Narrative and gender in the novels of Christina Stead

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Glenn, Ian en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Woodward, Wendy Vilma en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2016-09-25T16:22:46Z
dc.date.available 2016-09-25T16:22:46Z
dc.date.issued 1987 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Woodward, W. 1987. Narrative and gender in the novels of Christina Stead. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/21883
dc.description Bibliography: pages 205-231. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract This dissertation locates Christina Stead as a woman writer, who interrogates, both mimetically and poetically, the ideology of the dominant literary tradition. Because the formal narrative strategies, subtexts, and repressed discourses reveal inscriptions of Christina Stead's gender, the issues of language and power are central. A humanist feminist who anticipates a close bond between reader and text fails to overcome the problem of those narrative modes which alienate the readers of Stead's novels. Only a textual feminist who foregrounds the ideology of form recognizes that Stead's methods are dislocating in order to produce a reader who participates in the narrative process itself. For Stead, both women and men are entrapped within the prison-house of language, which becomes the locus of power struggles. The embedded artworks of four women artists, speak and write against the realism of the dominant discourse in the women's desires to assert their own sexuality, to postpone death, to connect with maternal figures, and to undermine androcentrism. These women, and others in Stead's canon, speak their difference. Male genderlects, however, attest to their dominance, endorsing an ideology of oppression in their competitiveness, their narcissism, and their theorizing. Christina Stead, herself, like the women artists she depicts, uses metaphor variously. She has metaphor convey the sexuality of the female characters and subvert the metaphorical commonplaces of the dominant tradition. Other metaphors reveal transcendent impulses, seemingly at odds with the narratives' usual deterministic ethos. In the plots and their endings Christina Stead also negotiates with the norms of the dominant literature. The formal structures correlate with the patterns of the characters' lives either in Bildungsromanen or in novels of repetition which metonymize deathly compulsions. Thus a reading which foregrounds narrative and gender, particularly in the embedded artworks, genderlects, metaphor, plot and closure, depicts a Christina Stead who has never been comprehended by masculist critics who fail to take cognizance of the woman writer's desires to combat the dominant literary tradition. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Feminism and literature en_ZA
dc.title Narrative and gender in the novels of Christina Stead en_ZA
dc.type Doctoral Thesis
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of English Language and Literature en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral
dc.type.qualificationname PhD en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image
dc.identifier.apacitation Woodward, W. V. (1987). <i>Narrative and gender in the novels of Christina Stead</i>. (Thesis). University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of English Language and Literature. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11427/21883 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Woodward, Wendy Vilma. <i>"Narrative and gender in the novels of Christina Stead."</i> Thesis., University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of English Language and Literature, 1987. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/21883 en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Woodward WV. Narrative and gender in the novels of Christina Stead. [Thesis]. University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of English Language and Literature, 1987 [cited yyyy month dd]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/11427/21883 en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Thesis / Dissertation AU - Woodward, Wendy Vilma AB - This dissertation locates Christina Stead as a woman writer, who interrogates, both mimetically and poetically, the ideology of the dominant literary tradition. Because the formal narrative strategies, subtexts, and repressed discourses reveal inscriptions of Christina Stead's gender, the issues of language and power are central. A humanist feminist who anticipates a close bond between reader and text fails to overcome the problem of those narrative modes which alienate the readers of Stead's novels. Only a textual feminist who foregrounds the ideology of form recognizes that Stead's methods are dislocating in order to produce a reader who participates in the narrative process itself. For Stead, both women and men are entrapped within the prison-house of language, which becomes the locus of power struggles. The embedded artworks of four women artists, speak and write against the realism of the dominant discourse in the women's desires to assert their own sexuality, to postpone death, to connect with maternal figures, and to undermine androcentrism. These women, and others in Stead's canon, speak their difference. Male genderlects, however, attest to their dominance, endorsing an ideology of oppression in their competitiveness, their narcissism, and their theorizing. Christina Stead, herself, like the women artists she depicts, uses metaphor variously. She has metaphor convey the sexuality of the female characters and subvert the metaphorical commonplaces of the dominant tradition. Other metaphors reveal transcendent impulses, seemingly at odds with the narratives' usual deterministic ethos. In the plots and their endings Christina Stead also negotiates with the norms of the dominant literature. The formal structures correlate with the patterns of the characters' lives either in Bildungsromanen or in novels of repetition which metonymize deathly compulsions. Thus a reading which foregrounds narrative and gender, particularly in the embedded artworks, genderlects, metaphor, plot and closure, depicts a Christina Stead who has never been comprehended by masculist critics who fail to take cognizance of the woman writer's desires to combat the dominant literary tradition. DA - 1987 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PY - 1987 T1 - Narrative and gender in the novels of Christina Stead TI - Narrative and gender in the novels of Christina Stead UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/21883 ER - en_ZA


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