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New PDF release: A. S. Byatt: Art, Authorship and Creativity

By Christien Franken (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230510043

ISBN-13: 9780230510043

ISBN-10: 1349420921

ISBN-13: 9781349420926

ISBN-10: 5452510109

ISBN-13: 9785452510109

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Extra resources for A. S. Byatt: Art, Authorship and Creativity

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Here again one hears two voices. There is a voice in her work which consistently criticizes feminist literary theorists for the ways in which they use the concept of ‘female identity’ – a voice which defends a liberal humanist reaction to feminism. The other voice agrees that the concept of ‘female identity’ can be relevant to literary criticism. A light in my darkness: gender disruption and feminist ambivalence Let me begin to explain where one can find in A. S. Byatt’s critical work a voice stressing the relevance of a concept of ‘female identity’ to literary criticism.

Leavis splits the personae of George Eliot in order to suppress that embarrassment: she becomes an impersonal artist and intellectual who is a genius because of her intelligence, her moral vision and the impersonal non-emotional distance she creates between herself as a writer and her characters. Leavis does approve of Mrs Transome in The Turtle and Its Adversaries 23 Felix Holt for these reasons. It is an impersonal portrait which is not based on identification: ‘the beneficient relation between the artist and intellectual is to be seen in the new impersonality of the Transome theme .

They are, at different levels, divided within themselves: as we have seen, the first and most dominant speaker in her critical work is the Leavisite thinker. Yet this thinker who feels that her foundations are threatened by politically orientated theories, like Marxist theories of writing, coexists with the critic and essayist A. S. Byatt who recognizes that another anti-Leavis theory – post-structuralism – is relevant to her ideas. There is a convergence of interests between Foucault’s critique of ‘the author’ as the sole originator of meaning and her own dislike of ‘the author’ as somebody who narcissistically expresses him/herself in literature.

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A. S. Byatt: Art, Authorship and Creativity by Christien Franken (auth.)


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