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Title: Cyborg or Goddess: Postmodernism and its others in John Fowles's "Mantissa"
Contributor(s): O'Sullivan, J (author)
Publication Date: 2003
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Abstract: John Fowles's Mantissa defines its title, and by implication, its whole enterprise, as a mere "addition of comparatively small importance, especially to a literary effort or discourse"(Fowles 182). This paper offers a feminist and poststructuralist re-reading which reveals that the text's use of parody in its representation of feminism, poststructuralism, and postmodernism, actually constitutes a most reactionary detournement. In effect, Mantissa reaffirms assumptions and practices of such ideological and literary precursors as patriarchal authority, structuralism and classic realism. Nevertheless, Mantissa's parodic strategy of combining in its female protagonist an exaggerated representation of postmodernist mutability, and an equally distorted depiction of a feminist, poststructuralist notion of subjectivity, has something to offer a feminist reader. Here it is argued that Mantissa allows a recouperative reading in which a feminist postmodernist subject emerges with a level of mutability suggestive of some value in the combined "complicitous and contesting" operations of both goddess and cyborg.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: College Literature, 30(3), p. 109-123
Publisher: West Chester University
Place of Publication: USA
ISSN: 0093-3139
Field of Research (FOR): 200599 Literary Studies not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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