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Transgressing Boundaries in Jeanette Winterson’s Fiction

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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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IV. Somewhere it is still in the original' — The Quest 131

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Chapter IV: `Somewhere it is still in the original' — the Quest Legend has it that the Ship, while seeking the Holy Grail, sailed off the end of the world and continued forever. At particular conjunctions of time and timelessness, it appears again as a bright light, shooting its course through the unfathomable universe, chasing that which has neither beginning nor end. /Jeanette Winterson: Gut Symmetriest In her writings Winterson problematizes love in connection with passion, romance and marriage. She depicts several manifestations of love: romantic, familial, spiri- tual and aesthetic, yet, she focuses on its two trajectories: wild greedy passion and `true love' uniting risk and comfort. She considers romantic love as absolute and makes her characters search for it, which is an essential part of their quest for a meaningful existence and their identity. The characters' quest for love, the Holy Grail, is unalterably accompanied by the dread that one will never find it. 1. Displacement of love in The Passion The Passion depicts the masculine model of subjugation in which the male self seeks the female other by means of an analogy of the martial operation. The armed conflict is figured as a kind of erotic displacement in which the uncon- scious desire for death is disguised as love since the psychic urge is transposed from the quest for human love and other relationships into patriotism and nationa- lism:1 Napoleon "was in love with himself and France joined in. It was a romance. Perhaps all romance is...

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