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Reconstructing Desire: The Role of the Unconscious in Women's Reading and Writing (Paperback)
  • Reconstructing Desire: The Role of the Unconscious in Women's Reading and Writing (Paperback)
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Reconstructing Desire: The Role of the Unconscious in Women's Reading and Writing (Paperback)

(author)
£39.95
Paperback 284 Pages / Published: 30/12/1990
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This provocative study explores the function of the unconscious in reading and creative processes. The book asks if reading can change the reader and if women, through reading, can change the unconscious fantasy structures that govern desire. Using models of the unconscious developed by Freud, Lacan, Kristeva, Cixous, Nay, and Chodorow, Wyatt explores the complex interactions between a text and a reader's unconscious. She theorizes specific processes whereby young readers can assimilate dynamic images of female autonomy in Heidi , The Wizard of Oz , and Little Women . By tracing the imprint of father-daughter relations on women's unconscious fantasy life, Wyatt seeks to explain the hold of romantic love fantasies like Jane Eyre over many female readers. She looks to contemporary novels for alternative fantasies: to female artist novels by Lessing, Drabble, and Walker for fantasies of sexuality nurturing creativity; and to the flexible family circles of Beloved and The Color Purple for alternatives to patriarchal family arrangements. Wyatt argues that novels like The Awakening and Housekeeping that reflect and transform readers preoedipal fantasies offer women radical alternatives to dominant cognitive and social structures.

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807842850
Number of pages: 284
Weight: 431 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 21 mm
Edition: New edition


MEDIA REVIEWS
Challenging and exciting. . . . A stimulating and well-researched work.

Margaret Drabble


Should be indispensable reading for anyone interested in reader-response theory or in nineteenth- and twentieth- century women's literature.

"South Atlantic Review"


This challenging and beautifully written book will be useful to readers interested in . . . female creativity and in the family.

"Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature"


"A very fine book--bold, original, informative, and persuasive. The subject is central and significant, not only to feminist scholars and literary critics, but to anyone who reads novels.

Gayle Greene, Scripps College"


"A fascinating meditation . . . will be essential reading for anyone interested in language theory, gender studies, and women's literature.

Sandra M. Gilbert, University of California, Davis, and Susan Gubar, Indiana University"


A very fine book--bold, original, informative, and persuasive. The subject is central and significant, not only to feminist scholars and literary critics, but to anyone who reads novels.

Gayle Greene, Scripps College


A fascinating meditation . . . will be essential reading for anyone interested in language theory, gender studies, and women's literature.

Sandra M. Gilbert, University of California, Davis, and Susan Gubar, Indiana University


A very fine book-bold, original, informative, and persuasive. The subject is central and significant, not only to feminist scholars and literary critics, but to anyone who reads novels.

Gayle Greene, Scripps College

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