While confined mostly to French writing, Ms.
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Suleiman makes forays into the contemporary American scene, using the 's French ''Tel Quel'' group of writers and the post-structuralism associated with it as a pivot between past and present. She concludes with an excellent bibliographical essay that details the history of the idea of post-modernism and nicely organizes the debate on that subject.
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She also has a prescription in mind for a renovated avant-garde esthetic that is both feminist and post-modern: ''A double allegiance,'' Ms. Suleiman says, ''characterizes much of the best contemporary work by women: on the one hand, an allegiance to the formal experiments and some of the cultural aspirations of the historical male avant-gardes; on the other hand, an allegiance to the feminist critique of dominant sexual ideologies, including the sexual ideology of those same avant-gardes. Suleiman is herself a liberal or ecumenical feminist who honors both the biocentric wing of international feminist thinking, which takes the body alone as the essence of gender, and the structural wing, which views gender as a cultural construction, in order to present a united front to the outside world.
While the result tends to conceal the rifts within feminism itself, it also results in a dauntingly comprehensive demonstration of the way different feminist approaches may be combined to engage a wide range of meanings from a tradition like the avant-garde. What Ms.
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Suleiman is saying at any given time, however, is hard to summarize; her prose reflects the kind of fluid, feminist poetics for which she argues thematically. Feminist criticism, it appears, like feminist fiction, must be a kind of writing that refuses the straightforwardness of male writing, including its armory of values such as clarity, concision and pointedness, all of which can be interpreted as masquerades for the male lust for power, replicating the structure of male sexual pleasure.
Subversive Intent: Gender, Politics, and the Avant-garde - Susan Rubin Suleiman - كتب Google
If the male Surrealists historically suppressed the women who were allowed access to their inner circle, they also maintained a notion of woman as object in their esthetic practice, a point Ms. The same kind of ''ordinary sexism,'' as she calls it, also contaminates the work of avant-garde novelists such as Bataille and Mr. Too great a focus on Mr.
Robbe-Grillet's technique, she argues, requires readers to bypass the ''sado-erotic core'' of his novels, particularly ''Project for a Revolution in New York'' Robbe-Grillet does not deploy such sexist representation, Ms. Suleiman says, as a revolutionary strategy that disrupts sexism.
She suggests that, like Bataille, he uses it to resist ''the female body, in its duplicity as asexual maternal and sexual feminine'' - the specter of woman as mother and lover at once. Sadism and Text in Projet pour. Batailles Histoire.
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Subversive Intent: Gender,Politics, and the Avant-Garde
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Label Subversive intent : gender, politics, and the avant-garde, Susan Rubin Suleiman Instantiates Subversive intent : gender, politics, and the avant-garde Publication Cambridge, Mass. Isbn Isbn Type alk. Subject Erotic literature -- History and criticism Feminism and literature -- History -- 20th century French literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism Literature, Experimental -- History and criticism Postmodernism Literature Sex role in literature Women and literature -- History -- 20th century.
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