The difference between modernism and postmodernism has been object to constant revision from a variety of critical perspectives. The present collection of essays on women’s short fiction tackles anew this thorny distinction from the theoretical perspective sketched by psychoanalytical philosopher Slavoj Žižek. According to Žižek, modernism hints at the incompleteness of the Symbolic Order, but does so from a separate, marginal and alternative sphere of enjoyment. Postmodernism, on the contrary, exposes the fundamental inconsistency of the Symbolic Order by giving it a central place at the very core of the text. The key distinguishing feature is the mutation of the status of paternal authority throughout a century to which modernist and postmodernist texts are responsive. Starting from this theoretical premise, this volume analyses the work of five major women practitioners of the short story – Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, Elizabeth Bowen, Angela Carter, and Ali Smith – to offer fresh critical readings of canonical pieces that exhibit either a modernist or a postmodernist sensibility. The volume has, therefore, both critical and theoretical value: it redefines Woolf ’s and Mansfield’s modernist status, the transitional character of Bowen’s short stories, and the different versions of postmodernism found in the work of Carter and Smith, while, at once, contributing to the reassessment of modernism and postmodernism from a new theoretical angle. The methodological consistency of the book – half-way between collection of essays and monograph – places it at a remove from the usual collection of critical pieces from disparate perspectives around a particular issue.
|Publisher:||Lang, Peter Publishing, Incorporated|
|Series:||Critical Perspectives on English and American Literature, Communication and Culture Series , #8|
|Product dimensions:||5.91(w) x 8.86(h) x 0.01(d)|
About the Author
Laura Ma Lojo Rodríguez is Senior Lecturer in English Literature (University of Santiago de Compostela). Her academic fields of interest comprise Literature(s) in English, Literary Theory, and Women’s and Gender Studies, on which she has published various works. Lojo has co-edited Writing Bonds: Irish and Galician Women Writers (2009) and Creation, Publishing, and Criticism: The Advance of Women’s Writing (2010), both published by Peter Lang.
Table of Contents
Contents: Laura Ma Lojo Rodríguez/Jorge Sacido Romero: Introduction – Julián Díaz Martínez/ Lourdes E. Salgado Viñal: The Shape of Things to Come: Virginia Woolf’s «The Mark on the Wall» – María Casado Villanueva: «Flying off on Tangents»: Katherine Mansfield’s Short Stories – Irene Iglesias Pena: «Shifting the Ground»: Elizabeth Bowen’s Late Modernism Foreshadows a Postmodern Aesthetics – Ana Ma Losada Pérez: «In Me More Than Myself »: Enjoyment at the Heart of the Symbolic in Angela Carter’s Short Fiction – Celina Sánchez García: Coming to Terms with Postmodern Artificiality: Reassessing Nature in Ali Smith’s The Whole Story and other stories.