Angela Carter’s Excessive Stagings of the Canon: Psychoanalytic Closets, Hermaphroditic Dreams, and Jacobean Westerns

Article in Edited Volumes
(Book chapter)


Publication Details

Author(s): Gruß S
Editor(s): Andermahr Sonya, Phillips Lawrence
Title edited volumes: Angela Carter: New Critical Readings
Publisher: Continuum
Publishing place: London
Publication year: 2012
Pages range: 44-55
Language: English


Abstract


Angela Carter has often been depicted as a subversive critic of stereotypical notions of gender, but she was also an untiring demythologiser of the (male) Western canon and its historical and theoretical contexts. Focusing on "The Cabinet of Edgar Allan Poe", "Overture and Incidental Music for A Midsummer Night's Dream", and "John Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore", this article discusses how Carter both stages and appropriates 'the canon' in these texts. "The Cabinet of Edgar Allan Poe" is a recreation of Poe's childhood (and an excavation of his mother) in explicitly Oedipal terms; with a text drenched in psychoanalytic catchphrases, Carter not merely questions Poe, but also deconstructs the psychoanalytic discourse that has predominated readings of Poe's work for some time. "Overture and Incidental Music" gives a voice to 'Golden Herm', a marginalized figure in Shakespeare's original text (as post-colonial critics have repeatedly emphasised). At the same time, Carter also humorously writes against the way in which Shakespeare was canonised and bowdlerized by the Victorians by making Herm and the fairies playfully transgressive in their sexuality. Finally, "John Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore" grafts the plot of the Jacobean play onto a fictitious screenplay for a film by the American director John Ford and thus transfers the revenge tragedy to what is arguably its 20th-century equivalent – the Western. It is through these excessive and humorous (re)stagings of canonised authors, texts, and contexts that Carter explores and explodes the canon.



FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Gruß, Susanne Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Anglistik, insbesondere Literaturwissenschaft


How to cite

APA:
Gruß, S. (2012). Angela Carter’s Excessive Stagings of the Canon: Psychoanalytic Closets, Hermaphroditic Dreams, and Jacobean Westerns. In Andermahr Sonya, Phillips Lawrence (Eds.), Angela Carter: New Critical Readings (pp. 44-55). London: Continuum.

MLA:
Gruß, Susanne. "Angela Carter’s Excessive Stagings of the Canon: Psychoanalytic Closets, Hermaphroditic Dreams, and Jacobean Westerns." Angela Carter: New Critical Readings Ed. Andermahr Sonya, Phillips Lawrence, London: Continuum, 2012. 44-55.

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Last updated on 2018-19-04 at 02:32