The Female Body in Western Culture: Contemporary Perspectives

The Female Body in Western Culture: Contemporary Perspectives
Author: Susan Rubin Suleiman
Language English
Pages: 400
ISBN10: 0674298713
Genre: Nonfiction
Goodreads Rating: 3.44
ISBN13: 9780674298712
Published: May 16th 1986 by Harvard University Press

The female body has occupied a central place in the Western imagination, its images pervading poetry and story, mythology and religious doctrine, the visual arts, and scientific treatises.

It has inspired both attraction and fear, been perceived as beautiful and unclean, alluring and dangerous, a source of pleasure and nurturing but also a source of evil and destruction. In "The Female Body in Western Culture," twenty-three internationally noted scholars and critics, in specially commissioned essays, explore these representations and their consequences for contemporary art and culture. Ranging from Genesis to Gertrude Stein and Angela Carter, from ancient Greek ritual to the Victorian sleeping cure, from images of the Madonna to modern film and Surrealist art, the essays cover a wide spectrum of approaches and subject mailer. They all converge, however, around questions of power and powerness, voice and silence, subjecthood and objectification. And they point the way to the new possibilities and displacements of traditional male-female oppositions. Androgyny in a new key? This book demonstrates that a blurring of gender boundaries does not have to deny difference.