1st Edition

White Woman Speaks with Forked Tongue Criticism as Autobiography

By Nicole Ward Jouve Copyright 1991
    226 Pages
    by Routledge

    226 Pages
    by Routledge

    Originally published in 1991. The style of this startlingly original appraisal of a broad range of women’s writing suggests a new direction for feminist criticism, combining as it does challenging, intellectual debate and fresh textual analysis with fictional example and autobiographical detail to make a wholly new invention in the field.

    In addressing the need for the critic to say ‘I’ and to own judgments and statements instead of attributing these to an apparently impersonal third person, the author here points up some of the shortcomings of much prevailing ‘feminist’ analysis, challenging the very foundations of the Anglo-American feminist idea.

    Purposely avoiding the ‘totalising’ effect of much academic criticism, the writer/critic finds a new format and a new methodology for her insights and observations on a range of writers, from Doris Lessing to Hélène Cixious. Her unique analysis of the links between criticism and autobiography enable her to highlight the absurdity of attempting to write in the light of recent critical and scientific knowledge as if the self were a stable, unified construct, introducing instead a new, creative understanding of the methods and modes of women’s writing.

    This sparkling collection presents an exciting and original new voice in literary criticism. It tackles issues fundamental to literary theory, feminist criticism, psychoanalysis and cultural studies, offering new critical insights and providing a significant and wholly original feminist contribution to these key fields.

    Preface: White Woman Speaks with Forked Tongue, Introduction: Criticism as Autobiography, Part 1: Bilingualism and Translation, 1. ‘Her Legs Bestrid the Channel’: Writing in Two Languages, 2. Ananas/Pineapple, 3. To Fly/To Steal: No More? Translating French Feminisms into English, Part 2: French Feminisms, 4. How to Make a Bertha Out of an Antoinette and Why Every Jane Needs a Bertha: Psych et Po and French Feminisms, 5. ‘Bliss Was it in that Dawn…’: Contemporary French Women’s Writing and the Editions des Femmes, 6. Hélène Cixious: From Inner Theatre to World Theatre, 7. How The Second Sex Stopped My Aunt from Watering the Horse-chestnuts: Simone de Beauvoir and Contemporary Feminism, 8. Doris Lessing: Of Mud and Other Matter – The Children of Violence, 9. Too Short for a Book? The Thousand and One Nights: The Short Story and the Book, 10. A Rook Called Joseph: Virginia Woolf, Index.


    Nicole Ward Jouve