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Title: Re-visions : disordering perspectives of Ovid's Metamorphoses
Author: Liveley, Genevieve
ISNI:       0000 0001 1049 1315
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 1999
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Suppose the informed reader of Ovid's Metamorphoses were a woman. What difference might it make to posit a female reader for this work of literature? Might a woman reader offer an alternative to the kinds of perspectives employed in received readings of this text? Might a woman read this text differently? The pluralism of feminist literary criticism offers the woman reader a variety of reading strategies and positions to enable her to make a difference to her reading. Rather than assenting to textual biases in which the male perspective is made central and the female perspective is marginalised, women are invited to reread, to resist, to revise, to re-appropriate and to disorder the dominant discourses of texts and their received readings. Rereading focal stories and the narratives that place them in context, this thesis engages these reading strategies to resist received readings of Pygmalion and his puella, to revise the rape of Philomela, and to re-appropriate Echo. Theoretical models adduced here include the work of the French feminist writers Luce Irigaray and Julia Kristeva, who identify Woman as a figure of indeterminacy and disorder, and a scientific model of chaos. Chaos theory challenges the notion that rules and formal systems of interpretation can be relied upon to interpret the dynamics of a complex system such as a literary text. It suggests that the linear perspectives assumed in traditional models of interpretation direct the reader towards the production of readings in which the structural and ideological complexities of a text are smoothed over. Beginning, like the Metamorphoses, with chaos and disorder this thesis will attempt to progress towards stability and order. However, the readings and rereadings of transformation through which this progression will be effected will suggest that order is not a totalising or universal ising condition, but is rather a pattern or state of symmetry in which asymmetries, gaps and unpredictabilities may Occur. While emphasising the impossibility of an absolute or final form of interpretation, it will offer an alternative to the kinds of linear perspectives conventionally employed to read and interpret the complex dynamics of Ovid's Metamorphoses. While seeking to map patterns and connections, causes and effects, it will take into account unpredictability and indeterminacy, plurality and contingency to read the Metamorphoses within an interpretative frame which views contradiction, discontinuity and variation not as sources of critical and textual weakness, but as sources of jouissance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Clasics ; Feminist