New Perspectives on the Female Fantastic
The main aims of this article are firstly to find out whether the concept of “fantastic female” is a contradictory and ambiguous construct, and secondly to challenge the feasibility of applying it to literary studies. The matter of the existence of the “female fantastic” refers to the theoretical approaches made to undertake a double-edged task in the 1970s and 1980s: the conceptualization of a dual scheme establishing a female aesthetic opposed to the dominant patriarchy on the one hand, and on the other, the promotion of non-mimetic narrative modes as formulas for transgressing the patriarchal system. However, the crystallization of dichotomies built on essentialized terms collided with the transgressing function that some narrative fiction performs when occupying marginal positions within the literary system. The main conclusion is that textual features and narrative modes function in some way as devices for a reification of the female body in the cultural sphere.The main aims of this article are firstly to find out whether the concept of “fantastic female” is a contradictory and ambiguous construct, and secondly to challenge the feasibility of applying it to literary studies. Both hypotheses have been corroborated in consonance with the contradictions that have arisen from the already exposed antithetical positions. These discrepancies may be formulated in the following manner: the establishment of a “female aesthetics” seeks to distinguish certain textual features in female writing, whereas the tendency based on the transgressive narrative modes attempts to correlate types of texts with the feminist commitment of women writers. The main conclusion is that both of them function in some way as devices for a reification of the female body in the cultural sphere.
"Transgression, Essentialism and Literary System: An Approach to the Viability of the Female Fantastic."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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