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Gendered Narrative Subjectivity

Some Hungarian and American Women Writers

Edit Zsadányi

This book wants to make Hungarian women writers accessible to an English-speaking public and presents interpretations of Hungarian and American literary texts by writers such as Margit Kaffka, Anna Lesznai, Jolán Földes, Zsuzsa Rakovszky, Agáta Gordon, Virág Erdős, Zsuzsa Forgács, Alaine Polcz, Gertrude Stein, Kathy Acker and Jhumpa Lahiri. In literary narratives it is possible to represent female political interests in a decentered narrative subjectivity. The book illustrates that literary narratives readily accept the contradictory nature of identity issues and create an exciting and complex network of articulating female voices.


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I wish to acknowledge the contribution of several colleagues and friends at Eöt- vös Loránd University, Budapest and The University of Groningen who gave val- uable advice to make this book better. For critical response, helpful dialogue and friendly support let me single out Mónika Baár, Ronit Nikolsky and Zsuzsanna Szíjártó. Special thanks are due to Krisztina Szalay for her detailed suggestions. I am grateful to András Földes also for his technical support. Chapters 1, 2 and 3 have been translated from Hungarian by Éva Misits. All literal translations of literary excerpts were done by Éva Misits unless oth- erwise indicated. Versions of chapters 2, 4, 5 and 6 have appeared, in earlier versions, in journals and collections of essays. Amendments and refinements have been made to all of them though. ‘Impersonal Narration in the Prose of Margit Kaffka, Emma Ritoók and Jolán Földes’ AHEA: E-journal of the American Hungarian Educators Association, 4/18 (2011). ‘Displacement of Identity in Kathy Acker’s Don Quixote and Gertrude Stein’s Three Lives’. in Joyce Goggin and Sonja Neef, eds., Traveling Concepts (Amster- dam: ASCA Press, 2001, 54–63. ‘Seech from the Margin. Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons and Agáta Gordon’s: Kecskerúzs’ Hungarian Studies 15/2 (2001) 127–143. ‘The Beauty of Details: The Rewriting of Omnipotent Narrative Tradition in Jhumpa Lahiri’s Namesake’ in Asha Choubey, ed., Women on Women: Women Writers’ Perspectives on Women. (Jaipur: Aadi Publications, 2011), 25–39.

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