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Beyond Bodies: Gender, Literature and the Enigma of Consciousness (Consciousness, Literature and the Arts) by Daphne M. Grace
English | 2014 | ISBN: 9042038349 | 250 pages | PDF | 2,3 MB
"Articulations and expressions of gender can be destabilising, transgressive, revolutionary and radical, encompassing both a painful legacy of oppression and a joyous exploration of new experience." Analysing key texts from the 19th to 21st centuries, this book explores a range of British and Anglophone authors to contextualise women's writing and feminist theory with ongoing debates in consciousness studies. Discussing writers who strive to redefine the gendered world of "sexualized" space, whether internal or external, mental or physical, this book argues how the "delusion" of gender difference can be addressed and challenged. In literary theory and in representations of the female body in literature, identity has increasingly become a shifting, multiple, renegotiable-and controversial-concept. While acknowledging historical and cultural constructions of sexuality, "writing the body" must ultimately incorporate knowledge of human consciousness. Here, an understanding of consciousness from contemporary science (especially quantum theory)-as the fundamental building block of existence, beyond the body-allows unique insights into literary texts to elucidate the problem of subjectivity and what it means to be human. Including discussion of topics such as feminism and androgyny, agency and entrapment, masculinities and masquerade, insanity and emotion, and individual and social empowerment, this study also creates a lively engagement with the literary process as a means of fathoming the "enigma" of consciousness.