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Title"Destiny is your sex": the imprisoning body of A. S. Byatt's fictional women
Author(s)Pereira, Margarida Esteves
KeywordsA. S. Byatt
Short stories
Issue date2007
PublisherUniversidade do Minho
Abstract(s)This paper aims at analysing the way a self-proclaimed non-feminist writer as A. S. Byatt is attached to a rationalist (Cartesian) conception of subjectivity that prevents her from going further in her exposure of the limits of the stereotypical images of womanhood. The paper will look at the ways whereby, in her fictional work, Byatt tries to subvert fixed notions of female identity, leading to an emerging and unsuspected tentative representation of a plurality of subject constructions, which helps her create a space of female freedom. On the other hand, because many of the women re-presented in Byatt’s fiction are also shown to be pervasively constrained by their femaleness, the paper will also look at the ways whereby Byatt’s conception of the female body restricts her vision of a new female subjectivity. In order to do so, the paper will focus on Byatt’s fictional work, specifically short stories from different collections, where she uses different myths and metaphors of female identity – like “Cold”, “The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye”, “A Stone Woman” and “The Dried Witch”. To complement the representation of female identities that surface in some of her short stories, we will be referring to the so-called “Frederica Quartet”.
TypeConference paper
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:CEHUM - Artigos em livros de atas

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