Essays Lesbian Literature

Sexual Practice, Textual Theory: Lesbian Cultural Criticism

Sexual Practice, Textual
Theory: Lesbian Cultural
Susan J. Wolfe,
Julia Penelope (eds)

This powerful and empowering anthology marks the coming of age of lesbian criticism and theory – the energizing spirit behind much of the most exciting feminist writing today, and a vital force within cultural and textual studies more generally. Gathering together lesbian writers from a wide variety of backgrounds, this volume provides a unique introduction to the full range of lesbian theory and criticism today, from Bonnie Zimmerman’s classic overview of lesbian feminist criticism (“What Has Never Been”) to Linda Garber’s annotated bibliography of lesbian literary critical theory (with Vilashini Cooppan).

Table of Contents

Sexual Identity/Textual Politics: Lesbian (Decom)positions / Susan J. Wolfe and Julia Penelope

Part One: Lesbian Identity in Feminist Literary Criticism: The Need For Lesbian Feminist Literary Criticism
1. What Has Never Been: an Overview of Lesbian Feminist Criticism / Bonnie Zimmerman
2. Two Feminist Criticisms: A Necessary Conflict? / Anne Charles
3. Toward a Definition of the Lesbian Literary Imagination / Marilyn R. Farwell

Part Four: Location Our Selves in the Text: Texts as Sources of Lesbian Sense of Self
4. Gender as Performance: Shakespearean Ambiguity and the Lesbian Reader / Paula Bennett
5. Waiting for Stonewall / Sarah Dreher

Part Three: Applied Literary Criticism: Lesbian Feminist (Re)Visions of the Canon
6. Perverse Reading: The Lesbian Appropriation of Literature / Bonnie Zimmerman
7. Subverting Closure: Compulsory Heterosexuality and Compulsory Endings in Middle-Class British Women’s Novels / Diana L. Swanson
8. Reading Deephaven as a Lesbian Text / Judith Fetterley
9. Sexual Narrative in the Fiction of Djuna Barnes / Carolyn J. Allen
10. Modernity and Lesbian Identity in the Later Works of Nicole Brossard / Marthe Rosenfeld
11. From Isolation to Diversity: Self and Communities in Twentieth-Century Lesbian Novels / Linnea A. Stenson
12. Zami and the Politics of Plural Identity / Erin G. Carlston
13. Separatism and Feminist Utopian Fiction / Diane Griffin Crowder
14. Liberating Laughter: Comedic Form in Some Lesbian Novels / Louise Kawada

Part Five: (Op)Positional Aesthetics: Creating Lesbian Culture(s)
15. Lesbian Intertextuality / Elaine Marks
16. Mirrors and LikenessL A Lesbian Aesthetic in the Making / Toni A.H. McNaron
17. Poetic Politics: How the Amazons Took the Acropolis / Jeffner Allen
18. Under the Covers: A Synesthesia of Desire (Lesbian Translations) / Alice Parker
19. An Annotated Bibliography of Lesbian Literary Critical Theory, 1970-1989 / Linda Garber, with Vilashini Cooppan