Friday, August 07, 2020

Friday, August 07, 2020 1:45 am by M. in ,    No comments
A new scholar book with Brontë-related content:
Women Writing the Neo-Victorian Novel
Erotic "Victorians"
by Kathleen Renk
Palgrave MacMillan
ISBN 978-3-030-48286-2

Women Writing the Neo-Victorian Novel: Erotic “Victorians” focuses on the work of British, Irish, and Commonwealth women writers such as A.S. Byatt, Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, Helen Humphreys, Margaret Atwood, and Ahdaf Soueif, among others, and their attempts to re-envision the erotic. Kathleen Renk argues that women writers of the neo-Victorian novel are far more philosophical in their approach to representing the erotic than male writers and draw more heavily on Victorian conventions that would proscribe the graphic depiction of sexual acts, thus leaving more to the reader’s imagination. This book addresses the following questions: Why are women writers drawn to the neo-Victorian genre and what does this reveal about the state of contemporary feminism? How do classical and contemporary forms of the erotic play into the ways in which women writers address the Victorian “woman question”?  How exactly is the erotic used to underscore women’s creative potential?
The book contains the chapter:
Eros and the Woman Writer: Conversing with the Spirits of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Charlotte Brontë, and E. Nesbit

In this chapter, Renk argues that Polly Teale’s Brontë, Michèle Roberts’s The Mistressclass, and Byatt’s Possession and The Children’s Book talk back to the spirits of Barrett Browning, Charlotte Brontë, and E. Nesbit. Neo-Victorian works focus on the obstacles that women writers confronted as they created their art. Such obstacles include the extent to which a woman can be a writer and a dutiful woman, the ways in which women writers had to acknowledge, address, and overcome male influence while endeavoring to discover a literary realm of their own, as well as the ways they needed to confront the perception of the woman writer as an unfeminine “monster.” Neo-Victorian writers also underscore a type of philia, a female bond that resembles Adrienne Rich’s lesbian continuum.

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