Teasing (out) a new generation: the writing of Sarah Waters

Armitt, Lucie (2016) Teasing (out) a new generation: the writing of Sarah Waters. In: Sarah Waters and contemporary feminisms. Springer, pp. 25-42. ISBN 9781137506078

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-50608-5_2

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Item Type:Book Section
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In 1981, Susan Gubar wrote a landmark essay of the feminist second wave entitled ‘“The Blank Page” and the Issues of Female Creativity’. In that essay Gubar developed a sustained analogy between the language of reading and the language of desire, based on a detailed reading of ‘The Blank Page’ (1955), a story written by the Danish female writer, Isak Dinesen. Various aspects of Dinesen’s story interested Gubar: the direct relationship between the body and the story; its use of blood as a vehicle for inscription; the “framing” of the female characters as objets d’art; and the possibility that ‘the woman artist who experiences herself as killed into art may also experience herself as bleeding into print’. What is dispiriting about Gubar’s reading of this story, however, is its predominantly negative tone. Women are wounded spaces, she observes: ‘Mired in our own stories of destruction […] artistic creation often feels like a violation […] a reaction to rending,’ during the experience of which ‘women’s paint and ink are produced through a painful wounding’, too. That said, she identifies within Dinesen’s story a potential for resistance under the terms of which ‘the blank sheet may mean any number of alternative scripts for women’.

Keywords:Sarah Waters, Literature, Feminism
Subjects:Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q323 English Literature by topic
Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q320 English Literature
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (English)
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ID Code:28293
Deposited On:14 Nov 2017 15:52

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