The Image of Law in Stephen R. Donaldson’s “Reave the Just”: Agency, Blame, and Sexual Assault
AuthorWise, Dennis Wilson
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD
CitationDennis Wilson Wise (2020) The Image of Law in Stephen R. Donaldson’s “Reave the Just”: Agency, Blame, and Sexual Assault, Law & Literature, DOI: 10.1080/1535685X.2020.1734314
JournalLAW & LITERATURE
Rights© 2020 by The Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University. All rights reserved.
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AbstractStephen R. Donaldson is a major modern writer of speculative fiction for whom the issue of sexed violence, including rape, plays an important role. This article examines "Reave the Just," the keynote story in his award-winning collection Reave the Just and Other Tales, as a gateway into how Donaldson examines sexed violence in his long-form fiction. While the story reflects a strong feminist commitment to gender equality and individual agency, I argue that Donaldson's liberal individualist conception of the law, which retains wide contemporary cultural and juridical support, has also become problematized through recent radical and postmodern feminist discussions on victim blaming. After assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the liberal position articulated by "Reave," I suggest that Donaldson's story helps revive a link between agency and victimization-first advanced by second wave feminists-that, by the time of the story's composition in the 1990s, had generally lost feminist support.
Note18 month embargo; published online: 10 March 2020
VersionFinal accepted manuscript