Underpinned by an interpretative grid where the analytic categories of gender and race are interwoven, the paper contends that Doris Lessing’s first novel, The Grass Is Singing (1950), unveils and dismantles culturally-constructed inscriptions of the white female body as elaborated within the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century British colonial discourses and largely reproduced at folk level. Exploring Lessing’s robust delineation of the entanglements of gendered sexuality and race-biased social constraints as active in the colonial context, the paper also suggests that the novel problematizes and recasts traditional British identity configurations from an authorial perspective which posits itself as internal to the nation. Moreover, in focusing on the contradictory nature of white colonial women’s social positioning, the novel questions the Identity/Otherness binary which buttressed the colonial paradigm and anticipates a number of theoretical issues that would come to prominence within Cultural, Gender and (Post-)colonial studies nearly three decades later.

Gendusa, E.M.E. (2012). The White Woman’s Haunted Body in Doris Lessing’s The Grass Is Singing. In L. Di Michele (a cura di), Regenerating Community, Territory, Voices. Memory and Vision (pp. 159-167). Napoli : Liguori.

The White Woman’s Haunted Body in Doris Lessing’s The Grass Is Singing

Gendusa, Enza Maria Ester
2012

Abstract

Underpinned by an interpretative grid where the analytic categories of gender and race are interwoven, the paper contends that Doris Lessing’s first novel, The Grass Is Singing (1950), unveils and dismantles culturally-constructed inscriptions of the white female body as elaborated within the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century British colonial discourses and largely reproduced at folk level. Exploring Lessing’s robust delineation of the entanglements of gendered sexuality and race-biased social constraints as active in the colonial context, the paper also suggests that the novel problematizes and recasts traditional British identity configurations from an authorial perspective which posits itself as internal to the nation. Moreover, in focusing on the contradictory nature of white colonial women’s social positioning, the novel questions the Identity/Otherness binary which buttressed the colonial paradigm and anticipates a number of theoretical issues that would come to prominence within Cultural, Gender and (Post-)colonial studies nearly three decades later.
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978-88-207-5724-3
978-88-207-5725-0
Gendusa, E.M.E. (2012). The White Woman’s Haunted Body in Doris Lessing’s The Grass Is Singing. In L. Di Michele (a cura di), Regenerating Community, Territory, Voices. Memory and Vision (pp. 159-167). Napoli : Liguori.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/438728
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