Narrative Transvestism: Rhetoric and Gender in the Eighteenth-century English Novel
Cornell University Press, 1991 - 172 pages
Many of the earliest canonical novels—including Defoe's Moll Flanders and Roxana and Richardson's Pamela and Clarissa—were written by men who assumed the first-person narrative voice of women. What does it mean for a man to write his "autobiography" as if he were a woman? What did early novelists have to gain from it, in a period when woman's realm was devalued and woman's voice rarely heard in public? How does the male author behind the voice reveal himself to readers, and how do our glimpses of him affect our experience of the novel? Kahn maintains that the answers to such questions lie in the nature of "narrative transvestism"—her term for the device through which a male author directs the reader's interpretation by temporarily abandoning himself to a culturally defined female voice and sensibility and then reasserting his male voice.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
Narrative Transvestism: Rhetoric and Gender in the Eighteenth-Century ...
Limited preview - 2018
activity allows assertion attempts become body boundaries calls century characters claims Clarissa clearly clothes complicated concerned continual contradiction course created critics define Defoe Defoe's desire dress early effect eighteenth eighteenth-century English example existence experience express fact female feminine fictional Freud further gender give identity imaginative individual interpretation kind Lady Lady Bradshaigh language less letters limits literary literature lives Lovelace Lovelace's male masculine masquerade means mind mirror misogyny moral mother narrative transvestism narrator nature needs never notes novel paradox participate particular play political position precisely present provides Quaker question reader realm references relationship Relator reveals Richardson role Roxana seems sense sexual simply social society speak story structure Susan takes tell thing tion transgression transvestite true turns University Press voice woman women writing York