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The (Im)possibility of Women's Bildungsroman


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Gjurgjan, Ljiljana Ina. (2011). The (Im)possibility of Women's Bildungsroman. Studia Romanica et Anglica Zagrabiensia, 56. pp. 107-121. ISSN 0039-3339

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The paper argues that the mode in which becoming a woman is inscribed in the cultural imaginary is incompatible with the ideologematics of the genre of Bildungsroman. Starting with V. Woolf’s novel To the Lighthouse, the article discusses canonic literary texts such as “The Bell Jar” and „The Djinn in Nightingale’s Eye“ in order to show that the abortive pattern of teleological narration is inherent to the representation of the feminine in the Western culture. Even the concept of écriture féminine is ambivalent, since it defines female writing as coming from the body, thus reinforcing the stereotype of woman’s dominion being nature, and male culture. Though they represent an important breakthrough in the portrayal of female lives and are subversive to the binary stereotypes of femininity/masculinity, recent female narratives nonetheless testify to the impossibility of the (re)possession of the metaphysical space of representation. Therefore, they have been compartmentalised in the niche of women’s writing, as in their self-definition culturally dominant narratives are still depended on the traditonal (patriarchal) conceptualization of femininity.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bildungroman, écriture féminine, re-naming, V. Woolf, S. Plath, A. S. Byatt
Subjects: English language and literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2014 09:28
Last Modified: 10 May 2014 09:00

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