1. My use of the term 'polyphonic' in this paper derives from Bakhtin's notion of the polyphonic novel as a discourse involving diverse voices interacting and competing with each other. See Mikhail Bakhtin, Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics, trans. R. W. Rotsel (n.p.: Ardis, 1973) 5, 13, 27, 181-204.
2. Jonathan Culler, The Pursuit of Signs: Semiotics, Literature, Deconstruction (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1981) 103.
3. Julia Kristeva, "The Bounded Text," Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art, trans. Thomas Gora, Alice Jardine, and Leon Roudiez, ed. Leon S. Roudiez (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981). This interplay (colloquy) of diverse texts theoretically enacts the post-structuralist idea of continuous structuration. More elementally, it offers a clear example of that relation between texts which Kristeva describes as "a productivity . . . a permutation of texts."
4. Though Naylor's depiction of successive Nedeed males renders them virtually indistinguishable, I have assigned each Nedeed an ordinal number (Luther I, Luther II etc.) to facilitate references to the text.
5. All textual references to Linden Hills are to the Penguin Books (1985) edition.
6. In symbolic numerology, primarily in the Book of Revelation, the number 666 is the sign of the beast.
7. Dialogue format and emphasis throughout this extract are mine.
8. J. Hillis Miller, "Stevens' Rock and Criticism as Cure," Wallace Stevens, ed. Harold Bloom (New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1985) 36.
9. I am applying here the problem of the female author's relationship to her work as defined by Juliann E. Fleenor ed. The Female Gothic (Montreal & London: Eden Press, 1983) 16.
10. The Nedeed wives are effectively rendered motherless by their marital entrapment in the patriarchy. This motherless condition has its definitive archetypes in Milton's Eve and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. For a further discussion of this interpretation, see Gilbert and Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination (New York and London: Yale University Press, 1979) 243.
11. Phyllis Chesler, Women and Madness (New York: Avon, 1972) describes the incidences of 'madness' in women as forms of cultural castration and women's responses thereto as a search for potency.
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