Reading Elizabeth Smart
in Literature, theology and feminism
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The topics addressed in Elizabeth Smart's texts seem intensely personal and apolitical, and her privileged social status cannot provide her with the credentials that would justify the interest of feminist readers eager to reclaim marginalised women's voices. Since Elizabeth Smart constructed most of her work from material first written in her journals, it is helpful to present a brief chronological account of her life as an aid to understand her texts. Smart's final work is In the Meantime. When narratives of everyday life are presented in Smart's work they are crushed into crystal. Smart intersects her narrator's voice with those of other women who live common, blasted but glorious lives. These resonances heighten the effect of her testimony. The chapter shows how Smart adopts various authorial locations in order to explore themes rarely expressed in male-centred culture.


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