Margaret Atwood: Feminism and Fiction. by Fiona Tolan

By Fiona Tolan

Margaret Atwood: Feminism and Fiction takes a brand new examine the advanced dating among Margaret Atwood's fiction and feminist politics. reading intimately the worries and offerings of an writer who has often been termed feminist yet has famously rejected the label on many events, this e-book strains the impacts of feminism in Atwood's paintings and at the same time plots moments of dissent or debate. Fiona Tolan provides a transparent and designated examine of the 1st 11 novels of 1 of Canada's such a lot well-known authors. each one bankruptcy might be learn as anyone textual research, while the chronological constitution presents a desirable perception into the moving issues of a well-liked and influential writer over a interval of approximately thirty-five years.

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Extra info for Margaret Atwood: Feminism and Fiction.

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From the light, detached irony of The Edible Woman, which owed much of its theme to Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, to the frequently elliptical Surfacing with its “terse, laconic style”2 and consciously poetic imagery and metaphor, more subtly employed than the striking but slightly clumsy cake metaphor of The Edible Woman, there is a great distance. Concurrent with this stylistic shift is a significant expansion of thematic concern, and Surfacing provides a notable example of how Atwood’s dialogue with feminism is mediated through a number of alternate and occasionally dissonant political concerns.

The work of both Atwood and Taylor has proven hugely influential, and not just within their immediate spheres, but as part of a more general cultural discourse. Atwood’s early interaction with the ideas that Taylor later discusses has shaped her response to feminist arguments, and has led her to locate feminism, at a very early stage in the second wave, within much broader themes of cultural identity. Although Taylor’s essay appeared some twenty-two years after Surfacing, the coincidence of theme in the two works demonstrates that, in the early Seventies, Atwood was articulating ideas that would continue to have resonance in Canada for decades to come.

35 Feminist analysis resulted in a re-reading of the significance of hysteria, with Mitchell, for example, suggesting that: Hysteria is the woman’s simultaneous acceptance and refusal of the organisation of sexuality under patriarchal capitalism. 36 Hysteria came to be understood as a frustrated discourse: a means by which the body “speaks” a protest that exists outside of a rational vocabulary. The second wave saw an increasing interest in language and discourse, and in the theory that madness and hysteria were forms of feminine discourse, vilified because they transgressed patriarchal norms.

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