A persistence of vision: surrealist aesthetics and gender politics in selected works by Angela Carter

Deborah Jane Southwell

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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    Abstract

    [Truncated] 'A Persistence of Vision: Surrealist aesthetics and gender politics in selected works by Angela Carter.'
    This thesis examines the ways in which representations of femininity and masculinity are explored as social constructions in a selection of works by Angela Carter. It also explores the contradictions which emerge when a cultural and intellectual debt to Surrealist aesthetics and political practices is fused with a socialist feminist agenda for change.
    While strongly grounded in the historical context of 1960s to 1990s Britain, Carter had a passion for Surrealist writing, film and painting and this influence accounts for some disturbing uses of sexual/textual violence to w o m e n which create tensions in otherwise feminist narratives. At the same time, these devices lay bare the power structures and methods which are employed by patriarchal society to maintain the arbitrarily accorded behaviours performed by m e n and women. I will argue that the resulting contradictions produce doubled narratives which encode, on some occasions, misogynistic images and, at other times, a range of feminist representations. Carter's richly metaphoric style contributes to polysemic texts.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Western Australia
    DOIs
    Publication statusUnpublished - 1998

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