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The Bleeding of America : Menstruation as Symbolic Economy in Pynchon, Faulkner, and Morrison, Hardback Book

The Bleeding of America : Menstruation as Symbolic Economy in Pynchon, Faulkner, and Morrison Hardback

Description

Working from the premise that the Puritan construction of America as a return to Eden endures into American literature of the 20th century, Medoro focuses on the rhetoric of cyclical regeneration, blood, and damnation that accompanies this construction.

She argues that a semiotics of menstruation infuses this rhetoric and informs the figuration of a feminine America in the nation's literary tradition: America, as a New World Eden, is haunted not only by the Fall, but also by the Curse of Eve.

Placing Thomas Pynchon, William Faulkner, and Toni Morrison within this tradition, this book demonstrates that their novels link variations on the figure of the menstruating woman both to the bloody history of the United States and to a vision of the nation's redemptive promise. Detailed readings of 9 novels-3 by each author-track references to menstruation and illuminate its tropological prevalence.

The readings then develop a theory of menstruation as a kind of antidote functioning within narratives of violently spilled blood and blood purity.

Each chapter draws on a range of disciplines-from medical history and mythography to anthropology and psychoanalysis-and situates its analysis of menstruation in relation to contemporary theories of female sexuality, human evolution, and the sacred.

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