Monday, 12 September 2011
Blindung and Passion
Susan Suleiman's Authoritarian Fictions (Princeton University Press 1983) theorises the Bildunsgroman as 'a story of apprenticeship' in which 'the protagonist undergoes two parallel transformations ... first, from ignorance (of self) to knowledge (of self); second, from passivity to action. This is interesting. She's particularly interested in what she calls 'authoritarian fiction', fiction that argues a case or advances a thesis with a view to persuading the reader (she distinguishes these sorts of tales from the rest of the fictional universe). The various ways in which constructions of female passivity (or passion) and activity (or action) intersect with an ideology if 'authority' strikes me as a particularly fruitful area of enquiry.