How various mythologies challenge, enable, and inspire women artists and activists across the globe to communicate personal and historical experiences of violence is the central concern of this collection. Beginning with the observation that twentieth- and twenty-first century female writers and artists often use myth to represent their social and artistic struggles, the distinguished international scholars and writers consider mythic fabulations as spaces for contested meanings and resistant readings. The identified resistance of the mythic material to repression-working, as it were, in opposition to another celebrated drive/role of myth, that of containment-makes the use of myth particularly stimulating for twentieth-century and contemporary female artists; and it is an interest in the aesthetic and political consequences of such resistances that animates this book. Exemplifying the diverse types of engagement with myth and femininity, literary criticism, discussions of film and art, artwork, as well as original creative writing, could all be found within the boundaries of this innovative volume. Femininity, myth, and violence are here explored in contexts such as female mythopoiesis in the early twentieth century; the politics of representation in contemporary writing; revision of old myths; and creation of new myths in multicultural female experiences. Keeping the focus on the actual works of art, the editors and contributors offer scholars and teachers an inclusive way to approach literature and the arts that avoids the limits imposed by genre or national and regional boundaries.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction: Cassandra's gift, Sanja Bahun-Radunovic and V.G. Julie Rajan; Part I Myth, Violence, Border-Crossing: Global Expressions of Self and Society: 'A terror to gods and men' and themselves: the Furies collective, the myth of the angry lesbian, and theatrics of terrorism, Sara Warner; Monkey remnants: paternity, ancestry, and Chineseness in Patricia Chao's The Monkey King, Belinda Kong; The ethics of animal-human existence: Marie Darrieussecq's Truismes, Sanja Bahun-Radunovic; 'Whom did you lose first, yourself or me?' The feminine and the mythic in Indian cinema, Shreerekha Subramanian; The fatal effects of Phaedra's Love: Sarah Kane, Anja MÃ¼ller-Wood. Part II Of Archetypes, Creativity and Ethics: Inscribing the Feminine in Mythistory: The body and the voice: Marina Tsvetaeva's The Sybil and Phaedra, Olga Peters Hasty; Re-writing myth, femininity and violence in Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad, Elodie Rousselot; Making patriarchal history women's own: Eugenia Fakinou's The Seventh Garment, Tatjana Aleksic; Flawed heroes, fragmented heroines: the use of myth in cinema writing, Sue Clayton. Part III Instead of an Afterword; Lot's wife, Kiki Smith; Introduction to Cancellanda, Marina Warner; Cancellanda, Marina Warner; Index.
Sanja Bahun-Radunovic is Assistant Professor in Literature and Film, University of Essex, U.K. She has edited numerous anthologies and authored a monograph entitled Modernism and Melancholia: Writing as Countermourning. V.G. Julie Rajan is Visiting Assistant Professor in Women's and Gender Studies, Rutgers University, U.S.A. She has edited several anthologies and written a monograph entitled Female Suicide Bombers: Narratives of Violence.
'Bringing together scholarly essays and creative work that focus on a variety of contemporary texts in literature, cinema and theater, and artistic production, this collection contextualizes the means by which women writers and artists manipulate mythic material to aesthetically evaluate the cultural values and social relations between women and men that have served to normalize women's oppression.' Kristin Mapel Bloomberg, Hamline University, USA 'Consistently interesting and inventive, each of the essays of the volume brings a considerably different view to the overall subject at hand. The diversity, particularly globally, of both the materials examined/presented and the contributors make this text a unique and valuable contribution to the study of the ways in which women draw from mythology. The decision to include creative materials as well as scholarly materials was an inspired choice and one hopes that other texts will adopt this interdisciplinary approach in the future.' Journal of Folklore Research