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By Mary Eagleton

If the writer is "dead," if feminism is "post-," why does the determine of the lady writer retain showing as a primary personality in modern fiction? Drawing on a various diversity of up to date authors--including Atwood, Byatt, Brookner, Coetzee, Lurie, Le Guin, Michele Roberts, Shields, Spark, Weldon, Walker--this examine explores the complexity and carrying on with fascination of this determine.

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Here is one of his many explanations of the term from On Television and Journalism: A field is a structured social space, a field of forces, a force field. It contains people who dominate and others who are dominated. Constant, permanent relationships of inequality operate inside this space, which at the same time becomes a space in which the various actors struggle for the transformation or preservation of the field. All the individuals in this universe bring to the competition all the (relative) power at their disposal.

In the eyes of Dee, Robin and Debbie, uneducated, unsophisticated, working-class women, such as Mama, Maggie and Mrs Brown, could not be artists since they lack that essential quality, ‘taste’. No follower of the ‘high’ aesthetic could see Dee’s taste as ‘pure’ since it is far too compromised by a deep desire for self-advancement. Yet, from her own perspective, Dee has no doubt as to the righteousness of her judgement on the wilful behaviour of Mama and Maggie. Similarly, Robin vehemently complains of Mrs Brown’s ‘filth’ (58), her lack of capacity for distinguishing between aesthetically important and unimportant objects, her ignorance of form and colour.

25 The novel also raises Miller’s question about the political importance of maintaining ‘the woman author’ as an identifiable figure. Considering authorship from Offred’s perspective suggests that the identity of the author is relevant and that the loss of a female signature is a loss of power for women; it reminds us of the significance of the woman author as a material presence and not only, à la Foucault – or Sfax – as an impersonalised function; it indicates that the female author’s relation to authority is structurally different from the male’s and that the controlling authorial position, on which Barthes and Foucault focus, has rarely been the position of the woman author.

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