Date of Degree
English Language and Literature | Esthetics | Women's Studies
absence, feminist theory, phenomenology, poetry, silence, visual culture
This dissertation examines the way silence, blank space, and other forms of creative withholding attempt to translate the unsayable, or to convey the unsayability of language in artistic form. Through a study of the works of Sylvia Plath, Jean Rhys, Rachel Zucker, Marguerite Duras, Anne Carson, and visual images, this work observes the connection between women's writing in the 20th century and the communication of painful subject matter through attention to absence. This study attends explicitly to how formal qualities in artistic works attend to ontological concerns through an examination of the intersection of concerns with phenomenology, feminism, and formal aesthetics.
Souffrant, Leah, ""She said plain, burned things": A Feminist Poetics of the Unsayable in Twentieth Century Literary & Visual Culture" (2014). CUNY Academic Works.