"Fixed indissolubly" : problematic images of femininity in Margaret Atwood's The Edible Woman

Title: "Fixed indissolubly" : problematic images of femininity in Margaret Atwood's The Edible Woman
Variant title:
  • "Figée à tout jamais dans ce mouvement" : les images problématiques de la féminité dans La femme comestible de Margaret Atwood
Author: Krausz, Katinka
Source document: The Central European journal of Canadian studies. 2021, vol. 16, iss. [1], pp. 43-54
  • ISSN
    1213-7715 (print)
    2336-4556 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
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This article analyzes Margaret Atwood's The Edible Woman, focusing on the way photographs are used in the narrative to draw attention to conflicts. In the novel, Atwood effectively utilizes the associative connection between photography and hunting – a connection which has long been established in the discourse and terminology of photography. Marian's relationship to her own portrait and her reluctance to be photographed highlights the problematic nature of commercial photographs and the way their depiction of women maintains and promotes the myth of femininity. The situation in which Peter attempts to take Marian's picture reflects the circumstances of traditional photography and its gender relations, inasmuch as the photographer is male and his subject is female. This paper provides a close reading of key passages in the novel, using the rarely discussed history of pornographic photography and its effects on the rhetoric of commercial photographs, based on the works of Annette Kuhn and Abigail Solomon-Godeau.
L'article examine La femme comestible, le roman de Margaret Atwood, en mettant l'accent sur la manière dont les photographes sont utilisées pour attirer l'attention sur les conflits. Dans cet ouvrage, la photographie et la chasse sont explicitement liées. Cette association n'est pas l'invention d'Atwood, elle existe depuis longtemps dans la terminologie et le discours de photographie, pourtant l'auteur l'a effectivement utilisée. La relation de Marian avec son propre portrait et sa répugnance à être photographiée montrent la nature problématique des photographes commerciales et la façon dont ce type des représentations maintient et promeut le mythe de la féminité. La situation dans laquelle Peter tente de prendre la photo de Marian reflète les spécificités de la photographie traditionnelle et la relation de genre dans ce contexte, dans la mesure où le photographe est un homme et son sujet est une femme. Cet article propose une lecture attentive sur le roman, en utilisant l'approche de Annette Kuhn et Abigail Solomon-Godeau concernant l'histoire de la photographie pornographique qui n'est guère recherchée et ses effets sur la photographie commerciale.
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[2] Atwood, Margaret. The Edible Woman. Virago Press, 1989.

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