Hysteria and Melancholy as Literary Style in the Works of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Kate Chopin, Zelda Fitzgerald, and Djuna Barnes
By: Zeljka Svrljuga (author)Hardback
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Using the ideas of Kristeva and Lacan, this study examines works by four female authors to demonstrate that hysteria and melancholy/melancholia can be viewed as discourse and style when analyzing literary texts. This present study investigates how literature configures and gives voice to hysteria and melancholy as discursive modes and textual moods in selected works by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Kate Chopin, Zelda Fitzgerald and Djuna Barnes. While shaping the topic of grief, pain, loss, and otherness as psychological and physical parameters, the literary or artistic utterance becomes a language of suffering, which expresses in the enunciation what it often represses or cannot name in the enunciated. Aesthetic figurations of agony concurrently displace the feeling of pain as much as they display a search for meaning and form. Textual constructions of the two psychic structures bring to the fore style before pathology, the utterance in crisis before the descriptive statement of diagnosis, emphasizing the intimate connection between fiction and psychoanalysis both of which are premised on language and storytelling.
The two structures' distinct agendas testify to different narrative strategies by way of the politics of subversion (hysteria) and that of withdrawal (melancholy). Refracted through the prism of gender, this book explores the interface between the thematics, politics and aesthetics of suffering cum performance.
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- ID: 9780773415171
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