The starting point for this book, first published in 1992, is a question of rhetoric – as much in the writings of feminism as in other writing about women. How do texts construct possibilities and limits, openings and impasses, which set the terms for the ways in which we think about what a woman is, or where women might be going, whether individually or collectively?
Some possible answers, as well as more questions, are offered in this book which moves from Virginia Woolf to advertising and from Freud to Feminist theory.
'The verve of Rachel Bowlby's writing and the agility of her imagination make this not only a brilliant and shrewd, but an intoxicatingly hopeful book.' - New Statesman and Society
'With extraordinary lightness of touch and playful wit, Rachel Bowlby opens up serious issues. One is left smiling and only gradually does one realize the lightness has touched the profound.' - Juliet Mitchell
'Rachel Bowlby's subtle, intelligent and provocative book is among the most persuasive literary arguments I have read for the inextricable relations between feminism and psychoanalysis.' - Mary Jacobus, Cornell University
1. Walking, Women and Writing: Virginia Woolf as flâneuse 2. The Impasse: Jean Rhys’s Good Morning, Midnight 3. P/S: The Return of m/f 4. ‘The Problem with no Name’: Rereading Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique 5. Soft Cell: Marketing Rhetoric in Feminist Criticism 6. Flight Reservations: The Anglo-American/French Divide in Feminist Criticism 7. The Judgement of Paris: (and the choice of Kristeva): French Theory and Feminism on this Side of the Channel 8. Still Crazy After all these Years: Travels in Feminism and Psychoanalysis 9. One Foot in the Grave: Freud on Jensen’s Gradiva