Crossing the Double-Cross: The Practice of Feminist Criticism

Synopsis

Exploring the controversial question of feminist criticism's relationship to recent critical theory, Elizabeth Meese resists the impulse to encompass women's diverse experiences within a single theory. Instead, she attempts to make American critical theory more radically political and American feminist criticism more self-consciously polyvocal and de-centering.

Meese reads writers of the past--Mary Wilkins Freeman, Kate Chopin, and Zora Neale Hurston--in relation to writers of the present--Marilynne Robinson, Tillie Olsen, Margaret Atwood, and Alice Walker. Demonstrating how theory grounds itself in reading practice, just as the demands of the practice reveal the structuring force of theory, this book can be read as dialogues with critical theorists and practitioners, among them Virginia Woolf, Stanley Fish, Jacques Derrida, and Terry Eagleton.

Meese affirms a feminist tradition of defiance, suggesting ways in which women's deconstructive strategies of the past are applicable today as feminists continue to transgress the boundaries of gender, race, and class by crossing the double-cross of difference.

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