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The Hysteric's Guide to the Future Female Subject

1999
Author:

Juliet Flower MacCannell

The Hysteric's Guide to the Future Female Subject

Proposes an ethics of the feminine through an examination of women’s writing.

How can a girl become a woman today—an ethical woman and a member of society—without being either a victim or a manipulator? Reflecting on this question, Juliet Flower MacCannell takes us for the first time beyond the flawed models for “becoming woman” left to us by Freud and Sade. MacCannell treats contemporary art, fiction, and theory, considering works by Arendt, Angelou, Rousseau, Kant, Stendhal, Kleist, Hitchcock, Atwood, Klein, Chodorow, Adorno, and Duras.

A rich, sometimes bewildering, invariably thought-provoking primer for feminism in quest of a future female subject. Theoretically sophisticated, MacCannell is not afraid to embrace controversy or to stimulate thought. And she initiates a much needed dialogue about women’s ethical relation to society.

Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association

The Hysteric’s Guide to the Future Female Subject was first published in 1999. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

How can a girl become a woman today—an ethical woman and a member of society—without being either a victim or a manipulator? Reflecting on this question, Juliet Flower MacCannell takes us for the first time beyond the flawed models for “becoming woman” left to us by Freud and Sade.

Having previously explored the logic of feminine sexuality, MacCannell sets out in the Hysteric’s Guide to locate an ethics of the feminine. She does this by examining instances of the (often hysterical) feminine confrontation with (usually perverse) masculine subjects, confrontations that represent crucial scenes in the constitution of female sexuality. Her study takes us into Sadean ethics and the prescriptions of Freudian psychoanalysis; post-Enlightenment colonialism; racism during and after World War I; genocidal fascism in World War II; and the slowing of time and generation during the Cold War.

MacCannell treats contemporary art, fiction, and theory, considering works by Arendt, Angelou, Rousseau, Kant, Stendhal, Kleist, Hitchcock, Atwood, Klein, Chodorow, Adorno, and Duras. Ultimately, this book reasserts “becoming woman” as an issue that has, until now, been denied for want of a feminine ethic relevant to contemporary life.

The Hysteric's Guide to the Future Female Subject

Juliet Flower MacCannell is professor emerita of comparative literature, University of California, Irvine.

The Hysteric's Guide to the Future Female Subject

A rich, sometimes bewildering, invariably thought-provoking primer for feminism in quest of a future female subject. Theoretically sophisticated, MacCannell is not afraid to embrace controversy or to stimulate thought. And she initiates a much needed dialogue about women’s ethical relation to society.

Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association

Juliet MacCannell’s hysteric guide consists of 10 essays which all start with a little personal story. From there on MacCannell sets off her brilliant analysis of the non-arrival of castration, the lack of lack.

Information Onsdag (Danish paper)