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What Does a Woman Want?

Reading and Sexual Difference

Shoshana Felman

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'What does a woman want?'—the question Freud famously formulated in a letter to Marie Bonaparte—is a quintessentially male question that arises from women's resistance to their place in a patriarchal society. But what might it mean, asks Shoshana Felman, for a woman to reclaim this question as her own? Can this question engender, through the literary or the psychoanalytic work, a woman's voice as its speaking subject? Felman explores these questions through close readings of autobiographical texts by Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, and Adrienne Rich which attempt to redefine women as the…

'What does a woman want?'—the question Freud famously formulated in a letter to Marie Bonaparte—is a quintessentially male question that arises from women's resistance to their place in a patriarchal society. But what might it mean, asks Shoshana Felman, for a woman to reclaim this question as her own? Can this question engender, through the literary or the psychoanalytic work, a woman's voice as its speaking subject? Felman explores these questions through close readings of autobiographical texts by Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, and Adrienne Rich which attempt to redefine women as the subject of their own desire.

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What Does a Woman Want?

Shoshana Felman

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Reviews

Reviews

Felman pries open, radically displaces, and reengenders this question, through literature... psychoanalysis... and women's autobiographical writing.

Shoshana Felman is a reader of unparalleled subtlety.

About

Book Details

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. What Does a Women Want? The Question of Autobiography and the Bond of Reading
Chapter 2. Women and Madness: The Critical Phallacy
Chapter 3. Textuality and the Riddle of Bisexuality
Chapter 4

Chapter 1. What Does a Women Want? The Question of Autobiography and the Bond of Reading
Chapter 2. Women and Madness: The Critical Phallacy
Chapter 3. Textuality and the Riddle of Bisexuality
Chapter 4. Competing Pregnancies: The Dream from which Psychoanalysis Proceeds
Chapter 5. With Whom Do You Believe Your Lot is Cast? Woolfe, de Beauvoir, Rich and the Struggle for Autobiography
Notes
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Shoshana Felman

Shoshana Felman is Thomas E. Donnelly Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Yale University. Her many books include Literature and Psychoanalysis: The Question of Reading: Otherwise, Jacques Lacan and the Adventures of Insight Psychoanalysis in Contemporary Culture, and Writing and Madnes.