Federico 2009

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Madwoman in the Attic after 30 Years, "Introduction"

essentialism in the 70s second-wave feminism; desire to recovered "a lost unity, a shared female experience. But if that essentialist impulse is reflexively repudiated as retrograde, biologically reductive, and exclusionary, younger scholars and students are in peril of missing out on exactly what was seen as enabling about Madwoman. From the book's famous first sentence ('Is a pen a metaphorical penis?'), The Madwoman in the ATtic showed how fundamental and how connected metaphors of sexuality, power, and embodiment have been to the ways women in Western culture have imagined their own art and creativity -- that experience generates metaphors just as metaphors create experience." (9-10)