And The Oscar Goes To...

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From "A Map for Rereading: Or, Gender and the Interpretation of Literary Texts" by Annette Kolodny in Keesey's Contexts for Criticism:

"Charlotte Perkins Gilman's initial difficulty in seeing 'The Yellow Wallpaper' into print repeated the problem, albeit in a somewhat different context: for her story located itself not as any deviation from a previous tradition of women's fiction but, instead, as a continuation of a genre popularized by Poe" (197).

So...to be honest,  I'm watching the Oscars.  So if something doesn't quite add up, that's why.  Anyway, when I saw that Kolodny likened Gilman's story to Poe's stories I was shocked!  I couldn't believe that I didn't think of this one myself and yet was like, "...huh, I guess so."  Poe is one of my favorite authors...EVER!  If Poe were at the Oscars, he would win Best Story (my equivalent to Best Picture).  Gilman does the same thing with her speaker that Poe does with his narrators.  It is interesting to think of Gilman as an extension of Poe, only from a woman's perspective.  I think that the inability to truly acknowledge women in the literary canon today still exists.  I think the fact that I never thought of Gilman's piece as very similar to Poe's works shows the fact that women and men are often not seen as equivalents in literature.  I can honestly say that in high school, I can only remember one novel we were required to read by a woman (ok, two, but Ethan Frome doesn't count and would win my Oscar for Worst Story, if they were to give awards for such things) and that would be To Kill a Mockingbird.  It is a shame that that is the only novel I can recall.  Of course, there were sappy, symbolic poems by Emily Dickinson, but is that all there really is? 

What woman's novels/works did you read in high school?  Do you think that there should be more books by women in the canon? 

Back to the course page.  

 

1 Comments

Greta Carroll said:

Angela, the comparison didn’t surprise me at all. Actually, I commented on Mara’s blog several weeks ago that I thought the styles were similar. When I read Kolodny’s comment that said the same thing, I wrote in the margin of my book, “I told you so!” lol. As for books that I read in High School by women, let’s see here. I read A Raisin in the Sun, To Kill a Mockingbird, Jane Eyre, Their Eyes Were Watching God, In the Time of the Butterflies, and various female poets. As for the necessity of more females being in the cannon, I suppose that depends on what cannon you’re talking about. Probably in general yes, but there is no official list of books in the cannon, so to some degree I think that depends on who is defining it.

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