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Separate Development

Patricia Craig, 10 December 1987

The Female Form 
by Rosalind Miles.
Routledge, 227 pp., £15.95, July 1987, 0 7102 1008 6
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Feminism and Poetry 
by Jan Montefiore.
Pandora, 210 pp., £12.95, May 1987, 0 86358 162 5
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Nostalgia and Sexual Difference 
by Janice Doane and Devon Hodges.
Methuen, 169 pp., £20, June 1987, 9780416015317
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Reading Woman 
by Mary Jacobus.
Methuen, 316 pp., £8.95, November 1987, 0 416 92460 3
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The New Feminist Criticism 
edited by Elaine Showalter.
Virago, 403 pp., £11.95, March 1986, 0 86068 722 8
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Reviewing the Reviews 
Journeyman, 104 pp., £4.50, June 1987, 1 85172 007 3Show More
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... What we don’t mean, surely, is a special way with words. ‘If anatomy is not destiny,’ says Mary Jacobus in her rigorous, scholarly collection of essays, Reading Woman, ‘still less can it be language.’ A woman’s writing is always feminine, and it isn’t necessary to make anything of this. A man’s is always masculine, for that matter. The ...

Learning to speak

Gay Clifford, 21 February 1980

Gya/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism 
by Mary Daly.
Women’s Press, 485 pp., £8.95, November 1980, 0 7043 2829 1
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The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the 19th Century 
by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar.
Yale, 719 pp., £15.75, October 1980, 0 300 02286 7
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Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes 
by Margaret Dickie Uroff.
Illinois, 235 pp., £6.95, November 1980, 0 252 00734 4
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Women Writing and Writing about Women 
edited by Mary Jacobus.
Croom Helm, 201 pp., £9.50, October 1980, 0 85664 745 4
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... books, though it is the kind of strain that implies energy, not exhausted repression or defeat. Mary Daly is a theologian trained at Fribourg. Her two earlier books, The Church and the Second Sex and Beyond God the father, analysed the misogynist basis of Christianity and its influence on western thinking. In the latter, she suggested that to be human is ...

Textual Harassment

Nicolas Tredell, 7 November 1991

Textermination 
by Christine Brooke-Rose.
Carcanet, 182 pp., £12.95, October 1991, 0 85635 952 1
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The Women’s Hour 
by David Caute.
Paladin, 272 pp., £14.99, September 1991, 0 586 09142 4
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Look twice 
by John Fuller.
Chatto, 255 pp., £13.99, October 1991, 0 7011 3761 4
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... the barbarians threatening the traditional university, and how such fiction subjects them to what Mary Jacobus ‘has called, felicitously, textual harassment’. Feminism has given new fuel to the sense of threat, and the response, not only in male writers, has been to resort to stereotypes. Caute’s novel echoes this pattern. It seeks to pre-empt such ...

My Feet Are Cut Off

Barbara Newman: Lives of the Saints, 3 December 2009

Gilte Legende Vol. I 
edited by Richard Hamer and Vida Russell.
Early English Text Society (Oxford), 496 pp., £65, November 2006, 0 19 920577 9
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Gilte Legende Vol. II 
edited by Richard Hamer and Vida Russell.
Early English Text Society (Oxford), 1036 pp., £65, August 2007, 978 0 19 923439 4
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... exemplars, must have been second only to the Bible in popularity. Compiled by the Dominican Jacobus de Voragine around 1260, it became a standard text on every preacher’s bookshelf and was translated into every vernacular. Its first English version, the Gilte Legende – produced by ‘a sinful wretch’ in 1438 from a French intermediary – enjoyed ...

Textual Harassment

Claude Rawson, 5 April 1984

The World, the Text and the Critic 
by Edward Said.
Faber, 327 pp., £15, February 1984, 0 571 13264 2
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The Deconstructive Turn: Essays in the Rhetoric of Philosophy 
by Christopher Norris.
Methuen, 201 pp., £4.95, December 1983, 0 416 36140 4
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The New Pelican Guide to English Literature. Vol. VIII: The Present 
edited by Boris Ford.
Penguin, 619 pp., £3.50, October 1983, 0 14 022271 5
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... that it sanitises ‘sex’ in a way which promotes the conditions for an odd convergence with the Mary Whitehouse type of morality, a convergence which is beginning to assume a disquieting character as some radical feminist groups press for the banning of books they consider obscene. Large-scale revisions of linguistic usage under accelerated pressures for ...

Good enough for Jesus

Charlotte Brewer, 25 January 1990

The State of the Language: 1990 Edition 
edited by Christopher Ricks and Leonard Michaels.
Faber, 531 pp., £17.50, January 1990, 9780571141821
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Clichés and Coinages 
by Walter Redfern.
Blackwell, 305 pp., £17.50, October 1989, 0 631 15691 7
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Rhetoric: The Wit of Persuasion 
by Walter Nash.
Blackwell, 241 pp., £25, October 1989, 0 631 16754 4
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... in the gaps, the absences, the unsayable or unrepresentable of discourse and representation’ (Mary Jacobus), a possible or indeed sensible strategy? Or is it a ‘kind of programmatic writing’ which ‘consigns women and their language, all over again (as they have been traditionally consigned by inspired “phallocentric” writers such as ...

‘A Naughty House’

Charles Nicholl: Shakespeare’s Landlord, 24 June 2010

... Marie), and in that year assisted in the engagement, or ‘troth-plighting’, of their daughter Mary to one of their apprentices, Stephen Belott. Some years later Belott sued Mountjoy for an unpaid dowry of £60, and Shakespeare was among those called to give evidence at the Court of Requests in Westminster. He did so on 11 May 1612, though – somewhat ...

That Impostor Known as the Buddha

Eliot Weinberger: Incarnations of the Buddha, 10 September 2014

From Stone to Flesh: A Short History of the Buddha 
by Donald S. Lopez Jr.
Chicago, 289 pp., £18, April 2013, 978 0 226 49320 6
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In Search of the Christian Buddha: How an Asian Sage Became a Medieval Saint 
by Donald S. Lopez Jr and Peggy McCracken.
Norton, 262 pp., £17.99, May 2014, 978 0 393 08915 8
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... might be filled with colourful and thrilling, terrifying or sentimental images of Jesus and Mary and the saints, but these were not, they explained, objects of worship: they served only as didactic tools for the illiterate. Not idols for whom prayers were uttered and candles lit, they were edifying comic books. When those who venerated the image of a ...

Wordsworth’s Crisis

E.P. Thompson, 8 December 1988

Wordsworth and Coleridge: The Radical Years 
by Nicholas Roe.
Oxford, 306 pp., £27.50, March 1988, 0 19 812868 1
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... of work already done: by Gill on ‘Salisbury Plain’, by Butler on ‘The Ruined Cottage’, by Jacobus, Jonathan Wordsworth and others. Elsewhere he is less successful. His history is more literary-biographical than intellectual, and he passes by without comment significant work in intellectual history. James Chandler’s Wordsworth’s Second Nature ...

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