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ERIC Number: ED337779
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Acts of Appropriation: Gender and Creativity in the Fiction of Carson McCullers.
Davidson, Phebe
Students and teachers need to discuss authorial intent to understand some literary works on their own terms--this is particularly true in the case of Carson McCullers. McCullers' works can be understood as having a rich foundation of authorial intent based on the writer's central experience, as a Southern woman, of gender. The central importance of female adolescence in her work cannot be overstated; it lies at the heart of her two best known novels, "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" and "A Member of the Wedding," and of many of her short stories. Appreciation of McCullers' work requires a perspective and set of concerns that were largely inaccessible to the working critic prior to the development of feminist criticism. A fair appraisal of earlier critics of her work involves the recognition of specific traditions within literary criticism. A fair appraisal of McCullers' work might also involve the admission that the creative woman must find ways to keep alive the adolescent with whom her adult consciousness begins. A useful response to student inquiry regarding authorial intent needs to acknowledge the possibility of readings that approach a text more nearly on its own terms than is sometimes thought to be allowed. (Seventeen notes are included; 25 references are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A