He Said, She Says: An RSVP to the Male Text

He Said, She Says: An RSVP to the Male Text

He Said, She Says: An RSVP to the Male Text

He Said, She Says: An RSVP to the Male Text

Synopsis

The essays in this volume demonstrate the range of revisioning of women's reinterpretations of patriarchal texts. Women's responses are reaching beyond the story and into the primal bases for narrative: the philosophies, theologies, psychology, politics, and archetypal geneses that comprise the origins of narrative itself. 'He Said, She Says' brings together myriad perspectives that cover such primal narratives as the Bible, the Torah, mythology, traditional literary texts, male depictions of female sexuality, patriarchal Marxism, American democracy, and multiculturalism.

Excerpt

Mica Howe and Sarah Appleton Aguiar

Re-Vision—the act of looking back, of seeing with fresh eyes,
of entering an old text from a new critical direction—is for
women more than a chapter in cultural history; it is an act of
survival.

—Adrienne Rich

Adrienne RICH’S MUCH-QUOTED call for WOMEN’S revisions of literary texts, and history as well, has galvanized a generation of feminist authors to reply with texts of their own. the importance of these emerging female voices responding to the traditionally male canon cannot be overlooked because, as women gain their places within and without literary heritage, their voices enlarge, contest, and re-animate the tradition itself. Not to be content with creating their own canon, women authors have also engaged in the task of recreating the existing body of canonized male texts, offering within their work meta-critical perspectives of the purloined originals. and as the essays in this volume demonstrate, the range of re-visioning has transcended the purely literary texts; women’s responses are reaching beyond the “story” and into the primal bases for narrative: the philosophies, theologies, psychologies, politics, and archetypal geneses that comprise the origins of narrative itself.

Thus, this volume seeks to accomplish three critical tasks: to continue the established project of interrogating male texts, to ascertain the subjectivity of the often objectified female characters in the male texts, and to contest the validating influence of those texts. Moreover, the narrative (re)versions that are articulated in these pages are not meant to supplant the original discourses, whether literary, political, social, or political; they are meant to widen the scholarly discussions of literary meaning.

While such notable feminist critics as Judith Fetterley, Elaine Showalter, Nina Baym, and many, many others have endowed literary studies with several decades of fresh interpretations of . . .

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