A History of Feminist Literary Criticism by Professor Gill Plain, Susan Sellers

By Professor Gill Plain, Susan Sellers

Feminism has remodeled the educational learn of literature, essentially changing the canon of what's taught and atmosphere new agendas for literary research. during this authoritative historical past of feminist literary feedback, top students chart the improvement of the perform from the center a while to the current. the 1st portion of the publication explores protofeminist notion from the center a while onwards, and analyses the paintings of pioneers corresponding to Wollstonecraft and Woolf. the second one part examines the increase of moment wave feminism and maps its interventions around the 20th century. a last part examines the influence of postmodernism on feminist proposal and perform. This booklet bargains a complete advisor to the heritage and improvement of feminist literary feedback and a full of life reassessment of the most concerns and authors within the box. it's crucial studying for all scholars and students of feminist writing and literary feedback.

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As the anonymous seventeenth-century poet ‘Eliza’ commented, in justification of her devotional verse: if any shall say, others may be as thankefull as shee, though they talk not so much of it; Let them know that if they did rightly apprehend the infinite mercies of God to them, they could not be silent. 10 Paradoxically, religious devotion proved for some women writers the ultimate source of liberation. The implied or actual feminist commentary found in the dedications, justifications and marginal notes of early modern women writers’ work must always be read against the backdrop of the prevailing masculinist criticism in the era.

An explicit response to accusations of harm to women is found in the Prologue to the Legend of Good Women, a dream-vision poem begun by Chaucer in the mid-1380s and revised (perhaps because its self-defence was important) after a number of years. In this dream-vision confrontation with his reading public, the narrator of the Prologue – a fictionalised image of Chaucer – is chastised by the mythological God of Love and Alceste, themselves fictionalised (if exaggerated) images of Chaucer’s audience (Dinshaw, 1989: 65–74).

Copeland, Rita (1994), ‘Medieval Theory and Criticism’, in The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism, ed. Michael Groden and Martin Kreiswirth, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Delany, Sheila (1986), ‘Rewriting Women Good: Gender and the Anxiety of Influence in Two Late Medieval Texts’, in Chaucer in the Eighties, ed. Julian N. Wasserman and Robert J. Blanch, Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press. (1994), The Naked Text: Chaucer’s ‘Legend of Good Women’, Berkeley: University of California Press.

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