By Helena Michie
Helena Michie's provocative new paintings appears to be like at how women's our bodies are portrayed in numerous Victorian literary and non-literary genres--from portray, poems, and novels, to etiquette, books, intercourse manuals, and pornography. After picking a chain of codes and taboos that govern the depiction of girls in such actions as consuming and dealing, she then turns to the actual descriptions of Victorian heroines, targeting these elements in their our bodies which are erased, and on those who develop into fetishized in traditional description. Her vibrant research strikes ahead in time with a attention of 20th-century "second wave" feminism and a dialogue of the poetics of the physique as articulated by means of feminist writers on either side of the Atlantic. applying feminist, poststructuralist, and psychoanalytic debts of the determine of girl, and the relation of the physique to the textual content, The Flesh Made notice deals clean readings of works via writers as diversified because the Bront?s, Dickens, Eliot, Gaskell, Trollope, Hardy, Adrienne wealthy, Olga Broumas, Audre Lorde, and Louise Gluck.
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Extra info for The Flesh Made Word: Female Figures and Women's Bodies
14 Knightley's early warning about the impropriety of matchmaking Your time has been properly and delicately spent, if you have been endeavoring for the last four years to bring about this marriage. A worthy employment for a young lady's mind (Emma, p. 12). reveals the sexual nature of Emma's primary occupation. She does not give up matchmaking until the minute Knightley proposes. Emma, who uses even her feminine accomplishments, like portrait painting, toward vaguely immodest ends, is a precursor of later Victorian heroines whose occupations and accomplishments are used at best as time killers and at worst as excuses or euphemisms for sexual activity.
The delicate woman who does not assert her physical needs serves to recuperate the Fall and to reestablish lost innocence. Mythologically, her role is to refuse the apple and to keep her mouth firmly shut to temptation. " The very articulation, however, of his physical needs sets Oliver apart from female characters like Jane Eyre who chokes down her burnt porridge in silence. While Oliver can at least assert his desire, his very physical presence, to the hierarchy of his orphanage, Jane has to sneak to Miss Temple's room for toast and seed cake.
Their use of self-consciously figurative language allows them to speak the unspeakable richly and subversively. Work marks the body, making it representable, marked, remarkable. With their use of traditional metaphoric devices, Victorian authors opened secret passages for the reintroduction of women's bodies into texts that had, on the surface, cleansed themselves of such presences. In the face of taboo and absence, Victorian writers of all sorts of texts created a presence that was all the stronger for appearing not to exist.