Rebecca K. Hahn

Side-Stepping Normativity in Selected Short Stories by Sylvia Townsend Warner

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Side-Stepping Normativity: Selected Short Stories by Sylvia Townsend Warner discusses Sylvia Townsend Warner’s highly innovative narrative style, which does not conform to conventional modernist or postmodernist standards, and explores how Warner’s short stories shift to off-centre positions.

Side-Stepping Normativity further outlines the way in which Warner constantly challenges the categories we apply to classify our surroundings and analyses how Warner succeeds in creating queer, that is, non-heteronormative as well strange and peculiar stories without explicitly opposing the so-called norms of her time.

In this, Side-Stepping Normativity joins a vibrant conversation in queer studies which revolves around the question how critics can approach literary texts from a non-antagonistic position. Rather than focussing on the role of the critic, however, this thesis shows that Warner’s texts have long achieved what queer theorists seek to achieve on an analytical level.



1. Undoing Categories: The British Author Sylvia Townsend Warner

2. Homoerotic Desires
2.1 “The Shirt in Mexico”: Gender Disruption and Ambiguous
2.2 The “Curious Quality” of “Bruno
2.3 Seeking Meaning in “The Green Torso”
2.4 Desire and Detachment

3. Cross-Species Relationships
3.1 Knowledge and Love in the Introduction to The Cat’s
3.2 Decentering the Human in “The Traveller from the West and the Traveller from the East”
3.3 Corporeality and Control in “The Wineshop Cat”
3.4 Shifting the Species Line

4. Incestuous Longings
4.1 Secrets and Sibcest in “A Love Match”
4.2 Mothers and Desires in “At a Monkey’s Breast”
4.3 Expanded Experiences and Material Objects in “A Spirit Rises”
4.4 Indifference to Conventions

5. Avenues of Escape
5.1 “At the Trafalgar Bakery” and Ex-Centric Spaces
5.2 “But at the Stroke of Midnight” and Ex-Centric Modes of Being
5.3 “An Act of Reparation”: An Act of Emancipation
5.4 Eluding Interpellation

6. Vanishing
6.1 Death and Disengagement in “‘Boors Carousing’”
6.2 Failure and Success in “A Work of Art”
6.3 Textural Desires in “A Dressmaker”
6.4 Nonbeing

7. Elfin Indifference: Warner’s Kingdoms of Elfin

8. Coda

Works Cited
Primary Literature
Secondary Literature

Rebecca K. Hahn ist wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Zentrum für Zentrum für Gender- und Diversitätsforschung (ZGD) der Universität Tübingen.
Mehr Informationen
ISBN 978-3-8233-8389-5
EAN 9783823383895
Seiten 208
Format gebunden
Ausgabename 18389
Verlag Gunter Narr Verlag
Autor Rebecca K. Hahn
Erscheinungsdatum 27.07.2020
Lieferzeit 1-3 Tage
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