Paradoxical Feminism: The Novels of Rebecca West

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International Scholars Publications, Jan 1, 2000 - Literary Criticism - 165 pages
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The first book on Rebecca West that is solely devoted to her fiction, Paradoxical Feminism examines West's many and contradictory ideas concerning women and their relationships with men. Although West wrote disparagingly of Western patriarchal culture throughout her journalistic career, her novels show a surprising belief in and desire for male dominance. Ann Norton perceptively analyzes this paradox in West's work, demonstrating that West undermines her own feminism with this theme of male supremacy. Each chapter investigates different aspects of West's paradoxical feminism through close readings of her novels' characters, themes, and plots. These include her attitudes toward women as artists and professionals; women as subjects and objects in men's and women's narratives; women and men as parents; women and men in marriage; and the use of female "magic" as both a female language and a force for evil. Meticulously researched and well written, this fascinating work is a must-read for those with an interest in 20th century literature and feminism.

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About the author (2000)

Ann V. Norton is an Assistant Professor of English at St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH.

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