Synopses & Reviews
How can a girl become a woman today -- an ethical woman and a member of society -- without being either a victim or a manipulator? Reflecting on this question, Juliet Flower MacCannell takes us for the first time beyond the flawed models for "becoming woman" left to us y Freud and Sade.
Having previously explored the logic of feminine sexuality, MacCannell sets out in the Hysteric's Guide to locate an ethics of the feminine. She does this by examining instances of the (often hysterical) feminine confrontation with (usually perverse) masculine subjects, confrontations that represent crucial scenes in the constitution of female sexuality. Her study takes us into Sadean ethics and the prescriptions of Freudian psychoanalysis; post-Enlightenment colonialism; racism during and after World War I; genocidal fascism in World War II; and the slowing of time and generation during the Cold War.
MacCannell treats contemporary art, fiction, and theory, considering works by Arendt, Angelou, Rousseau, Kant, Stendhal, Kleist, Hitchcock, Atwood, Klein, Chodorow, Adorno, and Duras. Ultimately, this book reasserts "becoming woman" as an issue that has, until now, been denied for want of a feminine ethic relevant to contemporary life.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 267-311) and index.