By Ned Schantz
Even though woman verbal exchange networks abound in lots of contexts and feature bought a great degree of serious scrutiny, no examine has addressed their designated importance inside narrative tradition writ huge. Filling this conspicuous hole, Ned Schantz offers a full of life exploration of the phenomenon, resituating novelistic tradition as imperative whilst he levels throughout media and the myriad applied sciences that attend them. Charting the emergence of girl networks through the main fashionable modes of communication--gossip, letters, and phones--Schantz brings his learn to lifestyles with unconventional interpretations of vintage British novels and renowned Hollywood movies spanning a number of genres and time sessions. With incisive readings of Clarissa, Emma, and Evelina, Schantz indicates how gossip either attracts sympathy and is repressed by way of dominant male tradition in a recurrent development of avowal and disavowal. The epistolary novel extra a rhythm to verbal exchange that used to be generative of fable, which in flip proficient "telephonic film," a improvement depicted in analyses of films corresponding to Sorry, unsuitable quantity; Vertigo; Terminator; and you have Mail. Schantz highlights the best way the phone works as a structuring equipment, no longer in basic terms a prop, person who shapes the plot and indicates provocative formal implications. whereas this examine traverses an uncanny realm of misplaced messages and fake suitors, telepathy and synthetic intelligence, locked rooms and time-traveling stalkers, those occult issues basically ensure the significance of lady conversation at its most elementary point. Illuminating and accessible--Gossip, Letters, telephones unearths woman networks as considered one of narrative's so much supple and chronic parts in literature and cinema.
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Additional resources for Gossip, Letters, Phones: The Scandal of Female Networks in Film and Literature
In James’s “happy ending” Clarissa marries Solmes, adding wealth to the family estates and conﬁrming James’s status as the de facto head of that family. This inaugural fantasy of Clarissa’s future generates a plot that is precisely a ﬁght for that future, as she so clearly sees: “I should not give up to my brother’s ambition the happiness of my future life” (105). Early on, though, Clarissa’s own tendency is to resist fantasizing altogether, for her epic struggle with her family has less to do with realizing any speciﬁc alternate future than with a simple refusal, the right to her “negative” (307).
If James and Austen share a deep preoccupation with the risks and rewards of placing female characters at the center of attention, then in James the usual mode of this concern comes into historical jeopardy, as we wonder how long the courtship plot can continue to be the main business of the novel (indeed as early as 1893 George Gissing would divert the courtship plot into the question of female vocation in The Odd Women). Moreover, James represents an unusual opportunity for reﬁning the study of gossip and the novel in the way he blurs the roles of author and critic, particularly in his prefaces to the New York Edition of his works.
Elton does badly throughout the novel; it has come to be the meaning of her character. But I have already suggested that this meaning is a function of our allegiance to the converging perspectives of Emma and Knightley and should not necessarily be seen as coextensive with the novel’s meaning in its full range of possibilities for understanding Mrs. Elton. Perhaps, then, we should feel freer to occupy the slight breathing room Austen has left for her. What makes doing this so hard, however, is that Mrs.