AuthorBrennan, Karen Morley.
AdvisorHogle, Jerrold E.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIn the sense that women have been hystericized by male theories about femininity, Freudian psychoanalysis has functioned as an institution which seeks women's silence. Hysteria is the dis-ease of this silence; that is to say, it is a set of eloquent symptoms--a "writing" on the body--which signify women's oppression/repression. It is within this apparent contradiction that feminine representation takes place. The figure for such representation is, therefore, hysteria: working "in the gaps," "between the lines," telling the story of patriarchy only to disrupt this story, Frida Kahlo, Anais Nin, and Kathy Acker create feminine fictions. Kahlo's autobiographical painting is inextricable from her obsession with husband Diego Rivera, just as Nin's erotica is inextricable from her relationship with Henry Miller. Likewise, Acker's postmodern production is entangled in the androcentric agenda which attempts to recuperate patriarchy by appropriating the figure of Woman. The "engine" of transference/counter-transference becomes the most viable description of the hysterical process these women employ to represent themselves. The epilogue contains original fictions which extend comment on both hysteria and feminine representation.