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Subversive narrative and thematic strategies : a critical appraisal of Fay Weldon's Fiction

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dc.contributor.advisor Kossick, S. G. Dowling, Finuala Rachel en 2015-01-23T04:24:38Z 2015-01-23T04:24:38Z 1995-06 en
dc.identifier.citation Dowling, Finuala Rachel (1995) Subversive narrative and thematic strategies : a critical appraisal of Fay Weldon's Fiction, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <> en
dc.description.abstract Fay Weldon is a popular, prolific author whose oeuvre stretches from 1967 to the present and includes 20 novels, three collections of short stories and numerous stage, radio and television plays, scripts and adaptations. This thesis limits itself to her fiction and follows the chronological course of Weldon's writing career in five chapters. Fay Weldon's fiction, situated at the intersection of postmodemism and feminism, is doubly subversive. It both overturns 'reasonable' narrative conventions and wittily deconstructs the specious terminology used to define women. Weldon's disobedient female protagonists - madwomen, criminals, outcasts and she-devils - assert the power of the Other. Gynocentric themes - single parenthood, sisterhood, reproduction, motherhood, sex and marriage - are transformed by Weldon into uproarious feminist revenge comedy. This she achieves through an intertextuality which often involves unorthodox typography, genreswopping and metafictional devices. Moreover, a unique ventriloquism enables her omniscient first-person narrators to mimic 'Fay Weldon' herself. Since her narrators are rebels and iconoclasts, Weldon has always been viewed as a subversive individual worthy of media attention, especially interviews. For this reason, and because she is a woman writer who struggled initially against social and domestic odds, the thesis incorporates in its argument the author's biography and public personae. Chapter One explores the connections between Weldon's first novels - notably Down Among the Women (1971) - and early liberationist and anthropological feminism. In Chapter Two, Bakhtin's dialogic imagination and Derrida's differance provide the basis for a discussion of multiplicity in Weldon's novels of the late 1970s, particularly Praxis (1979), shortlisted for the Booker prize. Chapter Three tests the limits of a psychoanalytical model in accounting for Weldon's novels of (m)Otherhood, including The Life and Loves of a SheDevil (1983). Theories of humour and carnival inform Chapter Four's analysis of how Weldon's wit - at its tendentious best in The Heart of the Country (1987) - declines into innocence. Finally, Chapter Five sees Weldon's flagging literary reputation as the symptom of authorial exhaustion and retreat from a feminist agenda. This concluding chapter is, however, ultimately optimistic that the mercurial author's undeniable talents may reassert themselves
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (212 leaves) en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Weldon, Fay
dc.subject Literary criticism en
dc.subject Women novelists en
dc.subject Women's writing en
dc.subject Twentieth-century authors en
dc.subject British en
dc.subject Narrative
dc.subject Narrative strategies en
dc.subject Theme en
dc.subject Feminist literature en
dc.subject Subversion en
dc.subject.ddc 823.924 en
dc.subject.lcsh Weldon, Fay -- Criticism and interpretation. en
dc.subject.lcsh English fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticism. en
dc.subject.lcsh Narration (Rhetoric) en
dc.subject.lcsh Subversive activities. en
dc.subject.lcsh Women in literature -- History -- 20th century. en
dc.subject.lcsh Women authors en
dc.title Subversive narrative and thematic strategies : a critical appraisal of Fay Weldon's Fiction en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.department English Studies D.Litt. et Phil. (English) en

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