West Virginia University Philological Papers

Articles from Vol. 47, Fall

Anna Banti's Artemisia: Reinscribing the Female Gaze in Italian Literature
In her "Revising the Past: Feminist Historians/Historical Fictions" Carol Lazzaro-Weis has noted that a historical novel "tells the story of the invisible, the story that traditional historiography does not include." (1) By writing a historical novel...
Arletty, Star Image, and the Return of the Gaze: Gazing Back from Marcel Carne's Les Enfants Du Paradis
In her influential article "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema," Laura Mulvey has stated that "the determining male gaze projects its phantasy on to the female figure which is styled accordingly." (1) By underscoring this active/male-passive/female...
Deceit and Anamorphic Images in Anita Brookner's Family and Friends
Before starting a career as a writer somewhat late in life, contemporary British novelist Anita Brookner was a world-renowned art critic, specialist of eighteenth-century French painting. If the abundance of references to the visual arts, and in particular...
Fighting Fire with Fire: Reclaiming Phallocentric Conventions in Feminine Costume Dramas
"The principal question is this: What relationship should a new, feminist aesthetic have to the culture of oppression and marginality which has traditionally moulded women's artistic work?" Laura Mulvey and Peter Woolen, "Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti"...
Heian Noblewomen's Pilgrimage: The Language of Gendered Discontent and (Re)construction of the Self
Nurtured by the inherently religious climate of Heian culture and appealing because of the opportunity for travel that it provided, pilgrimage appears as one significant practice that encompasses aspects of religious, cultural, socio-political, and...
Male Fears and Fantasies in Harriet Prescott Spofford's "The Black Bess"
Men's drive to dominate appears in countless forms: from A. H. Robins's remorseless attempt to make a killing in intrauterine devices at the cost of women's lives, to the legions of anonymous date rapists; from presidents wary of being known as wimps...
Myopia and the (Fe)male Gaze in Yolanda Pallin's la Mirada and ?Entiendes?
In Madrid's circle of alternative theater, Yolanda Pallin is the best-known woman dramatist of the last decade. (1) Since 1992 when her first play, Hiel, premiered in Madrid, Pallin has authored more than one play per year, and most of her works have...
No Body's Perfect: Men Playing Women
This discussion examines a range of recent films of men playing women, including The Crying Game; To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar; Priscilla, Queen of the Desert; The Birdcage; and Orlando. The characters in these films, with the exception...
Perversion as Diversion: The Female Gaze in the Novels of Rachilde
In his essay on "The Sexual Aberrations" found in his work Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality of 1905, Freud discusses in some detail the relationship between perversion and the act of gazing: ... this pleasure in looking [scopophilia] becomes...
Taboos Exist to Be Broken: Ula Stockl and Edgar Reitz's Geschichten Vom Kubelkind
When the twenty-six signatories of the Oberhausen Manifesto gathered on February 28, 1962, to issue their provocative declaration calling for a new form of cinema, not one of them was a woman. However, as Thomas Elsaesser points out, in spite of their...
The Acting Female Gazed with Cruel Intention
Although much scholarly research has been done on the representation of women in film, and of the importance of both the female gaze and female spectatorship, little theoretical study has been published regarding the gaze in relation to film adaptations...
The Female Gaze in Literature and Film. (Introduction)
This issue of the West Virginia University Philological Papers treats "The Female Gaze in Literature and Film." The place for women in literature and film, so often seen from the men's point of view has been of especial interest to many critics in...
The Female Gaze in Maria Luisa Bemberg's Film, Miss Mary
Maria Luisa Bemberg was born in 1923 into one of the wealthiest mercantile families in Buenos Aires. In a 1994 interview with Caleb Bach in Americas magazine, she described women of her social class in that era as living "empty lives of suffocating...
The Male Gaze Subverted: Germaine Dulac's la Belle Dame Sans Merci
In 1920, at the height of the film Avant-Garde movement, its only female member Germaine Dulac released her tenth film La Belle Dame sans merci, which she wrote in collaboration (1) with her friend Irene Hillel-Erlanger, a surrealist poet also known...
Wildfell Hall and the Artist as a Young Woman
In 1848, Anne Bronte produced one of the Victorian period's few Kunstlerromane written by a woman, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. The novel unfolds as a framed narrative: the outer panels related by Gilbert Markham, the inner panel related by Helen Huntingdon....
Women in Their Apartment: The Trespassing Gaze
Assia Djebar arrives and, confronted with the secondary subjects, those dwarfed homunculi ... she raises the veil from the other planet: her own ... a planet inhabited by beautiful creatures called women, so beautiful in fact, in both body and mind,...
Women's Communities and the Magical Realist Gaze of Antonia's Line
Marlene Gorris's Antonia's Line (1) contests the hegemonic gender values of culture, family, and religion in a small Dutch town's post-World-War-II community, which has the slogan "Welcome to our Liberators" written on a bombed-out wall. The optimistic...
Writing and Painting under the Gaze: Emily Carr's Growing Pains
To begin to tell the stories of her life, a woman writer of the past has tended to look to male models first. Sidonie Smith's pioneering work on women's life writing gives us this summary: Responding to the generic expectations of significance in...

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