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Arachne and Athena: Towards a Different Poetics of Women’s Writing
Arachne and Athena: Towards a Different Poetics of Women’s Writing

Author(s): Monika Świerkosz
Subject(s): Social Sciences, Language and Literature Studies, Gender Studies, Studies of Literature, Sociology, Polish Literature
Published by: Instytut Badań Literackich Polskiej Akademii Nauk

Summary/Abstract: This article discusses Nancy K. Miller’s project of arachnology. Świerkosz presents Miller’s reinterpretation of Arachne as a creative woman (rather than a spider) and of Athena, who (contrary to many feminist readings of the myth) also embodies a certain kind of feminine creativity. Thus Świerkosz questions the somatic model of writing that many critics (including G. Borkowska, A. Araszkiewicz, K. Kłosińska, H. Cixous, I. Irigaray, J. Kristeva) view as the only authentic (and anti-phallogocentric) way for women to find expression in art. Building on scholarship on Maria Dąbrowska’s biography and work as a case study, Świerkosz shows that a narrow definition of womanhood impacts our reading, as does literary historians’ tendency to ignore the ambivalent relationship between gender and literature.

  • Issue Year: 2017
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 8-26
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: English