Issue Details: First known date: 2010 2010
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'‘Theorising the madwoman : fictocritical incursions - a performance’ is an intervention into the politics of naming and writing about women’s madness in literature. Using fictocritical tactics, this article stages a dialogue between the madwoman and the critic to make visible ‘the fiction of the disembodied scholar’ deployed in textual criticism. Sometimes speaking as the madwoman, sometimes as the feminist critic, I aim to destabilise the voice of the objective scholar, while continuing to lay some claim to it. Polyvocal in arrangement, discordant and offbeat in its strategies, and fictocritical in its tactics and stylistics, this article is an incursion into, rather than an interpretation of, women’s madness. Using a hybrid of fictional strategies, feminist scholarship, and personal experience, I allow the madwoman to interrupt, challenge and resist the interpretive project, by careening into it. Provisional, disorderly and subversive, fictocriticism offers a way of thinking through, rather than thinking about women’s madness. It seems particularly suited to an investigation of the madwoman in literature, as it dramatises the very disorder and instability the madwoman is said to embody.' (Author's abstract)


  • Epigraph: Eccentrics require new kinds of biographies, but they may be so 'dishevelled - in such dishabille (sic) from their long obscurity and fantastic behaviour' that they will be illegible. Illness requires a new kind of language - but it may be incomprehensible. (Lee 1997: 194)

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Last amended 15 Nov 2010
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