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Splattered InkPostfeminist Gothic Fiction and Gendered Violence$
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Sarah E. Whitney

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040467

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040467.001.0001

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Terror and Brightness

Terror and Brightness

What Can Postfeminist Gothic Do?

(p.1) 1 Terror and Brightness
Splattered Ink

Sarah E. Whitney

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses the continuing relevance of postfeminist gothic works in literature. “Postfeminism” is used throughout this book to describe a powerful cultural sensibility that assumes that gender equity has been achieved, and that feminism is now both obsolete and undesirable. Postfeminist gothic novels, however, violently intrude on the well-constructed fantasy of a safe and equitable world. They feature abject protagonists who are socially invisible, physically broken, or speaking from the grave. Emphasizing women's disempowerment, they go against the grain of a victim-resistant, empowerment-oriented age. In their very narratives, which often foreclose happiness, these works also eschew the therapeutic structures embedded in postfeminist popular culture.

Keywords:   postfeminist gothic works, postfeminism, postfeminist popular culture, women's disempowerment, gender, feminism

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