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Lecture 7

ENG305 Lecture 7

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Jennifer Harris

Fantomina  How one becomes someone  Masquerade and reality converge  Sever identity from body  Start from beginning and become someone else  Guy tires of her, she takes on new identity/disguise  Negotiating sexual future rather than live in despair of past by planning  Repeating first time with Beauplasir… repeat inimitable  First time characterized by force, desire of man  Ambiguous if real sexual assault or gave in because naïve… choice or rape?  One-sided victory… ruin  She didn’t intend it but Beauplasir doesn’t know who she is, believes she is prostitute so not rape… what is rape at this time  Hasn’t fully participated or anticipated… so prepare for it in order to experience it next time, attempt to control circumstances  Attempting to redo situation that involves another person, and to inspire his desires again  Take on disguise and reanimate his desire, forestall encounter with her own history and body  Fantomina, Celia, Widow, Incongnita, escape body and history, realm of fantasy  Escape bad reputation, body and consignment of body to very ruin and disprepare that would have resulted in rape  Deciding it wasn’t rape for her  Ironic distance and detachment from body  Distance between herself and the seduced woman  Isolation, reasoning… prevent feeling physical desolation, decided to escape  Repeatedly seek new costume, new disguise, each episode is effectively defying patriarchal society which forbids her from participating in seduction more than once, and participating altogether -> social death and
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