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Title: Dancing feminisms and intertextuality
Author: McMonagle, Catherine Ann
ISNI:       0000 0004 2749 7301
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis investigates representations of dancing women in three postmodern novels, arguing that their radical revisions of traditional texts offer readers steps to be taken in the future. Resistant and troublesome dances are deployed here to address feminisms, multiple and contradictory subjectivities and intertextuality. I suggest that a consideration of a nuanced view of multiple subjectivities can benefit women more than striving towards an illusory, autonomous identity. Intertextuality invites contemplation of the dance between different texts and the meanings invoked as a result. Not only are the texts' meanings unstable, but the novels themselves dance with other texts, taking them into account and departing from them by taking different steps their instability of meaning and lack of absolute origins and authority allows them to become sites of resistance to dominant values. My research primarily draws on work by Julia Kristeva, Roland Barthes, Jean-Francois Lyotard and Jacques Derrida. Eilis Ni Dhuibhne's The Dancers Dancing is a postmodern text, which deals with the influence of nationhood on Irish women, and in which Irish subjectivity confronts irreconcilable alternatives. This chapter poses the Irish dance as a space where a new generation can come to terms with their past and reconfigure it. Jeanette Winterson's Sexing the Cherry rewrites the tale of 'The Twelve Dancing Princesses' and in the process challenges patriarchal marriage and heterosexuality as norms. The text 'dances' between traditional and postmodern historical representations of seventeenth-century England, offering readers conflicting versions of history and time. In Margaret Atwood's Lady Oracle, the secret writing of gothic romances alerts readers to the influence of art on life. The novel takes into account, but steps beyond, those narratives that have encouraged readers to believe that they will have their feet cut off if they resist tradition. All three texts offer readers resistance to convention enlisting them in a metaphorical dance, where the steps are not known in advance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available