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ERIC Number: EJ1108156
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1358-684X
Violence, Silence and Storytelling: The Dilemma of Matricide in Women's Memoirs
Harrison, Mary J.
Changing English: Studies in Culture and Education, v20 n3 p306-316 2013
In this paper I explore how women's thinking subjectivity is structured by a need to negotiate between identifying with and repudiating our mothers. Oriented by Melanie Klein's theory of matricide which posits that an infant's capacity to think for herself originates in her need to separate from her mother, I consider the implications of this structure for women's gendered experiences of intellectualism. To examine how this dilemma of matricide animates women's thinking lives I read Helen M. Buss's criticism of Carolyn Kay Steedman's memoir "Landscape for a Good Woman." I argue that Buss's criticism of Steedman is symptomatic of her ambivalent relation to the problem of identification and repudiation that drives her own intellectual labour. I then turn to a scene in Buss's memoir, "Memoirs from Away," to examine how the matricidal dilemma resonates through her work of reading other women's memoirs and of writing her own.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A