The Trauma of Gender: A Feminist Theory of the English Novel

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University of California Press, Feb 15, 2001 - Literary Criticism - 226 pages
Helene Moglen offers a revisionary feminist argument about the origins, cultural function, and formal structure of the English novel. While most critics and historians have associated the novel's emergence and development with the burgeoning of capitalism and the rise of the middle classes, Moglen contends that the novel princi- pally came into being in order to manage the social and psychological strains of the modern sex-gender system. Rejecting the familiar claim that realism represents the novel's dominant tradition, she shows that, from its inception in the eighteenth century, the English novel has contained both realistic and fantastic narratives, which compete for primacy within individual texts.

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About the author (2001)

Helene Moglen is Professor of English Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Among her publications are The Philosophical Irony of Laurence Sterne (1975), Charlotte Brontė The Self Conceived (1976), and Female Subjects in Black and White: Race, Psychoanalysis, Feminism (California, 1997), which she coedited with Elizabeth Abel and Barbara Christian.

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