“the Yellow Wallpaper” in Light of Gilbert & Gubar’s “Infection in the Sentence”

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Gilbert, Sandra M. and Gubar, Susan. "The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends", 2nd ed. Boston : Bedford/St. Martin’s, 1998. Copied under Permission from Access Copyright. Further reproduction, distribution or transmission is prohibited, except as otherwise permitted by law.

Sandra M. Gilbert and
b. 1936

Susan Gubar
b. 1944
Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar are best known for their collaborative explorations of women's literary tradition. They have co-authored The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination (l979) and have extended their tracing of the special characteristics of women's writing into the twentieth century in a three-volume sequel collectively entitled No Man's Land, the volumes of which are separately titled The War of the Words (l988), Sexchanges (l99l), and Letters from the Front (l994). They have also coedited Shakespeare's Sisters: Feminist Essays on Women Poets ([979) and The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women, second edition (1996), which provides canonical treatment of literature by women in English for college courses and have coauthored Masterpiece Theatre: An Academic Melodrama (1995). Both Gilbert and Gubar were born in New York City Sandra Mortola Gilbert took a BA at Cornell (1957), an M.A. at New York University (1961), and a PhD . at Columbia (1968). After appointments at Indiana University

and P rinL' lOn . she i. n H' pr ~ e;; s r of Englis h at lhe Ul!(l'ersity of alifimllG al Dat'is. I fl addieioll to a schularlY stud y if D. H. [awrenc{" ~ pot:Cry , Llberl has wrme n poetry of her own, some of which is coll ected in Th _ umm'r Kitchen ( [ 9 3) , Em il y' s Bread ( [ 984) , and Ghost Vo lcano (1995)· Susan David Gubar , professor of English at Indiana Uni ersilY al Bloomington . received her B.A. from City C II ge of New York (l 9 5!. her MA from th ni l1ersity of MlChi ' an (196 ). and lIer Ph.D fro m the nlver.'lt (If Iowa ( ( 972). Gltbar'.\' career includes a Guggenheim FeLLow hip ('9 '3-84) and teaching at the Univers iry of fIli IlU!" and al Tufls. Gub r has II'nlle n numelOllS essay - all eighteenthcenlllry lileratLlre , S lellee /t ctiof! and Janca y , and contempo rary women's wriring, "lnJeclion in the Sentence" is [he second chapler of The Madwom an in the Allie .

From Infection in the Sentence: The Woman Writer and the Anxiety of Authorship Th e man who does nOf know know wo m ell. ~I rk

women dn es nOI S, W EIR 1ITC HEl. L

I try 10 desc rliJe {his /orlll linll tat iofl . hopUlf( that with -uch po wer as is n()W mine. and .fUch use (1 la nguage as IS wichlrt rha l p ower . chis \l'il! com'wee any line who 'ares abollC it Ihal this "/i v/ fl g " { mine had /leen done LInder a heav handicap . HARLOT rc PERKI s GIUl-IA

Wo rd dropped carelen- on a Page May stimu late an eye Wh en!alded in perp etual seam The Wrinkled Maker lie Infectllm in (he sentence breeds We m ay illhal Despair A t distances of enturt es From the Malaria - EMIL

DICK

so

I stand ill che ring in the dead cit}' and lie Oil the red shoes

The" are
th e' are

nO I

min e,

overtl y patria rchal? If the vexed and vex ing po larities of a ng I and monster, s weet dum b n w W hile and fierce mad Queen are major image literary tradition offers wom~n , how doe s uch Imaoery infl. en e lhe way in wh i h women ,Hte mp t the pen? [f the Queen 's I ok ing g la s pea ks with the King' s voice, how do its p rpetua l ki ngly admon iti n aff ct the Q ueen ' wn vO ice . Smc hi is the chi ef vo i e she hear' , doe the ueen try to sound like the King. imitating hi t nc , hi inflection. h is phI' "ing. hiS po int o f view') O r does s he " tal k back" tu him 111 he r ow n vocabula ry. he r own timbre. Irl sisting...
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