Beyond Spectacle

Beyond Spectacle

Eliza Haywood's Female Spectators

eBook - 2004
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Univ of Toronto Pr
Beyond Spectacle will cement Haywood's deservedly prominent place in the canon of eighteenth-century fiction and position her as a writer whose work speaks not only to female agency, but to eighteenth-century writers, gender relations, and power politics as well.


Theories of sight and spectatorship captivated many writers and philosophers of the eighteenth century and, in turn, helped to define both sexual politics and gender identity. Eliza Haywood was thoroughly engaged in the social, philosophical, and political issues of her time, and she wrote prolifically about them, producing over seventy-five works of literature - plays, novels, and pamphlets - during her lifetime. Examining a number of works from this prodigious canon, Juliette Merritt focuses on Haywood's consideration of the myriad issues surrounding sight and seeing and argues that Haywood explored strategies to undermine the conventional male spectator/female spectacle structure of looking.

Combining close readings of Haywood's work with twentieth-century debates among feminist and psychoanalytic theorists concerning the visual dynamics of identity and gender formation, Merritt explores insights into how the gaze operates socially, epistemologically, and ontologically in Haywood's writing, ultimately concluding that Haywood's own strategy as an author involved appropriating the spectator position as a means of exercising female power.Beyond Spectacle will cement Haywood's deservedly prominent place in the canon of eighteenth-century fiction and position her as a writer whose work speaks not only to female agency, but to eighteenth-century writers, gender relations, and power politics as well.


Theories of sight and spectatorship captivated many writers and philosophers of the eighteenth century and, in turn, helped to define both sexual politics and gender identity. Eliza Haywood was thoroughly engaged in the social, philosophical, and political issues of her time, and she wrote prolifically about them, producing over seventy-five works of literature ? plays, novels, and pamphlets ? during her lifetime. Examining a number of works from this prodigious canon, Juliette Merritt focuses on Haywood's consideration of the myriad issues surrounding sight and seeing and argues that Haywood explored strategies to undermine the conventional male spectator/female spectacle structure of looking.

Combining close readings of Haywood's work with twentieth-century debates among feminist and psychoanalytic theorists concerning the visual dynamics of identity and gender formation, Merritt explores insights into how the gaze operates socially, epistemologically, and ontologically in Haywood's writing, ultimately concluding that Haywood's own strategy as an author involved appropriating the spectator position as a means of exercising female power.Beyond Spectacle will cement Haywood's deservedly prominent place in the canon of eighteenth-century fiction and position her as a writer whose work speaks not only to female agency, but to eighteenth-century writers, gender relations, and power politics as well.



Book News
Merritt (English, McMasters U. and English and film studies, Wilfrid Laurier U.) shows how Haywood (1693-1756) created many and diverse scenes of looking that allow her to explore the complexity of the relationship between vision and power. She focuses on the English writer's preoccupation with structures of sight and seeing, especially as they relate to women's assigned place in the gendered, dichotomous structure of subject/object relations. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

University of Toronto Press

Theories of sight and spectatorship captivated many writers and philosophers of the eighteenth century and, in turn, helped to define both sexual politics and gender identity. Eliza Haywood was thoroughly engaged in the social, philosophical, and political issues of her time, and she wrote prolifically about them, producing over seventy-five works of literature – plays, novels, and pamphlets – during her lifetime. Examining a number of works from this prodigious canon, Juliette Merritt focuses on Haywood's consideration of the myriad issues surrounding sight and seeing and argues that Haywood explored strategies to undermine the conventional male spectator/female spectacle structure of looking.

Combining close readings of Haywood's work with twentieth-century debates among feminist and psychoanalytic theorists concerning the visual dynamics of identity and gender formation, Merritt explores insights into how the gaze operates socially, epistemologically, and ontologically in Haywood's writing, ultimately concluding that Haywood's own strategy as an author involved appropriating the spectator position as a means of exercising female power. Beyond Spectacle will cement Haywood's deservedly prominent place in the canon of eighteenth-century fiction and position her as a writer whose work speaks not only to female agency, but to eighteenth-century writers, gender relations, and power politics as well.



Publisher: Toronto, Ont. : University of Toronto Press, ©2004
ISBN: 9781442671379
1442671378
9780802035400
080203540X
Characteristics: 1 online resource (154 pages)

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