By Joyce W. Warren, Margaret Dickie
Beyond the focal point of feminist demanding situations to American literary periodization, this quantity additionally reports problems with a necessity for literary reforms contemplating transformations in race, ethnicity, category, and sexuality. The essays are worthy and informative as person severe stories of particular writers and their works. Challenging Boundaries provides clever, unique, well-written, and sensible arguments in aid of long-awaited adjustments in American literary scholarship and is a milestone of feminist literary study.
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Additional resources for Challenging Boundaries: Gender and Periodization
WOMEN'S MASTERPIECES Josephine Donovan Did women have a Renaissance? " For women, she concluded, "There was no renaissance . . —at least, not during the Renaissance/'l Kelly's point was that women's and men's cultural histories are different. What may have been a period of growth and efflorescence for one may not have been so for the other. Similarly, ethnic and racial groups and classes have had differing histories. Although women may not have fully participated in the Renaissance in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Italy, they have had renaissances of their own.
25 All of these reasons derive from a fear that women's writing threatens hegemonic structures. With respect to realism in particular, there is an additional reason: the woman's view of reality was deemed unrealistic because it was different from the patriarchal view. Women could not write realism, the male writers insisted, because, as Henry James said, "half of life was a closed book to women" or as Frank Norris put it, women were "shut away from . . "26 The phallocentric definition of "real life" precluded women from being realists.
And instead of progressing to a happy conclusion, her narrative chronicles one setback after another until the final one occurs offstage: Wilsons stated purpose in writing her novel was to earn money to support her son, but a letter in the appendix tells us that Wilsons son died soon after the novel was published. As a realistic novel, Our Nig not only undercuts traditional myths and stereotypes; it also provides realistic detail and characterization. The language is spare and concise, and the characters speak in dialect.