Author(s): Ileana Botescu-Sireţeanu
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti
Keywords: Winterson; body-as-text trope

Summary/Abstract: The paper investigates the textual mechanisms through which the lesbian identity is articulated in Jeanette Winterson’s novel Written on the Body, by focusing on the body-as-text trope. At a metatextual level, sexuality becomes textuality as the body of the beloved turns into the body of words that compose the text. The paper also concentrates on the concept of difference as it appears in Jeanette Winterson’s fiction and tries to demonstrate that the queer identity which prevails here dissolves the traditional binary of Western thought. Being twice outside norms and canons, Jeanette Winterson creates a body of fiction which focuses on generating therapeutic narratives, narratives which transcend binaries at all levels, by introducing a third term into the equation and consequently by dissolving oppositions. In many ways, her fictional efforts parallel Derrida’s critique of binary logic, where difference as a concept is challenged by the free play of centres and norms. Jeanette Winterson’s fiction refuses to operate a radical closure in matters related to gender identity, so familiar to feminist writers whose literary efforts strengthen the essential binary and irreconcilable difference between genders. Thus Winterson performs a de-gendering of the narrative at all levels, refusing to conceive of difference as a two-pole concept and liberating the queer identity from the tyranny of the traditional oppositional discourse of difference.

  • Issue Year: 2007
  • Issue No: 01
  • Page Range: 66-71
  • Page Count: 6
  • Language: English