In this major new work one of today’s foremost feminist critics considers the relations between women, literary theory and psychoanalysis. Reflecting current concerns in Anglo-American and French feminist writing, Reading Woman addresses both the question of feminist reading and the ways in which ‘woman’ can be read as a figure for sexual difference. The book engages the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, Alice James, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Virginia Woolf. It also examines such central Freudian texts as ‘Gradiva’, ‘The Taboo of Virginity’, ‘Dora’, and the ‘Anna O.’ Case; and even considers Hollywood’s Bride of Frankenstein along with other representations of sexual difference in Western art. Besides Freud, Jacobus draws on the writing of French feminists – Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva and Sarah Kofman – as well as the work of Jacques Lacan and his commentators.
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