The sealed room : Lou Andreas-Salomé and Anaïs Nin : a study in the genesis of fiction
Funk, Gisela (1988) The sealed room : Lou Andreas-Salomé and Anaïs Nin : a study in the genesis of fiction. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1408924~S1
This study explores the relationship between female identity
formation within patriarchal society and women's literary
The 'Introduction' serves to highlight Lou Andreas-Salomé's
and Anaïs Nin's acute awareness of the tradional conflict
between the role of artist and the role of woman. With both
writers, their efforts to come to terms with their own creative
powers involve tentative questions about the function of
writing itself, which they both experience as a vital need.
Part One of the study, therefore, addresses itself to reflecting
the role of language as a basic means of socialization, which
produces genderized subjects. This is related to the power of
language to enable the construction of identity. Patriarchal
culture produces woman as man's complementary Other. Questions
of female identity and desire thus gain particular importance
for the writer who strives to constitute her identity as
The first two chapters of Part Two focus on the problems that
confront the women who, within the process of writing assume
creative powers that are traditionally conceived as male prerogatives.
The internalized image of woman as mother operates
as a powerful impediment to creative self-assertion. An equally
fundamental obstacle in the writer's quest for literary authority
are the problematic links each writer establishes between
a masculinized creator God, paternal authority and cultural
discourse. Transcending their culturally induced duality between
woman and creator Lou Andreas-Salomé and Anaïs Nin develop
opposed literary strategies. Yet both resort to non-threatening
female stereotypes that are able to accommodate their anxiety of
authorship. Chapters III and IV revolve around the experience
of writing itself in terms of a re-construction of inherited
meanings and the woman's problem of creating her own meanings.
Chapter V concentrates on the gaps that structure either
writer's discourse and contribute to making it impossible
to establish the woman as subject of desire.
Chapter VI explores the ways in which internalized concepts
of femininity work to limit the freedom of the imagination,
reduce the field of vision and result in projecting transgressive
female desires in disguised or displaced form.
The 'Conclusion' stresses the inadequacy of existing
controversial attitudes to both writers and highlights
significant differences between the fiction of Lou Andreas-Salomé and Anaïs Nin.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||P Language and Literature > PS American literature
P Language and Literature > PT Germanic literature
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Andreas-Salomé, Lou, 1861-1937 -- Criticism and interpretation, Nin, Anaïs, 1903-1977 -- Criticism and interpretation, Women -- Identity, Females in literature|
|Official Date:||May 1988|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies|
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