Daughters, Fathers and the Novel: Sentimental Romance of Heterosexuality (Paperback)Lynda Zwinger (author)
Paperback 184 Pages / Published: 30/06/1991
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Daughters, Fathers, and the Novel is a provocative study of the father-daughter story - a relatively neglected dimension of the family romance. It has important implications for the history of the novel, for our understanding of key texts in that history, and for theories concerning the representation of gender, family relations, and heterosexuality in Western culture. In the English and American novel, argues Zwinger, the ""good woman"" is a father's daughter and constructed to the very particular specifications of an omnipresent and unvoiced paternal desire. Zwinger supports her case with an analysis of both ""high brow"" and ""low brow"" novels and with brilliant textual analyses of five novels in particular: ""Clarissa Harlowe"", ""Dombey and Son"", ""Little Women"", ""The Golden Bowl"" and ""The Story of O"". In the dominant discourse of Anglo-Saxon culture, the father's daughter figured sentimentally, simultaneously provides alibi and cornerstone to the patriarchal edifices of domesticity and desire. Zwinger's analysis of the sexual politics embodied in the figure of the sentimental daughter raises compelling critical and cultural issues. In her conclusion, Zwinger offers a broad overview of the 19th-century novel, asking what difference it makes when the writer is a daughter. She shows how the daughter's family romance pictures the father as inadequate, ironically requiring the sentimental daughter as patriarchal prop. She develops a useful concept of hysteria and argues that generic ""disorder"" and hysterical ""intrusions"" mark the family romantic novels of Jane Austen, Emily and Charlotte Bronte, and George Eliot. And finally, she makes the case that the daughter's choice to stay home is not necessarily an act of simple complicity: for, by staying home, she comes as close as she can to disrupting the father-daughter romance.
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Number of pages: 184
Weight: 263 g
Dimensions: 229 x 150 x 11 mm
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