Outside the law: the writings of Muriel RukeyserShow full item record
|Outside the law: the writings of Muriel Rukeyser
|Ayres, Pamela Susan
|Doctor of Philosophy
|Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980) was a prolific writer, who published fifteen volumes of poetry, three biographies, one book about poetry, a novel, three plays, children's books, and many reviews and essays. This dissertation examines her outlaw status and attempts to connect Rukeyser to French feminism. Chapter One, an introduction, discusses the concept of "outside the law," and refers to "law" in the broad context of sexual difference, society's laws, literary conventions, and phallocentrism. This chapter highlights events in Rukeyser's life and outlines the chapters which follow. Chapter two examines Rukeyser's challenge to the phallocentrism of the Law of the Father or the Straight Mind--what she labels "the thinking fathers." Her challenge includes a critique of hierarchized binary oppositions, despisals of the other, and a re-vision of patriarchal gender expectations. Chapter three demonstrates her subversion of patriarchy by writing about feminine sexuality and desire and physiological experiences specific to women. This chapter also argues that she re-visions the Lacanian Law of the Father in several cave poems. Finally, chapter three examines elements of feminine writing in Rukeyser's poetry and prose. Chapter four examines Rukeyser's stance outside the law as a poet writing about politics, opposing patriarchal law founded on war, and protesting from a feminine perspective. Implicit in this argument is her subversion of the poetry/politics binary.
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- Doctoral Dissertations