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Angela Carter and Decadence

By reading key Carter texts alongside their Decadent intertexts, Tonkin interrogates the claim that Carter was in thrall to a fetishistic aesthetic antithetical to her feminism. Through historical contextualization of the woman-as-doll, muse and femme fatale, Tonkin tests Carter's own description of her fiction as a form of literary criticism.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Introduction: Fetishism or Fictional Critique? Olympia's Revenge: The Woman-Doll Dyad in The Magic Toyshop The Muse Exhumed: The Brief History of a Trope Re-Ambiguating the Muse in The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman The 'Poe-etics' of Decomposition: 'The Cabinet of Edgar Allan Poe' and the Reading Effect Musing on Baudelaire: 'Black Venus' and the Poet as Dead Beloved Whose Fantasy is the Femme? Dialectical Dames: Thesis and Antithesis in The Sadeian Woman There Never was a Woman Like Leilah: The Passion of New Eve Conclusion Bibliography Index

About the Author

MAGGIE TONKIN teaches nineteenth and twentieth century literary studies on a sessional basis at the University of Adelaide, Australia. She has published articles on Angela Carter and on contemporary Australian fiction, and also writes journalism and reviews for the Australian dance press.


'Maggie Tonkin's Angela Carter and Decadence makes a significant contribution to 'second-wave' Carter criticism twenty years after the writer's untimely death...the book explores a relatively neglected area in Carter criticism, considers a wide range of literary and non-literary sources, and makes a strong case for a reconsideration and reconciliation of the author's poetics and politics.' - Gramarye

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