Nights At The Circus Literary Analysis

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Critical theory: Psychoanalytic criticism: Green, Keith, and Jill LeBihan. "Literature and Psychoanalysis." Critical Theory and Practice: A Coursebook (143-47). 1st ed. London: Routledge, 1995. Print. “A Coursebook…” is written for the beginning researchers of the literary critical theory. The Chapter “Literature and Psychoanalysis” contains commentary on psychoanalytical critical approach. In addition, the study questions, glossary and suggested further reading are included. Authors help to grasp the idea of the psychoanalysis. They show that originally psychoanalysis was not a literary practice, but clinical and therapeutic methodology. However, there always were relationship between this methodology and literature. Authors refer to Felman,…show more content…
Firstly, the novel is read from the traditional feminist perspective, and later Berensmeyer offers queer readings of gender in it. According to the feminist perspective, the novel declares the “fantasy of a powerful woman, who subverts the patriarchal desire for knowledge, domination and control”. Gender studies and queer theory see this controversial text as a “hybrid and playful staging of gender that ‘queers’ or deconstructs traditional categories of masculinity and femininity”. Most recent gender studies scholars view Carter’s text mostly positively. Moreover, they suppose that Nights at the Circus can be “linked to the advanced psychoanalytic theories, Foucauldian discourse analysis and Mikhail Bakhtin’s notions of the grotesque and carnivalesque” in terms of breaking of the normative order of the society. Eventually Berensmeyer concludes that literature “can address limits and gaps in performativity constructions of sex and gender”, and at the same time it suggests to include “spaces of possibility” in order to “enable new degrees of freedom to emerge”. Thus, the author points out that the analysis of such complex novel as Nights at the Circus, helps us to understand the purpose and function of the critical literary discourse in
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