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The Formation of 20th-Century Queer Autobiography: Reading Vita Sackville-West, Virginia Woolf, Hilda Doolittle, and Gertrude Stein
     

The Formation of 20th-Century Queer Autobiography: Reading Vita Sackville-West, Virginia Woolf, Hilda Doolittle, and Gertrude Stein

by G. Johnston
 
Using the figure of the Lesbian in modernist lesbian autobiographies, this book interrogates both the genre autobiography and modernist scientific theories of female sexual development.

Overview

Using the figure of the Lesbian in modernist lesbian autobiographies, this book interrogates both the genre autobiography and modernist scientific theories of female sexual development.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This study makes a significant contribution to our understanding of modernism and early 20th century autobiographical lesbian literature. Devoting chapters to Vita Sackville-West, Gertrude Stein, Virginia Woolf, and Hilda Doolittle, Johnston traces how the autobiographical writings of these women contradict the dominant scientific view of the lesbian as represented in the writings of Havelock Ellis in sexology and Sigmund Freud in psychology. Johnston supports this thesis with creative, insightful, and original interpretations of some important yet less well-known works by these writers. For each of the authors she discusses, she demonstrates thorough knowledge of their lives, body of work, and the relevant theoretical and critical scholarship." - Eileen Barrett, Professor of English, California State University, East Bay

"Johnston's book is an enjoyable read with many rewards for its audience. She is on sure footing in her reading of contemporary theory, Freud and the sexologists, and especially the lesbian modernist autobiographers who are her focus. In her compelling readings she argues that Sackville-West, Woolf, Doolittle, and Stein engaged scientific theories of the perverse lesbian and other models from early psychology and sexology in order to write a new lesbian subject in a distinctly modernist version of autobiography. Figuring the lesbian differently in autobiography creates fertile ground for seeing both new, as Johnston's study deftly reveals. The study of modern lesbian autobiography is deeply enriched by Johnston's complex and convincing work." - Andrea L. Harris, Associate Professor, Mansfield University; Author of Other Sexes: Rewriting Difference from Woolf to Winterson and co-editor with John M. Ulrich of GenXegesis: Essays on Alternative Youth (Sub) Culture

[Art credit]

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781403976185
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan US
Publication date:
06/08/2007
Edition description:
2007
Pages:
203
Product dimensions:
5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.02(d)

Meet the Author

Georgia Johnston is Associate Professor of English and Women's Studies at Saint Louis University.

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