Gubar 1981

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Gubar, "The Blank Page"

metaphors of blank pages and books as women waiting to be written upon

Gayatri Spivak in introduction to "Of Grammatology," emphasizes that Derrida thinks the hymen is the always folded space in which the pen writes its dissemination"

"This model of the pen-penis writing on the virgin page participates in a long tradition of identifying the author as a male who is primary and the female as his passive creation -- a secondary object lacking autonomy, endowed with often contradictory meaning but denied intentionality. Clearly this tradition excludes woman from the creation of culture, even as it reifies her as an artifact within culture. It is therefore particularly problematic for those women whow ant to appropriate the pen by becoming writers." (247)

Isak Dinesen, "The Blank Page"; community of female nuns spin linen from flax they gather, give it to royals who use it as bedsheets; when new bride is married, stained bedsheet is given back to nuns who frame it in a gallery

women artists write autobiography, confessional, because their lives are considered art

"Mired in stories of our own destruction, stories which we confuse with ourselves, how can women experience creativity? In Dinesen's story, the creation of female art feels like the destruction of the female body. Because of the forms of self-expression available to women, artistic creation often feels like a violation, a belated reaction to male penetration rather thana possessing and controlling." (256)

adoping metaphors and imagery of books before book history took off -- time to return to these material metaphors and consider what a feminist book history would be