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Gothic and Intertextual Constructions in Linden Hills
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K. A. Sandiford  

Keith A. Sandiford is Associate Professor of English at Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge). His recent publications are a book, Measuring the Moment, and an article on history and alterity in "Inkle and Yarico." He is currently working on a book about sugar as an object of discourse in eighteenth-century texts.


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.

Works Cited

Bakhtin, Mikhail. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays by M. M. Bakhtin. Ed. Michael Holquist. Trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981.
———. Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics. Trans. R. W. Rotsel. Ann Arbor: Ardis, 1973.
Barthes, Roland. Criticism and Truth. Trans. and Ed. Katrine Pilcher Keuneman. London: The Athlone Press, 1987.
———. S/Z. Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1970.
———. Writing Degree Zero. Trans. Annette Lavers and Colin New York: Hill and Wang, 1968.
Bauer, Dale M. Feminist Dialogics: A Theory of Failed Community. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1988.
Champagne, Roland A. "The Writer within the Text." Intertextuality: New Perspectives in Criticism. Ed. Jeanine Parisier and Hannah Charney. New York: New York Literary Forum, 1978.
Chesler, Phyllis. Women and Madness. New York: Avon, 1972.
Doody, Margaret Ann. "Deserts, Ruins and Troubled Waters: Female Dreams in Fiction and the Development of the Gothic Novel." Genre 10 (1977): 529-72.
Fleenor, Juliann. Introduction. The Female Gothic. Ed. Juliann Fleenor. Montreal & London: Eden Press, 1983.
Gilbert, Sandra M., and Susan Gubar. The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination. New York and London: Yale University Press, 1979.
Herrmann, Ann. The Dialogic and Difference: "An/Other Woman" in Virginia Woolf and Christa Woolf. New York: Columbia University Press, 1989.
Jenny, Laurent. "La Strategie de la Forme." Poetique 27 (1976):257-81.
Keech, James. "The Survival of the Gothic Response." Studies in the Novel 6 (1974): 130-44.
Kristeva, Julia. "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...

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