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Experiments in cultural criticism
Editors: Jackie Stacey and Janet Wolff

Writing Otherwise is a collection of essays by established feminist and cultural critics interested in experimenting with new styles of expression. Leading figures in their field, such as Marianne Hirsch, Lynne Pearce, Griselda Pollock, Carol Smart, Jackie Stacey and Janet Wolff, all risk new ways of writing about themselves and their subjects. Contributions move beyond conventional academic writing and into more exploratory registers to consider subjects such as: feminist collaborations, memories of dislocation, movement and belonging, intimacy and affect, encountering difference, passionate connections to art and opera. Some chapters use personal writing to interrogate theoretical issues; others put conceptual questions next to therapeutic ones; all of them offer the reader new ways of thinking about how and why we write, and how we might do it differently. Discovering the creative spaces in between traditional genres, many of the chapters show how new styles of writing open up new ways of doing cultural criticism. Aimed at both general and academic readers interested in how scholarly writing might be more innovative and creative, this collection introduces the personal, the poetic and the experimental into the frame of cultural criticism. This collection of essays is highly interdisciplinary and contributes to debates in sociology, history, anthropology, art history, cultural and media studies and gender studies.

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Guillaume Dustan and Erik Rémès
Victoria Best and Martin Crowley

here to be vital in more ways than one. This chapter will look at the work of Guillaume Dustan and Erik Rémès in the context of the increased cultural presence of sexually explicit writing, and will explore in particular the existential stakes and writing strategies involved in their respective approaches to the identity politics of being a seropositive gay man in Paris at the turn of the twenty-first century. The work of both

in The new pornographies
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Amy C. Mulligan

The Introduction consists of a brief overview of the book and its structure, its driving questions and the critical contexts, and identifies foundational aspects of an Irish poetics of space. The Introduction describes the book’s organization—largely chronological—to show how Ireland’s spatial poetics developed over 500 years in response to specific historical circumstances. Three major issues are introduced, which are tracked across the book to illustrate ongoing thematic continuities and developments: (1) affective and transformative engagement with textual geographies; (2) national and postcolonial place-writing strategies; and (3) canonization and theorization of a spatial literary corpus. In addition, each chapter develops discrete aspects of writing place in conjunction with a critical literature on space (pilgrimage, actual and virtual, through otherworldly landscapes and seascapes; exile and dislocation; verbal mapping or cartography; movement as knowledge-generating, i.e. ‘practicing place’; alterity, place-writing and conquest).

in A landscape of words
Adrian Mackenzie

, but they also spawn from the configured, infrastructural and operational complexity of ethnography as an experimental situated practice. As George Marcus suggests, ‘experiment today is thus less about writing strategies and Operative ethnographies and large numbers 153 more about creating forms that concentrate and make accessible the intermediate, sometimes staged, sometimes serendipitous occasions of distinctively anthropological thinking and concept work’ (Marcus 2014: 400). The chapter documents and practically re-enacts a series of operational queries – both

in Ethnography for a data-saturated world
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Making novel readers
Gerd Bayer

have an existence in and of themselves, that they exist sui generis. However, genres have no existence outside the process that creates them: the reading and writing strategies that fossilise them as traditions. They subsist in re, to adopt Occam’s solution to the medieval debate on ontology.39 What contributes to the potential fallacy of believing in the actual existence of genres is the assumed legacy of genres. As Gérard Genette has shown in The Architext (1979), the traditional separation into three main genres does not quite have the pedigree many critics are

in Novel horizons
Cara Delay

post + I promise never again to trouble you for one shilling. Humbly I wait your answer. Anne Mordant PS: a thousand pardons I ask it is the last time I will trouble you may ‘God’ assist me.72 Mordant’s letter-writing strategies are intriguing. Her missive, although direct, is also self-effacing and apologetic; when she repeatedly asks McCabe for pardons, she positions herself as a woman who appropriately bows to the authority of her religious superiors. In effect, however, women, priests, and power 227 she is doing something more subversive, consciously

in Irish women and the creation of modern Catholicism, 1850–1950
Susan Watkins

gender identities’: instead it entails ‘recognition of their falsifying metaphysical nature’. 15 Moi’s defence of Woolf’s feminist writing strategy allows us to reconsider Lessing’s purported ‘escape’ from the fragmented feminine self as a deconstructive technique that demands a reconsideration of fixed gender categories; it also encourages us to pay more attention to the relation between form and gender in her work. 16 In fact, feminist criticism of Lessing’s work has, to some extent, followed this trajectory between what we might call gyno

in Doris Lessing
Bruce Woodcock

authentic historical testimony, True History of the Kelly Gang takes the form of ‘parcels’ of documents, each with a bibliographical description of contents, paper and condition, such as might be done by a manuscript collection in a library, to add to the flavour of authenticity. The irony is that whilst this scholarly paraphernalia and the actual writing are fictions, the basic life and events are historical fact. And whereas in Jack Maggs the writing strategies were developed in a deliberately self-conscious manner, here Carey carefully avoids deliberate

in Peter Carey
Sal Renshaw

of respect for both reality and fiction, she has always kept ‘writing at some distance from life itself ’ (1991a: 12). But there is no keeping a distance from The Book of Promethea. Cixous finds herself ‘in the current of an immense river [that] has also swept [her] away’ (1991a: 12), and her previous writing strategy, through which she understood herself as attending to the ‘innermost requirements of the divinity that was to reveal itself’ in her writing, is no longer possible. Worse 9780719069604_4_005.qxd 09/01/2009 09:57 AM Page 169 Divine Promethean love

in The subject of love
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Elisabeth Bronfen

vulnerable object of sexual incursions. Feminine suicide can serve as trope, self-defeating as this seems, for a feminine writing strategy within the constraints of patriarchal culture. Both concerns, however, involve a central contradiction, for the aesthetical staging of suicide always implies a turn to the sheer materiality of the dying and dead body to legitimate textualisation. A

in Over her dead body