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The Feminine as Fantastic in the «Conte fantastique»

Visions of the Other


Amy J. Ransom

The fantastic genre holds a privileged position in literary and feminist studies because of its open exploration of the limits of mimetic creation and its attempts to represent alterity, both feminine and supernatural. This study traces its development as a product of the dramatically changing cultural context of nineteenth-century France. Examining post-revolutionary concerns about questions of gender and identity, this work observes the increasingly disruptive force of the feminine fantastic upon the masculine subject/author as symptomatic of a crisis underlying dominant attitudes toward material progress, which culminated in the death of the representational in the early twentieth century.