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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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V. "The path not taken and the forgotten angle" — Time, Memory, and History 159


Chapter V: "The path not taken and the forgotten angle" — Time, Memory, and History All time is always present, but buried layer by layer under what people call Now. /Jeanette Winterson: The Tanglewreck/ Time is one of the themes Jeanette Winterson is obsessed with: the nature of time, its impact on people, and time's intersection with consciousness to create a sense of identity. Her writing is permeated with motifs of water: the river, sea, ocean, canals, voyaging, which is associated with time as well as the concept of nomadic subjectivity. Moreover, the theories of new physics along with virtual time function as conceptual framework for the writer's depiction of subjectivity. With time the issues of history and memory are strictly connected, and their depiction in accordance with postmodernist views opens up interesting opportunities for Winterson's characters. 1. Memory Freud employed archaeological excavation as a metaphor for memory and the process of remembering, which was later dismissed as misleading. In his article "Remembering and the Archaeology Metaphor" Steen F. Larsen argues that Freud's metaphor is still appropriate, provided that a revised contemporary understanding of archaeology is taken into account. Along the contemporary view of memory, as with excavated objects, no memory of the past is unbiased or complete, which is the consequence of several factors working to distort recollections: decontextualization, transforming the vi- sual form of the event into its selective and restricted narrative counterpart, the description taking the place of the `historical facts' and then becoming the memory.1 Subsequently, recollections...

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