Fluctuations of fantasy : postmodernist contamination in Angela Carter's fiction
What I am offering in this thesis is a kind "contaminated" reading, that is a reading deeply involved in the stylistic and ideological dissonances of Carter's fiction, to the point that they are assimilated within different and, in some cases, contrastive interpretative paths. But the contamination works also on another level: to read Carter is to tackle some very complex questions, including the possible articulations of Marxism and deconstruction/postmodernism or, more generally, the role played by ideology with reference to the tendencies and movements deriving from poststructuralism; my argument is that Carter's writing itself is heavily "contaminated" by postmodernist aesthetics despite her implicit denial and negative attitude towards it. In the thesis I have discussed three collections of short-stones (The Bloody Chamber in Chapter 1, Black Venus and Fireworks in Chapter II) and four novels (The Infernal Desire Machines of Dr. Hoffman, The Passion of New Eve. Nights at Circus and Wise Children from Chapter HI to VI). I have also quoted extensively from the numerous interviews given by Carter in different stages of her career and from her critical works, in particular from The Sadeian Woman, a sort of aesthetic manifesto for a literary corpus in which the worlds of Eros and sexuality play a crucial role in transgressing and subverting the habitual dichotomies of gender. In the final Chapter (VII) Carter's work is located in the framework of the debate between feminist and postmodernist thought.