In this Book

Fictions of Authority
summary

Drawing on narratological and feminist theory, Susan Sniader Lanser explores patterns of narration in a wide range of novels by women of England, France, and the United States from the 1740s to the present. She sheds light on the history of "voice" as a narrative strategy and as a means of attaining social power. She considers the dynamics in personal voice in authors such as Mary Shelley, Charlotte Brontë, Zora Neale Hurston, and Jamaica Kincaid. In writers who attempt a "communal voice"—including Mary Wollstonecraft, Elizabeth Gaskell, Joan Chase, and Monique Wittig—she finds innovative strategies that challenge the conventions of Western narrative.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, In Memoriam
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction
  1. 1. Toward a Feminist Poetics of Narrative Voice
  2. pp. 3-24
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  1. 2. The Rise of the Novel, the Fall of the Voice: Juliette Catesby's Silencing
  2. pp. 25-42
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  1. Part I. Authorial Voice
  1. 3. In a Class by Herself: Self-Silencing in Riccoboni's Abeille
  2. pp. 45-60
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  1. 4. Sense and Reticence: Jane Austen's "Indirections"
  2. pp. 61-80
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  1. 5. Woman of Maxims: George Eliot and the Realist Imperative
  2. pp. 81-101
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  1. 6. Fictions of Absence: Feminism, Modernism, Virginia Woolf
  2. pp. 102-119
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  1. 7. Unspeakable Voice: Toni Morrison's Postmodern Authority
  2. pp. 120-138
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  1. Part II. Personal Voice
  1. 8. Dying for Publicity: Mistriss Henley's Self-Silencing
  2. pp. 141-154
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  1. 9. Romantic Voice: The Hero's Text
  2. pp. 155-175
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  1. 10. Jane Eyre's Legacy: The Powers and Dangers of Singularity
  2. pp. 176-193
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  1. 11. African-American Personal Voice: "Her Hungriest Lack"
  2. pp. 194-220
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  1. Part III. Communal Voice
  1. 12. Solidarity and Silence: Millenium Hall and The Wrongs of Woman
  2. pp. 223-238
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  1. 13. Single Resistances: The Communal "I" in Gaskell, Jewett, and Audoux
  2. pp. 239-254
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  1. 14. (Dif)fusions: Modern Fiction and Communal Form
  2. pp. 255-266
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  1. 15. Full Circle: Les Guérillères
  2. pp. 267-280
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 281-287
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