Contemporary Rewritings of Liminal Women: Echoes of the Past, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Contemporary Rewritings of Liminal Women

Echoes of the Past, 1st Edition

By Miriam Borham-Puyal


200 pages

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Hardback: 9780367277789
pub: 2020-02-01
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This book explores the concept of liminality in the representation of women in 18th and 19th–century literature, as well as in contemporary rewritings, such as novels, films, television shows, videogames and graphic novels. In particular, it focuses on vampires, prostitutes, quixotes, and detectives as examples of new women who inhabit the margins of society and populate its narratives. Therefore, it places together for the first time four important liminal identities, while it explores a relevant corpus that comprises four centuries and several countries. Its diachronic, transnational and comparative approach emphasizes the representation across time and space of female sexuality, gender violence, and women’s rights, also employing a liminal stance in its literary analysis: facing the past in order to understand the present. By underlining the dialogue between past and present this monograph contributes to contemporary debates on the representation of women and the construction of femininity as opposed to hegemonic masculinity which are informed by previous attitudes and beliefs. It exposes the line of thought that has brought us to the present moment, hence, challenging assumed stereotypes and narratives. By using popular narratives and media, the present work highlights the value of literature, films or alternative forms of storytelling to understand how women’s place in society, their voice, and their presence have been and are still negotiated in spaces of visibility, agency and power.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction. Liminality, Feminocentric Narratives and the Polytemporality of the New Woman.

1. Liminality and Feminocentric Narratives

2. Polytemporal (Feminist) History and the Trace

3. Liminal Women and Popular Narratives

2. Female Vampires: On the Threshold of Time, Space and Gender

1. F(r)iends on the Threshold: Let the Right One In

2. M/Others and Survivors Through Time: A Vampire Story and Byzantium

3. Eternity, Liminal Space and the Outsider: Only Lovers Left Alive

4. Empowering Liminal Women: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

3. Good and Bad, Private and Public: Prostitution as Liminal Identity

1. Between Monsters and Machines: Frankenhooker

2. The Freedom of the Prostitute or the Silence of the Wife: Dangerous Beauty

3. Neo-Victorian Rewritings: Class, Gender and Commodities in Slammerkin

4. Sex and Power from the Eighteenth Century to Television: Harlots

4. Between Madness and Rebellion: Rewriting the Female Quixote

1. Coloring Reality with Romance: from Bridget Jones’ Diary to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

2. Escaping a Harrowing (Patriarchal) Reality: Pan’s Labyrinth and Sucker Punch

3. Idealistic Individuals in a Fallen World: Amèlie and The Library

5. To Be and Not to Be: Female Detectives between Old and NewWomen

1. Resurrecting Kate Warne: The Pinkertons and My Favorite Thing is Monsters

2. Sherlock’s Sisters at the Turn of the Century: Houdini & Doyle and Phryne Fisher

3. Invisible Women: Reclaiming the Spy in The Bletchey Circle

4. Past in the Present, the Gothic in the Noir: Dolores Redondo’s Baztan Trilogy


About the Author

Dr Miriam Borham-Puyal has a double degree in English and Spanish, and a PhD in English Literature from the University of Salamanca, for which she was granted an Award of Excellence. She is an assistant professor at the English Department, where she teaches Romantic and Victorian literature, the development of the British novel from 1688 to 2010, and contemporary British theatre. She is the author of the monograph Quijotes con enaguas. Encrucijada de géneros en el siglo XVIII británico (2015), and has published extensively on British quixotes. She has also authored pieces on women writers from the 17th to the 21st century, including Jane Austen, Jane Barker, Mary Hays, Charlotte Lennox, Hannah More and Scarlett Thomas.

About the Series

Among the Victorians and Modernists

Among the Victorians and Modernists

This series publishes monographs and essay collections on literature, art, and culture in the context of the diverse aesthetic, political, social, technological, and scientific innovations that arose among the Victorians and Modernists. Viable topics include, but are not limited to, artistic and cultural debates and movements; influential figures and communities; and agitations and developments regarding subjects such as animals, commodification, decadence, degeneracy, democracy, desire, ecology, gender, nationalism, the paranormal, performance, public art, sex, socialism, spiritualities, transnationalism, and the urban. Studies that address continuities between the Victorians and Modernists are welcome. Work on recent responses to the periods such as NeoVictorian novels, graphic novels, and film will also be considered.

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