Tactical Readings: Feminist Postmodernism in the Novels of Kathy Acker and Angela Carter

Synopsis

"This book argues for putting practices of reading at the center of a revitalized concept of post-modernism. Proposing that reading existing texts and recombining available images are the paradigmatic activities of contemporary cultural and political life, it analyzes the work of feminist novelists Kathy Acker and Angela Carter. Both writers' novels borrow heavily from other authors, and in doing so they offer strategies for a politically committed rereading of literary history and its interaction with the popular imagination. This study situates Carter's works from the 1970s and Acker's from the 1980s in relation to the political, economic, and cultural discourses commonly circulating during their day. In Carter's case, the immediate context is the recession-aggravated crisis of the British welfare state and of postimperial national identity; and in Acker's, the swallowing-up of oppositional identities and rhetoric by American capitalism during the heyday of "revolutionary" neoconservatism. Such a historicized approach allows a sense of how small-scale, context-specific tactics of reinterpretation and re-use of language - of the sort theorized by Michel de Certeau - survive and indeed thrive within what has often previously been viewed as the politically indifferent sphere of postmodern culture." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved