“There is nothing better than a theory”: A few remarks on the theoretical practice of contemporary avantgarde women writers (Lyn Hejinian, Leslie Scalapino, Carla Harryman)

Article English OPEN
Małgorzata Myk (2013)
  • Publisher: Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan
  • Journal: Praktyka Teoretyczna (issn: 2081-8130)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.14746/prt.2013.4.8
  • Subject: polityka reprezentacji | pisarstwo eksperymentalne kobiet | utwór nie/narracyjny | hybrydyczność | pisarstwo cyborgiczne | Social Sciences | H

<p>The essay discusses theoretical practices of three major American<br />experimental women writers associated with L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets Lyn<br />Hejinian, Leslie Scalapino, and Carla Harryman, who played a crucial role in shaping<br />the present-day critical and theoretical literary debate regarding the status of formally<br />radical literature engaged in questions of feminist epistemology and written by<br />women. Devoted to language and its ideological dimension, their work is based on<br />a wager that poetic practice is a socially engaged strategy of intervention (Harryman),<br />and as such functions as a language-oriented feminist epistemology. Hejinian,<br />Scalapino, and Harryman created a significant literary and theoretical body of work<br />that includes complex genre-bending hybrid texts deeply rooted in contemporary<br />feminist discourses and preoccupied with such issues as production of knowledge,<br />meaning, identity, gender, and sexuality, hidden ideological mechanisms<br />of the conventional narrative, and the imperative of its constant refiguration.<br />The article is also an attempt to see their work in a broader context of feminist<br />thought, ranging from écriture féminine, through Judith Butler’s and Denise Riley’s<br />critiques of identity politics, to the posthumanist horizon of Donna Haraway’s<br />cyborg writing.</p>
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