Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2008


Much of contemporary women’s writing attempts to offer significant tactics for the reclamation of women’s bodies with the aim of mapping out new territories of female autonomy. The British author Angela Carter (1940-1992) demonstrates in the majority of her writings an intensive concern with how embodied sites of power are often created or reinforced through various mythological narratives or frameworks. More specifically, Carter interrogates the extent to which the privileging or reappropriation of the maternal body as a source of feminine power poses itself as a problematic terrain in various feminist discourses. In contrast to the majority of Carter’s earlier texts, which tend to remain focused on contesting patriarchal myths of femininity, in Heroes and Villains (1969) and The Passion of New Eve (1977), the author explicitly parodies matriarchal myths in order to examine how these do not necessarily guarantee a different symbolic order but often end up reiterating phallocentric representations of women’s bodies. Although these texts clearly rely on deconstructive tactics, unravelling the ‘blind spots’ that are inherently located in any ideological framework, Carter also begins to suggest possibilities for constructing a specifically feminine discourse of subjectivity, one that is located ‘elsewhere’ or outside of phallocentric parameters.


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