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Unformatted text preview: The Jade Cabinet Rikki Ducornet In the 1970’s there began a whole tradition of feminist literature—much of it rather crude.- Rikki Ducornet, a more intelligent feminist author, allowed two things: o Position the feminine on the particular fate while at the same time creating a postmodern novel. o Talks about the inequality of the patriarchy and tries to normalize it and she goes back to the Victorian times to do so. Patriarchy as a system of gender inequality and for every postmodern novel written by a woman, the first thing she has to do is remove the oedipal (penis envy) complex to remove the Patriarchy. It is in Etheria’s refusal to speak that liberates her and allows her to separate herself from the Patriarchal world. Rikki Ducornet was a painter before she became a novelist. She met Guy Ducornet, a political activist in the 60’s and they married. The Jade Cabinet is about “Air” (she had written three other novels—about water, earth, and fire). In the afterward to The Jade Cabinet, Wake into Eden, Ducornet expresses her view of the function of fiction making by saying, “I like to imagine that Adam’s tongue, with power in his lips, were always on fire, that the air he breathed would kindle to incandescent each time he cried out in sorrow or delight. If fiction can be said to have any function it is to release this primary feeling of which language even now is miraculously capable from the dried mud of daily use.” She tries to get back to the Eden of language and get back in touch with that revelation—through her fascination of language. Language can be violent and needs to be opened up so people can think about the world in a very different way. If you want to change something, you tell a different story—this is why she goes back to Victorian England. - The view of women in this society—she was domestic, she was private, and she didn’t participate in public discourse.- Ducornet wanted to go back to that period and raise the question what is the conditional possibility for a woman to speak and exist without being completely defined by the Patriarchy. The carnivals of Victorian England, or the space created by it. There were certain angelic woman that do not seem to be affected by the Patriarchy—Ducornet goes back and creates a space for these women to exist. Ducornet takes the traditional 19 th century Victorian novel with a beginning, middle, and ending, and like Auster she “knocks the head right off of it—using and abusing the traditional form and taking it somewhere else.” If this were simply a story about Memory, it would be one girl’s desire to love her father, get married and live happily ever after. Ducornet takes Memory’s narrative and inserts Etheria and explodes the narrative and takes it somewhere else— this is a postmodern idea (The New York Trilogy) ....
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- Spring '06