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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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Conclusions The secret of the world is this: the world is entirely circular and you will go round and round endlessly, never finding what you want, unless you find what you really want inside yourself. /Jeanette Winterson: Boating for Beginnerst What are the consequences of Winterson's manipulations with gender, sexuality and time, and her disruption of the binary system then? They seem to result in the possibility of the third sex or many sexes, beyond the patriarchal and heterosexual matrixes, in a new reconfigured social and cultural field. The subversion of phal- logocentric narrative and scenarios entails the reenvisaging of relations between the sexes/genders and reconceptualization of female desire. This is an order where the space for a religious lesbian, a giantess, a "boy-woman" or other unorthodox bodies has been negotiated and they have been normalized. In Winterson the Holy Grail appears to be lesbian love, a blend of passion and safety, devoid of the will to possess or destroy. After the self-discovery journey, when a person has discovered their own path in the darkness leading to love, they are able to engage in an amorous relationship. Winterson's characters, nonetheless, enter into ambivalent attachments. Similarly to Sara Maitland and Emma Donoghue, Winterson does not depict enduring lesbian bonds, which, as Rachel Wingfield has observed, mirrors a tradition of lesbian writers who render lesbian relationships analogously to the patriarchal portrayals of lesbians as sad, painful, tragic and doomed, though passionate and romantic alike. In Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit the...

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