Bad Style: Feminism and the Ethics of Reading in 20th and 21st century Global Anglophone Literature

Full Metadata

Overview

Title
Bad Style: Feminism and the Ethics of Reading in 20th and 21st century Global Anglophone Literature
Contributors
Tan, Jerrine Ee-Wen (creator)
Kim, Daniel (Advisor)
Burrows, Stuart (Reader)
Anderson, Amanda (Reader)
Brown University. Department of English (sponsor)
Doi
10.26300/26xq-5369
Copyright Date
2019
Abstract
Against readings of certain World Literature writers like Kazuo Ishiguro and Vladimir Nabokov that too quickly aestheticize them in order to privilege a universality of style, my dissertation argues that their works should be seen as articulating a feminist cosmopolitanism that politicizes identity. In addition to Nabokov's Lolita and Ishiguro's A Pale View of Hills, I examine Chang-Rae Lee's A Gesture Life, and Ruth Ozeki's The Tale for the Time Being in ways that highlight the historical and political aspects of these works by drawing attention to the figures of female suffering who lie at their center. The power of these novels lies in their ability to make this pain into an allegory for other forms of historical violence while maintaining a feminist focus on the issue of misogyny. In so doing, these works leverage feminist critique in order to tackle such issues as xenophobia, war, slavery, and ecological collapse. To understand the complex ethical engagements of these works, I contend, it is necessary not only to recognize how they politicize the identities of suffering female characters but also to take seriously how the personal histories of writers also connects them to the violent histories and geographies in which their novels are set-to unpack how their politics draw in complex ways from their identities. In so doing, I push against conventional approaches to World Literature that prize an aesthetic cosmopolitanism through an attention to style and have tended to bracket such overtly political concerns and have either treated the identities of authors in reductive ways or ignored them altogether.
Keywords
Literature
Feminism and literature
Contemporary Literature
Notes
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Brown University, 2019
Extent
ix, 214 p.

Citation

Tan, Jerrine Ee-Wen, "Bad Style: Feminism and the Ethics of Reading in 20th and 21st century Global Anglophone Literature" (2019). English Theses and Dissertations. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library. https://doi.org/10.26300/26xq-5369

Relations

Collection: