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Woman as "Nobody" and the Novels of Fanny Burney

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Woman as "Nobody" and the Novels of Fanny Burney.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Joanne Cutting-Gray(Author)

    Book details

Fanny Burney's well-known address to her youthful diary - "To Nobody, then, will I write my journal" - evokes her early concern with the problem of female namelessness. Cutting-Gray contributes to a new understanding of Burney by declaring that the salutation confers dignity and legitimacy to those who remain Nobodies in a world of self-inflated Somebodies. According to the author, namelessness liberates Burney's women; each Nobody becomes "the protean and fluid possibility of a person always under construction." Cutting-Gray places Burney's 18th-century view of woman alongside the views of such contemporary theorists as Kristeva, Irigaray, and Arendt and discovers that Burney dismantles both the old social order and any new order that dictates resistance to male authority. Neither alternative explains the gaps that occur when Burney's heroines resort to madness, sickness, or fits of hysteria to make themselves heard. "Nobody" shifts the perspective away from revolution and becomes a source of political power in itself. Burney, considered Jane Austen's literary mother, shaped both the tradition of women novelists and the novel of manners. Cutting-Gray devotes a chapter to a postmodern reading of each of the novels. In "Evelina" she explores the ways in which Evelina conceals her sexual and verbal power; in "Cecilia" and "Camilla" outbursts of feeling register as hysteria and madnesss to a patriarchal culture. Burney's growing concern with female namelessness becomes explicit in "The Wanderer", a novel about a women who refuses to name herself. Cutting-Gray analyzes this novel's central figure, "Incognita", rendering a playful figure of speech into a philosophical thesis about the identity of women. By the close of the book, "Nobody" replaces "author" and converts the entity "Fanny Burney" into a multivoiced community.

Joanne Cutting-Gray teaches in the English Department at Marquette University and has published in Prospects: An Annual of American Cultural Studies, Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, New Literary History, and Philosophy and Literature.

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  • Pdf

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Supported Devices Windows PC/PocketPC, Mac OS, Linux OS, Apple iPhone/iPod Touch.
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Flowing Text / Pages Pages
Printable? Yes

Book details

  • PDF | 176 pages
  • Joanne Cutting-Gray(Author)
  • University Press of Florida; 1st Edition edition (28 Jan. 1992)
  • English
  • 9
  • Fiction

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