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Title: Becoming-woman in Angela Carter’s the passion of new eve
Authors: Yong, Ade Wernmei
Keywords: Humanities::Language
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Brill
Source: Yong, A. W. (2020). Becoming-woman in Angela Carter’s the passion of new eve. D. C. Byrne & M. Schleicher (Eds.), Entanglements and Weavings: Diffractive Approaches to Gender and Love (pp. 122-138). Brill.
Abstract: This paper argues for the significance of Carter’s novel as a critique of violence as feminist strategy, but more importantly, for offering an alternative to the rhetoric of female revenge, violence and role-reversal which momentarily dominated feminist discourse in the 70’s. I attempt to engage Carter with new feminist thought, paying close attention to her creation of nomadic subjectivities in The Passion of New Eve (hereafter PNE). Carter’s novel is more than an imaginative appropriation of the old adage that one is not born a woman, but rather becomes a woman; it is a foray into the possibilities and potentials offered by “becoming-minority/ nomad/ molecular/ bodies-without-organs/ woman” (Braidotti 2001, 192), revealed in the loving relations taken up by her characters. Carter’s novel stands out in going beyond questions of desire and pleasure in its examination of loving relations, to suggest that equitable love can only come about when we are able to imagine gender differently. Without doing so, we remain trapped in old binaries (male/ female, active/ passive, aggressor/ victim), and our strategies limited to those of role-reversal. Unlike her contemporaries who seemed to either see violence as revenge strategy, or else as an inevitable reality supported by heterosexual institutions like marriage which women had to reject, Carter’s novel provides an alternative to violence in a “re-vision” of love. In doing so, Carter also suggests ways in which love might become a radical force in politics, sexual and otherwise. This, however, must involve a radical re-thinking of the subject, and subjectivity, from one that is fixed, unitary and fully known, to one that is never fully known, even to itself, existing always as potential, always becoming, revealed only in relation to others, but also as a relation to others.
ISBN: 978-90-04-44145-3
DOI: 10.1163/9789004441460_008
Schools: School of Humanities 
Rights: © 2021 Deirdre C. Byrne and Marianne Schleicher. Published by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands. All rights reserved. This book chapter is made available with permission of Deirdre C. Byrne and Marianne Schleicher.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Books & Book Chapters

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