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Transgressing Boundaries in Jeanette Winterson’s Fiction


Sonia Front

The subsequent chapters of the book deal with selected questions from Jeanette Winterson’s fiction, such as gender issues, love and eroticism, language and time, constituting areas within which Winterson’s characters seek their identity. As they contest and repudiate clichés, stereotypes and patterns, their journey of self-discovery is accomplished through transgression. The book analyzes how the subversion of phallogocentric narrative and scenarios entails the reenvisaging of relations between the genders and reconceptualization of female desire. The author attempts to determine the consequences of Winterson’s manipulations with gender, sexuality and time, and her disruption of the binary system.


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II. `It's the clichs that cause the trouble.' — Looking for the Language of Rapture 49


Chapter II: `It's the clichds that cause the trouble.' — Looking for the Language of Rapture What is desire? Desire is a restaurant. /Jeanette Winterson: "The White Room"/ In her oeuvre, Winterson consistently demonstrates the debasement of language through clichds, media, advertising and the locking of individuals into the meaning of roles assigned by the patriarchal society. Language semantically con- structs the reality one observes and senses, therefore the clichdd formulas and flattened language entail the deadening of desire, and, by inference, the deadening of the subject. Winterson enacts the rejection of clichds in her fiction as well as erotic reappropriation of language excluding cold rationality. Furthermore, she negates stereotypical roles in the society, allowing her characters to enter the wilderness and try out various possibilities, also of erotic configurations. 1. ClicHs Winterson declares war an ehelids in her first book, Oranges Are Not die Only Fruit, where the protagonist is continuously brazened out with narrow-minded advocates of clichds. At school her efforts in art classes are never appreciated since they stand out against typical works of other students. Therefore Jeanette's creativity and Imagination are thwarted and misunderstood. She realizes that herself: My needlework teacher suffered from a problein of vision. She recognized things according to expectation and environment. If you were in a particular place, you expected to see particular things. Sheep and hills, sea and fish; if there was an elephant in the supermarket, she'd either not see it at all, or call it Mrs Jones and talk...

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