What is the relationship between feminist critical theory and literature?
This book deals with the relationship between women and writing, mothers and daughters, the maternal and history. It addresses the questions about language, writing and the relations between women which have preoccupied the three most influential French feminists and three important contemporary British women novelists. Treating both fiction and theory as texts, she traces the connections between the theorists – Hélène Cixious, Luce Irigaray and Julia Kristeva – and the novelists – Doris Lessing, Angela Carter and Muriel Spark.
This reading of the work of these six major women writers explores new forms of women’s identity, subjectivity and narrative and demonstrates how theoretical and literary texts can illuminate each other to bridge the gap between theory and literary criticism.
Introduction 1. Between the Mother and the Medusa 2. The Mother as Language, Language as Mother 3. History and Women’s Time 4. (Un)Like Subjects 5. Unknowing the True-Real 6. The Abject and the Absence of the Ideal. Conclusion. Appendix. Julia Kristeva: A Chronology of Cited Texts