Inventing Herself

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Picador, 2002 - Feminists - 288 pages
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Inventing Herself is an account of women, from the 18th century to the present, who lived life on a grand scale. Elaine Showalter uncovers the lives of feminist intellectuals, focusing on figures ranging from Mary Wollstoncraft to Camille Paglia, her sources as diverse as A Vindication of the Rights of Women and Scream 2. She also scrutinizes the fragmenting feminism of the nineties - neo-conservative backlash, Paglia whiplash, Wolfian eyelash - and addresses the dreams and aspirations of women who do not see themselves as part of the feminist movement. In conclusion, she shows how the intellectual standard for modern feminists has been compromised by the spectre of celebrity.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - startingover - LibraryThing

Good stuff on Mary Wollstonecraft, Olive Schreiner; interesting on Simone de B; don't know why she even gave book space to Camille Paglia, although it helped to re-affirm why I never could stand to ... Read full review

INVENTING HERSELF: Claiming a Feminist Intellectual Heritage

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Feminist scholar Showalter (Sister's Choice, 1991, etc.) stirs together literary history, biography, personal reminiscence, and pop culture in a peculiar narrative that devotes as much time to female ... Read full review

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About the author (2002)

In 1977, Showalter published A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Bronte to Lessing. It was one of the most influential works in feminist criticism, as it sought to establish a distinctive tradition for women writers. In later essays, Showalter helped to develop a clearly articulated feminist theory with two major branches: the special study of works by women and the study of all literature from a feminist perspective. In all of her recent writing, Showalter has sought to illuminate a "cultural model of female writing," distinguishable from male models and theories. Her role as editor bringing together key contemporary feminist criticism has been extremely influential on modern literary study.

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