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Time of Death: The End of the 1960s and the Problem of Feminist Futurity in The Women's Room and Vida

From: MFS Modern Fiction Studies
Volume 52, Number 1, Spring 2006
pp. 143-168 | 10.1353/mfs.2006.0023


This essay explores the way in which Marilyn French's The Women's Room and Marge Piercy's Vida work to imagine feminist futures despite a conviction of totalized domination that results in what the author terms static time.While debates regarding totalization have been considered primarily in terms of contemporary theory, this essay argues that such novels' relentless depictions of women's absolute oppression operated as a means of thinking through the post-1960s sense that "the System" had triumphed, demolishing revolutionary futurity. Feminist novels thus became a key arena for both the inscription of and the resistance to static time.