ENG 4200: Studies in British Literature
Subversive Bodies: Angela Carter and Jeanette Winterson
Texts by contemporary British authors Angela Carter (1940-1992) and Jeanette Winterson (1959- ) explore bodies as they are constructed by knowledge, power, and discourse; gender, sexuality, and transgressive desires; feminist utopias and dystopias; and radical/socialist feminisms. Their textual subversions and experiments in narrative time and space work toward refiguring the body, and through their privileging of grotesque or carnivalesque bodies, they attempt to reshape feminist strategies and politics that challenge patriarchal, heteronormative, and other oppressive discourses. Through intertextual practices, their fiction engages with and challenges the literary canon’s representations of gendered roles, and their revisionary approaches toward classical myth, fairy tale, folklore, as well as their rewriting of Shakespearean texts, contribute to our understanding and rethinking of literary pasts, presents, and futures. We will also read Virginia Woolf’s Orlando as an influential modernist novel that informs Carter’s and Winterson’s postmodern sensibilities, their explorations of narrative time and space, and their representations of subversive bodies as vehicles for writing subversive texts.