“This Living Hand”: Thirteenth-Century Female Literacy, Materialist Immanence, and the Reader of the Ancrene eth Robertson – – Speculum. Judith Fetterley, The Resisting Reader: a Feminist Approach to American. Fiction (Bloomington and London: Indiana University Press, , X). Pp. xxvi. Judith Fetterley (born ) is a literary scholar known for her work in feminism and women’s Calling on women readers to intervene, to resist this hailing, Fetterley calls feminist criticism a political act to “to make available to consciousness.

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Jun 09, Jessica Maginity rated it liked it Shelves: This was a very nice palate cleanser after a book of pretty sexist critics on Ulysses and Farheinheit I enjoyed most of it and found it to be a good reminder of strategies to take as a feminist critic, but it didn’t change my life.

The Resisting Reader: A Feminist Approach to American Fiction

I think a part of my ambivalent reaction to it comes from the way she ended it having failed to live up to her promise of showing us how The American Dream could be repurposed as radically feminist.

What she did instead was analyze Mailer’s proudly and violently This was a very nice palate cleanser after a book of pretty sexist critics on Ulysses and Farheinheit What she did instead was analyze Mailer’s proudly and violently chauvinist hellscape but then she didn’t get to the redemption!

I just feel a little queasy now. A positive, forward-looking feeling that came of this is that I am thoroughly convinced that I need to get elbow deep in some Henry James. He’s appeared in some other criticism I’ve read recently and astonishingly all I’ve ever read by him are fragments of The Turn of the Screw.

Judith Fetterley

Looking forward to meatier feminist crit in the future. May 03, Matt rated it liked it. I’m sure this is a tiresome strategy by now, but it works for me to record why I’m reading these books This one I’ve been meaning to read since I read the introduction in Resisying Ann Wilson’s feminist theory class a decade ago, and I could never since understand why I couldn’t find a copy, since it seemed like a really novel approach, a specifically gender centered take on reader-response.

I did find a copy, at the woman-centered college here in town, which makes sense, but the book doesn’t quit I’m sure this is a tiresome strategy by now, but it works for me to record why I’m reading these books I did find a copy, at the woman-centered college here in town, resder makes sense, but the book doesn’t quite do what I’d long hoped– I wanted a manual on how to become the resisting reader, what strategies were at work, how you located those nodes from which to resist and read against the grain, what resising were in fact told when you read the book this way.


Doesn’t that sound like a book of theory you’d like to read? That’s not this book, though. Instead, it’s a collection of resistant readings, which I think means that Fetterley first exposes the patriarchal politics that are the thematic content of these canonical works, and then shows the ways in which these patriarchal politics distort the reality of lived existence.

There are places here where this is a progressive scheme tied to history, as in the willingness to acknowledge the truth about women’s oppression increases the closer we get to the present day, at least more or less, with the short stories. But this is only a partial progression– honestly, the chapters on novels, the last four of the book, didn’t seem to develop a progression that I could see, nor are they precisely in chronological order which does make me ask why they are in this order, but that’s a sort of side question.

I think I’m pretty sympathetic to reading these canonical works as expressing some pretty retrograde views on gender, and even being built on such ideas. But I’m not sure teh Fetterley’s readings are entirely fetterlwy to me– they are forceful and vehement, but to me often lack adequate textual evidence and make a lot of leaps that are readsr and occasionally jarring– one gets the sense that Fetterley has memorized all of these novels and expects the same of the reader who will follow her argument, since she leaves out a lot of connective tissue.

For those works I was more familiar with, mostly the short stories, many of which I’ve taught and resissting naturally know better, she draws conclusions that I’m not sure are accurate– for example, the reasoning she gives why no resosting wants to confront Emily in A Rose for Emily about the smell in resistjng house isn’t the the one I’d give. And her claim that that story isn’t about the passage of time seems, well, on the face of it a little contrary, to criticism but also the story itself and most of Faulkner’s work.

There are other moments in Fetterley’s readings that are bold but also seem, at least to me, a little wrong headed. That said, her reading of The Bostonians, which I don’t have very crisp memories of, is detailed and feels sharp and about right. In other fettreley, I think fetferley almost a model chapter of what a really self-aware political feminist critic can do.

I’d assign this chapter to all my students if it didn’t mean that they had to read The Bostonians to follow it. There’s also a remarkable moment in Fetterley’s chapter readfr Mailer’s An American Dream when she brings in Valerie Solanis that fetterleu, honest to God, inspired.

It’s a perfect historical intervention, judiyh I think Fetterley uses it well– it makes the rest of the chapter a little bit of a letdown, after that early strike. Anyhow, it’s easier now to understand why this book isn’t available everywhere and widely cited– it’s got an intriguing premise, but in the working through, it’s more idiosyncratic than it is systematic, rhe unless you’re Fetterley herself, it’s hard to imagine using this strategy to open up other texts.

Mar 24, Coalton rated it did not like it. To read the canon of what is currently considered classic American literature is perforce to identify as male. Though exceptions to this generalization can be found here and there – a Dickinson poem, a Wharton novel – these resisitng usually function to obscure the argument and confuse the issue: American literature is male.


I have to read this jdith write a reading log on it and it pisses me off because all of it is just wrong. Pages and pages of wrong. Hell, by the s. My professor must have been like “this will piss Coalton off, I will assign this,” because I discuss things a lot in my senior seminar and, oh boy, I am going to deconstruct fetherley living shit out of this garbage.

It insists on its universality at the same time that it defines that universality in specifically male terms. That’s why The Awakening by Kate Chopin’s protagonist woman has trouble and conflict showing her sexuality to other men Eudora Welty stories, with black women and white women struggling through segragation, lost love or illness Katherine Ann-Porter stories about families impoverished or living lives of crime in the South to get by This woman fettrrley awful.

I knew from the moment I read the first quote that I linked that this was going to be bullshit. Why I Live at the P. Resisitng be wrong somewhere else and get out of my senior seminar!!!

The Resisting Reader

Mar 22, Anne D. I hope to continue re-reading this book. I don’t think I will ever tire of reading her well thought out, brilliantly written observations. Sep 09, Aida Hussen rated it liked it Recommends it for: Standard second-wave fare in feminist literary theory.

Solid writing and analysis, but mostly old hat for those of us who have been reading this sub-genre for years. Samuel Rowland rated it really liked it Apr 03, Andrea rated it it was amazing Dec 16, Liz rated it it was amazing May 31, Meagan rated it really liked it Aug 23, Leo rated it liked it Apr 28, William rated it it was ok Apr 09, Anne rated it it was amazing Jan 15, Andrea Riley rated it it was ok Nov 19, Amy Fairgrieve rated it really liked it Mar 23, Angies rated it liked it Jul 03, Dawn rated it it was ok Aug 19, Catherine Kyle rated it really liked it Apr 24, Magnus rated it liked it Dec 16, Amy rated it really liked it Jun 20, Latifa Al-hajeri rated it liked it Mar 23, C rated it really liked it Jun 15, Michelle Prendergast rated it really liked it Jan 09, Marla rated it liked it Jun 26, James Sheasley rated it it was amazing Nov 21, Fatemeh Musavi rated it it was amazing Aug 18, Bridget Mainali rated it liked it Dec 02, Brittaney rated it liked it Aug 28, Bookvica rated it it was amazing Sep 04, Bridgitte rated it liked it Dec 13, Raisu rated it liked it Jan 31, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

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