hunger, Sexuality, and Etiquette 12
Chapter II Becoming Public Women: Women and Work 30
Chapter III Calling and Falling: Vocation and Prostitution 59
Chapter IV Body, Figure, Embodiment: The Paradoxes of Heroine Description 79
Chapter V Re-membering the Body: Feminist Theory and Representation 124
Notes 151
Bibliography 167
Index 175
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