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Lecture

ENGC54H3 Lecture Notes - Mary Seton, None Of The Above, T. S. Eliot


Department
English
Course Code
ENGC54H3
Professor
Natalie Rose

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Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own (1929)
Materialist analysis of gender
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A Room of One's Own One of the first major example of feminist critique
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Art cannot be separated from context
"These webs are not spun in mid-air by incorporeal creatures, but are the work of suffering human
beings, and are attached to grossly material things, like health and money and the houses we live in"
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Should also look at class, ethnicity, religion, etc.
We should think of gender as something that is constructed in culture and text
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She was published in 1929
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A lecturer in Cambridge in 1928
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Wasn't just scraping by, she was fairly well off
Made about $60,000 a year
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Economic equality was more important to her than political equality, in order to make a living
Discusses the material quality/ surroundings
She makes the point that it was much easier for her aunt bequeath this money to her each year, rather
than have the right to vote
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This model of genius made out that women were unfit to write and incapable to producing writing
Thought of the kinds of conditions needed in order to write
Her focus was on real people about real things
One tended to write in the Lake district
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You didn't exist, everything went to the men
Points out that up until 1882 married women had no legal existence and had no property
Couldn't have a proper living if you were having 13 babies, confined
Gets at the feminization of poverty
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What stopped women from writing was the fact that society told them they were unfit and
incapable
Discusses the social constructs that women have to deal with
Moves from the social to the psychological
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These "fictional" women are based on real women
Very early avowal of fiction
Not just about women and fiction
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"fiction here is likely to contain more use than fact. Therefore I propose, making use of all the liberties
and licenses of a novelist, to tell you the story of the two days that preceded my coming here - how,
bowed down by the weight of the subject which you have laid upon my shoulders, I pondered it, and
made it work in and out of my daily life. I need not say that what
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"here then was I (call me Mary Beton, Mary Seton, Mary Carmichael or by any name you please - it is
not a matter of any importance) sitting on the banks of a river… "
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Speaking on behalf of all women
Assumption of identification
You will always come back to the same idea when it comes to women
Generalizing
Depersonalized "I"
Characterized, fictional "I" - not Virginia Woolf
Come from and theorize from experience
Literally bring in multiple versions of this woman
Writing a manifesto for all women
Effect/ implications of fictional and vague "I"?
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Anonymity is something important to women, they are less concerned with popularity and fame the
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Lecture 2 - 14/09
Thursday, September 15, 2011
10:27 AM
C. de Souza ENGB51H3 Page 1
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