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Disciplining Desire and the Problems of Authorship in Denis Diderot's The Nun and Mary Wollstonecraft's Maria: Or, the Wrongs of Woman

Disciplining Desire and the Problems of Authorship in Denis Diderot's The Nun and Mary... Sandra SokowSki Disciplining Desire and the Problems of Authorship in Denis Diderot’s e Th Nun and Mary Wollstonecraft’s Maria: Or, the Wrongs of Woman In both experimental texts that bridge the epistolary and realist novelistic tradi- tions, Denis Diderot in e Th Nun , and Mary Wollstonecraft in Maria: Or, the Wrongs of Woman, construct fictional female characters, imprisoned because of the preju- dices against their sex, who attempt to use their writing as a means to li1b eration. These two novels pose important questions regarding the assumptions at this time about women’s writing: what it means for one to write her experience, and how her readers may misinterpret (either willfully or not) her s repres elf- en tation. The instability of narratives modes used by each writer, and the instability of each au- thor’s narrative voice, is evidence of their tenuous foothold in representing them- selves through writing. This demonstrates the balancing act the female writer must perform as she struggles to position herself within a language governed through the symbolic order of the patriarchy. Both fictional female writers struggle to free themselves from the preconceived notions around their femininity, and the women’s writing in both novels is http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

Disciplining Desire and the Problems of Authorship in Denis Diderot's The Nun and Mary Wollstonecraft's Maria: Or, the Wrongs of Woman

The Comparatist , Volume 45 – Nov 11, 2021

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Copyright © Society for Comparative Literature and the Arts
ISSN
1559-0887

Abstract

Sandra SokowSki Disciplining Desire and the Problems of Authorship in Denis Diderot’s e Th Nun and Mary Wollstonecraft’s Maria: Or, the Wrongs of Woman In both experimental texts that bridge the epistolary and realist novelistic tradi- tions, Denis Diderot in e Th Nun , and Mary Wollstonecraft in Maria: Or, the Wrongs of Woman, construct fictional female characters, imprisoned because of the preju- dices against their sex, who attempt to use their writing as a means to li1b eration. These two novels pose important questions regarding the assumptions at this time about women’s writing: what it means for one to write her experience, and how her readers may misinterpret (either willfully or not) her s repres elf- en tation. The instability of narratives modes used by each writer, and the instability of each au- thor’s narrative voice, is evidence of their tenuous foothold in representing them- selves through writing. This demonstrates the balancing act the female writer must perform as she struggles to position herself within a language governed through the symbolic order of the patriarchy. Both fictional female writers struggle to free themselves from the preconceived notions around their femininity, and the women’s writing in both novels is

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 11, 2021

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