Mail and Female: Epistolary Narrative and Desire in Ovid's Heroides

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University of Wisconsin Press, Oct 6, 2003 - Literary Criticism - 284 pages
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    In the Heroides, the Roman poet Ovid wittily plucks fifteen abandoned heroines from ancient myth and literature and creates the fiction that each woman writes a letter to the hero who left her behind. But in giving voice to these heroines, is Ovid writing like a woman, or writing "Woman" like a man?
    Using feminist and psychoanalytic approaches to examine the "female voice" in the Heroides, Sara H. Lindheim closely reads these fictive letters in which the women seemingly tell their own stories. She points out that in Ovid’s verse epistles all the women represent themselves in a strikingly similar and disjointed fashion. Lindheim turns to Lacanian theory of desire to explain these curious and hauntingly repetitive representations of the heroines in the "female voice." Lindheim’s approach illuminates what these poems reveal about both masculine and feminine constructions of the feminine

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Contents

Epistolary Narrative
13
Voices of Desire
78
Ovid RePresents Sappho
136
Male and Female Ovids Illusion
177
Notes
187
Bibliography 145
194
Index of Passages
259
General Index
267
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Sara H. Lindheim is assistant professor of classics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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