- This study focuses upon Atwood’s novels with the intent of examining a striking and recurrent aspect of her work: the divided self. It establishes a critical method for reading Atwood’s work, borrowing freely from various psychoanalytic and phenomenological theorists in a close and detailed reading of six novels, including Atwood’s most recent, The Robber Bride. An appendix serves to show how the remaining two could be best accounted for by other approaches, making the book a complete account of Atwood’s novels to date. Each chapter has a distinct emphasis reflecting the specificity of each novel in an interpretation that draws upon key concepts that characterize the work of psychoanalytic and phenomenological theorists: notions of secularization, oedipal relations and connections with the maternal, aggressive relativity, the Imaginary, the symbolic, mimesis, space and the dynamics of location, signification, and enunciative positioning. The result is an examination of the ways in which the identity of each protagonist is dislocated, alienated, splintered, and split according to the divisions that mark the subject, and a new interpretation of each novel that takes into account its characterization, narrative development, thematic content, and setting.
Sonia Mycak is postdoctoral research fellow of the Australian Research Council.
Published: March 1996
Dimensions: 6 x 9 in.