Engendering romance : women writers and the Hawthorne tradition, 1850-1990 /
Emily Miller Budick.
New Haven : Yale University Press, c1994.
x, 288 p.
0300055579 (alk. paper)
More Details
New Haven : Yale University Press, c1994.
0300055579 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 247-283) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1994-12:
One need not agree with every point the author makes in this remarkable study to be mightily impressed with its scope, the aptness and lucidity of its argument, and the level of insight it brings to bear, both on the individual works discussed and on the overall development of the romance tradition in American letters. In only 245 pages of text, Budick manages at least to touch significantly upon a substantial number of salient texts in the tradition, and features close readings of The Scarlet Letter, The Portrait of a Lady, The Sound and the Fury, and As I Lay Dying. Of great value in and of themselves, these discussions prepare the way for an in-depth look at four 20th-century women romancers: Carson McCullers, Flannery O'Connor, Toni Morrison, and Grace Paley. In what this reviewer would call a post-feminist synthesis, Budick brings together the richness of earlier feminist criticism, especially the psycholinguistic theories of Lacan, a deep understanding of Emerson and the contemporary philosophy of Stanley Cavell, and a profound grasp of the American literary tradition to develop a closely argued and convincing thesis concerning the historically persistent antipatriarchal bias of the American romance, its essentially skeptical stance, and its attacks, latent or overt, on sexism and racism. Well written and wonderfully humane, this book belongs in every collection of American literature. Strongly recommended for any serious student of American literary criticism. Upper-division undergraduate and up. S. R. Graham; emerita, Nazareth College of Rochester
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 1994
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Main Description
This engrossing book describes how four twentieth-century women writers-Carson McCullers, Flannery O'Connor, Toni Morrison, and Grace Paley-have inherited and adapted the classical tradition of American romance fiction. Emily Miller Budick argues that romance fiction, exemplified by the works of Hawthorne, Melville, Poe, Faulkner, and Ellison, is skeptical and antipatriarchal, and that women writers have built on the tradition to accommodate the exigencies of modern American society.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 1
The Antipatriarchal Romance
The Romance of the Family: Hawthornep. 13
A Portrait of Female Skepticism: Jamesp. 40
Worlds Without Women: Melville and Poep. 59
The Antiphallocentric Romance
The Material Reproduction of Culture: Faulknerp. 77
Textual Indeterminacy and the Death of the Mother: Faulkner and Andersonp. 89
Nineteenth-Century Women's Fiction
Sentimentalism and Human Rights: Stowe and Melvillep. 107
Literary Realism and a Woman's Strength: Wharton and Chopinp. 122
The Female Romance
The Mother Tongue: McCullersp. 143
Art and the Female Spirit: O'Connorp. 162
The Feminist Romance
Absence, Loss, and the Space of History: Morrisonp. 183
The Graceful Art of Conversation: Paleyp. 219
Notesp. 247
Indexp. 285
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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