The Feminine No!: Psychoanalysis and the New Canon

Author(s) : Todd McGowan

The Feminine No!: Psychoanalysis and the New Canon

Book Details

  • Publisher : State University of New York Press
  • Published : 2000
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 154
  • Category :
    Lacanian Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 19579
  • ISBN 13 : 9780791448748
  • ISBN 10 : 0791448746
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Attempts to understand recent changes in the canon of American literature through the aid of psychoanalytic theory.

The Feminine "No!" sheds new light on the recent culture wars and debates about changes to the literary canon. Todd McGowan argues that the dynamics of canon change, rather than being the isolated concern of literary critics, actually offer concrete insights into the source of social change. Through a deployment of psychoanalytic theory, McGowan conceives the rediscovery and subsequent canonization of previously forgotten literary works as recoveries of past traumas. As such, these rediscoveries call into question and disrupt not only the canon itself, but also the mechanisms of ideology, precisely because trauma is shown to be the key to radical social change. The book focuses on four of the most prominent rediscoveries in the canon of American literature: Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wall-paper, Kate Chopin's The Awakening, Charles Chesnutt's The Marrow of Tradition, and Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God.

About the Author(s)

Todd McGowan teaches theory and film at the University of Vermont, USA.

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