Symbol and Symptom

The „Femme Fatale“ in English Poetry of the 19th Century and Feminist Criticism

1. Edition, 2007
233 Pages

ISBN: 978-3-8253-5344-5
Product: Book
Edition: Hardcover
Subject: Anglistik/Amerikanistik
Series: Anglistische Forschungen, Volume No.: 379
Available: 06.07.2007

Keywords: Literatur, Literaturtheorie, Englisch, Feminismus, Geschichte 1800-1900, Keats, John, Shelley, Percy, Browning, Robert, Femme Fatale, Viktorianismus, Romane, englische, Englischer Roman, Victorian Studies

This study analyses the literary motif of the 'femme fatale' in selected nineteenth-century English poems from Romanticism and the Victorian Age to the fin de siècle. As a contribution to the third wave of feminist literary criticism, it interrogates feminist findings about this image of femininity. The re-readings undertaken in each chapter challenge second-wave feminist critical practices of politicising dualistic social constructions of female sexuality, such as marginalisation, objectification and a silencing of the female voice as well as phallocentrism, sexist stereotyping and exploitative male voyeurism. In key poems of that era, my study problematises feminist conclusions about poetic misogyny and authorial chauvinism which result from those programmatic parameters. It can be shown that the texts not only question stultifying constructions of femininity but also of masculinity.

Andrew Parkin in: Anglistik, 20.2 (2009), 193ff

in: Reference and Research Book News, Vol. 23, No. 3 (Aug 2008), 309