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The head knows what lies near the heart : an anatomy in stories and accompanying essay

Silva Rivero, Gabriela (2017) The head knows what lies near the heart : an anatomy in stories and accompanying essay. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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This dissertation consists of a collection of short stories titled The Head Knows What Lies Near the Heart and an accompanying critical commentary. These tales look to question the ways women relate to their body through examining and emulating certain aspects of traditional fairy tales. While previous feminist examinations of the topic engaged with fairy tales to subvert and rewrite social expectations of the female body (for example, Angela Carter in 1979 or Suniti Najomshi in 1981), the stories in this collection find a middle ground, neither re-writing fairy tales nor completely eschewing them. In my tales the body is used as a starting point; concentrating on a particular body part (head, hands, feet, etc.) per story to narrate the different ways women relate to and approach embodiment. The critical commentary, presented in three chapters, returns to the themes I touched on in my creative work through an analysis first of the use of the body and the motif of mutilation in “Cinderella”, “The Little Mermaid”, and “The Girl Without Hands”, then through the examination of metamorphosis in contemporary texts of magical realism (Marie Darrieussecq’s Truismes and Karen Russell’s St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves). Each of these chapters is accompanied by a critical reflection on the way the research impacted the creative practise. This self-criticism is expanded in the third chapter, where I engage with Julio Cortázar’s principles of the short story and Hélène Cixous écriture féminine to further analyse my work.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Creative writing, Short story, Fairy tale, Feminism, Magical realism
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Gabriela Silva Rivero
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2017 09:59
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2022 01:00

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