Sunday, February 24, 2013

"The Blank Page" and Issues of Female Creativity - Susan Gubar

"He got good into her Book tongued her every passage thumbing her leaf and rubbing his hands all over her binding" - Ishmael Reed

This week I only had to read four essays and one excerpt for class with each text coming from a different anthology, so I'm not going to try to make any kind of cohesive comment about my readings. However, I would like to point something out. The essay by SG (of Gilbert and Gubar fame - I wondered how they felt about always being together, but unfortunately literature professors are not interviewed like celebrities and could not discover any juicy information) is only 18 pages, yet in 18 pages it packs in a pretty large number of texts that I am either reading this year. She examines or references in some capacity, the following: 

Read/Will Read for Class (Gender and Lit)
The Woman Warrior
The Philomela section of Ovid's Metamorphosis
Adrienne Rich (see earlier post)
Tillie Olsen (see earlier post) 

Read/Will Read for Comps
(reading list chosen by picking the most interesting/familiar pieces from UNLV's list)
It references:
Portrait of a Lady
House of Mirth
The Bluest Eye
Christina Rossetti
T. S. Eliot

What's up with that? It feels delightfully sneaky to have double dipped my homework with some information that may be of assistance for my comps, but it also feels like...there is a WHOLE UNIVERSE of literature out in the world, why does a famous essay by a famous critic raise all the same texts that are always being raised? Is the circle just a lot smaller than I thought, or are have people carved out the Stuff Dealing With Gender Canon Space and it is already full?

Because I thought they were required (they weren't), I ordered three feminist theory/criticism anthologies, and I'm very curious to see what other texts from my list pop up within them as I know that when I have a choice in reading I'll almost always go for something with a female/minority slant (ie: my Canterbury Tales are The Wife of Bath's Tale, The Knight's Tale, and the Miller's Tale). [Rant: this particular anthology completely lacks an index which I find incredibly offensive. I would be more than happy to put in the work to create an index for the betterment of human kind and scholarship. E-mail me for the next edition Elaine Showalter!]

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