Gendered Resistance: The Autobiographies of Simone de Beauvoir, Maya Angelou, Janet Frame and Marguerite Duras

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Rodopi, 1997 - 176 էջ
Four major women's autobiographies of the twentieth century are discussed together here for the first time. Valérie Baisnée reinterprets the autobiographical writing of Simone De Beauvoir, Maya Angelou, Janet Frame and Marguerite Duras, finding some striking similarities in these women's resistance to a conservative order. Deploying a variety of theoretical approaches, from linguistic to Marxist, Baisnée endeavours to break the restrictive patterns of author-centred studies, to go beyond simple oppositions between truth and fiction, and to dispense with the facile interpretation of these texts as confessional.
For Valérie Baisnée, Autobiography is meant to represent not the true but the official version of a life, signed by the author herself and revered as hagiography by the public. ... Instead of analysing women's autobiographies as confessional, it is possible to see this mode of discourse as a means to counteract the effect of exposure of women's private lives. By revealing their past, however painful it may be, the four autobiographers studied in this book also enhance their present strength, and therefore underline the political nature of the autobiography.

From inside the book


To the IsLand
Portrait of the Protagonist as a Young Adventuress
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Common terms and phrases

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Էջ 86 - One needs to be nominalistic, no doubt; power is not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a certain strength we are endowed with; it is the name that one attributes to a complex strategical situation in a particular society.
Էջ 74 - The Black female is assaulted in her tender years by all those common forces of nature at the same time that she is caught in the tripartite crossfire of masculine prejudice, white illogical hate and Black lack of power.
Էջ 46 - ... the individual is interpellated as a (free) subject in order that he shall submit freely to the commandments of the Subject, ie in order that he shall (freely) accept his subjection, ie in order that he shall make the gestures and actions of his subjection 'all by himself.
Էջ 132 - What is peculiar to modern societies, in fact, is not that they consigned sex to a shadow existence, but that they dedicated themselves to speaking of it ad infinitum, while exploiting it as the secret.
Էջ 86 - It seems to me that power must be understood in the first instance as the multiplicity of force relations, immanent in the sphere in which they operate...
Էջ 70 - It was awful to be Negro and have no control over my life. It was brutal to be young and already trained to sit quietly and listen to charges brought against my color with no chance of defense. We should all be dead. I thought I should like to see us all dead, one on top of the other. A...
Էջ 95 - From the first place of liquid darkness, within the second place of air and light, I set down the following record with its mixture of fact and truths and memories of truths and its direction always toward the Third Place, where the starting point is myth.
Էջ 72 - Until I was thirteen and left Arkansas for good, the Store was my favorite place to be. Alone and empty in the mornings, it looked like an unopened present from a stranger. Opening the front doors was pulling the ribbon off the unexpected gift. The light would come in softly (we faced north), easing itself over the shelves of mackerel, salmon, tobacco, thread. It fell flat on the big vat of lard and by noontime during the summer the grease had softened to a thick soup. Whenever I walked into the...
Էջ 81 - ... me. She looked pretty sad, but each time I found her watching me she'd say, as if I had already disobeyed, "You be a good girl now. You hear? Don't you make people think I didn't raise you right. You hear?" She would have been more surprised than I had she taken me in her arms and wept at losing me. Her world was bordered on all sides with work, duty, religion and "her place.

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