Women’s Short Fiction from Virginia Woolf to Ali Smith
Edited By Laura Lojo Rodriguez
Introduction 1 -LAURA Ma LOJO RODRÍGUEZ AND JORGE SACIDO ROMERO
LAURA Mª LOJO RODRÍGUEZ AND JORGE SACIDO ROMERO Introduction The difference between modernism and postmodernism has been object to constant revision from a variety of critical perspectives. The present collection of essays on women’s short ﬁ ction tackles anew this thorny distinction from the theoretical perspective sketched by psychoanalytical philosopher Slavoj Žižek. According to Žižek, modernism hints at the incompletenesss of the Symbolic Order, but does so from a sepa- rate, marginal and alternative sphere of enjoyment. Postmodernism, on the contrary, exposes the fundamental inconsistency of the Symbolic Order by giving it a central place at the very core of the text. The key distinguishing feature is the mutation of the status of paternal authority throughout a century to which modernist and postmodernist texts are responsive. Starting from this theoretical premise, this volume analy- ses the work of ﬁ ve major women practitioners of the short story — Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansﬁ eld, Elizabeth Bowen, Angela Carter, and Ali Smith — to offer fresh critical readings of canonical pieces that exhibit either a modernist or a postmodernist sensibility. The volume has, therefore, both critical and theoretical value: it redeﬁ nes Woolf’s and Mansﬁ eld’s modernist status, the transitional character of Bowen’s short stories, and the different versions of postmodernism found in the work of Carter and Smith, while, at once, contributing to the reassessment of modernism and postmodernism from a new theoretical angle. The meth- odological consistency of the book — half way between collection of essays and monograph — places it at...
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