By Virginia Woolf
WITH AN advent, PLUS vast NOTES AND REFERENCES by means of HERMIONE LEE
This quantity combines books which have been one of the maximum contributions to feminist literature this century. jointly they shape an excellent assault on sexual inequality. A Room of One's personal, first released in 1929, is a witty, urbane and persuasive argument opposed to the highbrow subjection of girls, quite ladies writers. The sequel, 3 Guineas, is a passionate polemic which attracts a startling comparability among the tyrannous hypocrisy of the Victorian patriarchal method and the evils of fascism.
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Additional resources for A Room of One's Own and Three Guineas
Kristeva features in the very first issue of Signs with an article ‘On the Women of China’ (1975), an extract from her Des Chinoises (1974). 13. My analysis of feminism’s engagement with Kristeva occupies my discussion in Chapters 1 to 3. Given the relative recent publication of the texts under discussion in Chapters 4 and 5, there is as yet not much feminist material available. indd 20 01/03/2011 16:29 1 Kristeva and Feminism: A Critical Encounter I think feminists should have . . only the most minimal truck with Julia Kristeva.
Her persistent attention to body matters offers a radical challenge to the dualistic Cartesian mind–body hierarchy and a rejection of the ‘somatophobia’ of Western philosophy (see Spelman 1982), that disembodied understanding of human experience that, furthermore, associates women with the body and men with the mind or reason, and that disqualifies and abjects women from the realm of the properly human. indd 43 01/03/2011 16:29 Julia Kristeva and Feminist Thought has at times been criticised for failing to give due recognition to the corporeal implications of sexual difference (see Boulous Walker 1998), a more generous interpretation may highlight how Kristevan corporeality cuts across sexual difference.
In this respect, and notwithstanding the attention she gives to women’s bodies, it would also be misleading to reduce her account to a theory of women’s bodies. Rather, Kristevan embodiment, couched in a psychoanalytic narrative that is based upon the Oedipal family drama, is played out along an axis of sexual difference, where embodied masculinity and femininity develop differently, constituted as a result of the workings of the drives, the acquisition of language, and the intervention of the phallus (see also Chapter 2).