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n Gender Questions - From image to sign : queering the 'lesbian' in Jeanette Winterson's academic reception

Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2309-9704
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Abstract

Some literary works are particularly open to and 'invite' (Belsey 2005, p. 163) lesbian and queer interpretations. Jeanette Winterson's work has proved particularly fertile for these interpretations, even as it has initiated a reappraisal of the categories of lesbian identity and fiction. The reception that has greeted Winterson's work illustrates how debates on lesbian identity have shifted from those which are grounded in political considerations to those which are textually dispersed and function as a sign. However, this queering of lesbian meaning has not led to the annihilation of its political stance. Winterson's postmodern-lesbian and queer interpretations draw attention to the political implications of gender performance and transcendence even as they advocate a fluid lesbian identity. Thus, both critics who consider lesbian fiction to engage in the complexities of lesbian existence and critics who search in the text for a 'lesbian sensitivity' that queers the heterosexual matrix share a strong commitment to political reading and a belief in the subversive power of the lesbian text.

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/content/genderq/2/1/EJC167631
2014-01-01
2016-12-10

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