By Susannah Radstone
A various variety of texts together with Marilyn French's The Women's Room, Philip Roth's Patrimony, the writings of Walter Benjamin and Fredric Jameson, and movies similar to Cinema Paradiso, Susannah Radstone argues that even though time has been foregrounded in theories of postmodernism, these theories have overlooked the query of time and sexual distinction. The Sexual Politics of Time proposes that the modern western global has witnessed a shift from the age of confession to the period of reminiscence. In a chain of chapters on confession, nostalgia, the 'memories of boyhood' movie and the memoir, Susannah Radstone units out to complicate this declare. constructing her argument via psychoanalytic idea, she proposes that an consciousness to time and sexual distinction increases questions not just concerning the research and characterization of texts, but in addition approximately how cultural epochs are mapped via time. The Sexual Politics of Time may be of curiosity to scholars and researchers of time, reminiscence, distinction and cultural switch, in topics akin to Media and Cultural reviews, Sociology, movie reviews.
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Additional resources for The Sexual Politics of Time: Confession, Nostalgia, Memory
The trope of ‘becomingness’ produces a central protagonist characterized as in process. At the heart of the diegetic movement of the confession is a subject on his way, a subject ‘becoming’, a subject characterized, indeed, by this forward movement towards becoming someone identical with yet markedly different from his/her former self. Mikhail Bakhtin argued that the novel in general ‘is typified by a perception of time as a process of becoming’ (Morris 1994: 180). For Bakhtin, the origins of this ‘becomingness’, of the ‘unfinalizability’ of the subject can be traced back to the ancient literary forbears of the novel, and in particular, to the Menippea, a carnivalized genre in which the subject ‘loses his finalized quality and ceases to mean only one thing; he ceases to co-incide with himself’ (ibid.
As Benstock explains, some definitions of autobiography ‘stress self-disclosure [and] posit a self called to witness (as an authority) to “his” own being’ (Benstock 1988: 19). During the 1980s and under the impact of psychoanalysis (particularly Lacanian) and post-structuralism, the idea of an inner ‘self’ that could be called upon to perform such an act of witness was replaced by an emphasis on discontinuity and fissure. On this account, the authority of a witnessing ‘I’ is bracketed in favour of an acknowledgement of an unconscious that will evade the witnessing of the conscious ‘I’.
One way to complicate Freeman’s thesis concerning the temporalities of self rewritings, therefore, would take as its starting-point the histories, temporalities and cultures of confession. The relationship between discursive modes such as confession and the wider culture is not one of simple reflection. It cannot be straightforwardly assumed, therefore, that texts are structured by or reflect the temporalities of their times in any straightforward manner. For instance, though Fredric Jameson does suggest that avant-garde poetry may have ‘adopted schizophrenic fragmentation as its fundamental aesthetic’ (Jameson 1984: 73), he simultaneously notes the emergence of ‘the nostalgia mode’ (p.