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Desire and Domestic Fiction: A Political…
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Desire and Domestic Fiction: A Political History of the Novel (original: 1987; edição: 1990)

de Nancy Armstrong (Autor)

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Desire and Domestic Fiction argues that far from being removed from historical events, novels by writers from Richardson to Woolf were themselves agents of the rise of the middle class. Drawing on texts that range from 18th-century female conduct books and contract theory to modernpsychoanalytic case histories and theories of reading, Armstrong shows that the emergence of a particular form of female subjectivity capable of reigning over the household paved the way for the establishment of institutions which today are accepted centers of political power. Neither passivesubjects nor embattled rebels, the middle-class women who were authors and subjects of the major tradition of British fiction were among the forgers of a new form of power that worked in, and through, their writing to replace prevailing notions of "identity" with a gender-determined subjectivity.Examining the works of such novelists as Samuel Richardson, Jane Austen, and the Brontes, she reveals the ways in which these authors rewrite the domestic practices and sexual relations of the past to create the historical context through which modern institutional power would seem not only naturalbut also humane, and therefore to be desired.… (mais)
Membro:LMaruca
Título:Desire and Domestic Fiction: A Political History of the Novel
Autores:Nancy Armstrong (Autor)
Informação:Oxford University Press (1990), Edition: Reprint, 320 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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Desire and Domestic Fiction: A Political History of the Novel de Nancy Armstrong (1987)

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This book argues that early novels did not merely reflect but rather created changes in human desire and the gendered body. This relies heavily upon Foucauldian analysis of texts as being productive of meaning and, while the argument is strongly presented throughout the book, I found that I wasn't always entirely convinced by it. I struggle with philosophy, though, so am more than willing to believe that this was a failing of my own, rather than of the author!

There is a particular focus on Richardson's Pamela, Austen's Emma, Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre and Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights.

The final chapter moves on to Freud's Dora case and I have to admit I skimmed from that point.
  Tara_Calaby | Jun 22, 2020 |
Though it’s almost twenty years since this book was first published, there are parts of it that feel bracingly fresh. At the heart of her argument is the contention that while conventional histories may emphasize women’s domestic subjugation throughout the nineteenth century, domestic fiction suggests that femininity (and female novelists) possessed great power through ideology, a power that Armstrong argues they used to construct the ideal household and through it, British middle class identity itself.. This claim, in particular, is still pertinent to much criticism being published today.
Like other fine critics, Armstrong leaves me with as many questions as answers. How does domestic fiction stand in relation to other fictional genres? Or is all fiction domestic in some form or another? If the feminine body is nothing but words, is masculinity simply a creation of that feminine subjectivity? Or is it an assemblage of domesticated masculinity plus some other body of texts? I also feel that in tracing the ascension of middle class subjectivity to a hegemonic position, Armstrong may overstate the reach of middle class culture. Is there no alternative conception of femininity that it could not successfully incorporate or abject? ( )
  Pflynn | Jul 11, 2007 |
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Desire and Domestic Fiction argues that far from being removed from historical events, novels by writers from Richardson to Woolf were themselves agents of the rise of the middle class. Drawing on texts that range from 18th-century female conduct books and contract theory to modernpsychoanalytic case histories and theories of reading, Armstrong shows that the emergence of a particular form of female subjectivity capable of reigning over the household paved the way for the establishment of institutions which today are accepted centers of political power. Neither passivesubjects nor embattled rebels, the middle-class women who were authors and subjects of the major tradition of British fiction were among the forgers of a new form of power that worked in, and through, their writing to replace prevailing notions of "identity" with a gender-determined subjectivity.Examining the works of such novelists as Samuel Richardson, Jane Austen, and the Brontes, she reveals the ways in which these authors rewrite the domestic practices and sexual relations of the past to create the historical context through which modern institutional power would seem not only naturalbut also humane, and therefore to be desired.

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