Organized around pairs and groups of female- and male-signed texts, the book reveals the gender-inflected ambivalence of modernist writers. Male modernists, desiring utter change, nevertheless feared the loss of hegemony it might entail, while female modernists feared punishment for desiring such change. With water imagery as a focus throughout, Professor DeKoven provides extensive new readings of canonical modernist texts and of works in the feminist and African-American canons not previously considered modernist. Building on insights of Luce Irigaray, Klaus Theweleit, and Jacques Derrida, she finds in modernism a paradigm of unresolved contradiction that enacts in the realm of form an alternative to patriarchal gender relations.
Rich and Strange: Gender, History, Modernism
- Publisher / Date: Princeton University Press, 1991