By Ned Schantz
Even though lady communique networks abound in lots of contexts and feature bought an outstanding degree of severe scrutiny, no learn has addressed their exact importance inside narrative tradition writ huge. Filling this conspicuous hole, Ned Schantz provides a full of life exploration of the phenomenon, resituating novelistic tradition as imperative while he levels throughout media and the myriad applied sciences that attend them. Charting the emergence of lady networks through the main favorite modes of communication--gossip, letters, and phones--Schantz brings his examine to existence with unconventional interpretations of vintage British novels and renowned Hollywood movies spanning a number of genres and time sessions. With incisive readings of Clarissa, Emma, and Evelina, Schantz exhibits how gossip either attracts sympathy and is repressed via dominant male tradition in a recurrent trend of avowal and disavowal. The epistolary novel extra a rhythm to conversation that was once generative of delusion, which in flip expert "telephonic film," a improvement depicted in analyses of films similar to Sorry, fallacious quantity; Vertigo; Terminator; and you have got Mail. Schantz highlights the best way the phone works as a structuring gadget, no longer in basic terms a prop, person who shapes the plot and indicates provocative formal implications. whereas this examine traverses an uncanny realm of misplaced messages and fake suitors, telepathy and synthetic intelligence, locked rooms and time-traveling stalkers, those occult issues merely verify the significance of girl conversation at its most elementary point. Illuminating and accessible--Gossip, Letters, telephones unearths woman networks as one in every of narrative's so much supple and protracted parts in literature and cinema.
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Extra resources for Gossip, Letters, Phones: The Scandal of Female Networks in Film and Literature
That’s the sort of message we get from her—that was the last that came. But there had been another before, which I think contained the ﬁrst mention of the niece. ‘Changed hotel, very bad, impudent clerk, address here. ” (27)22 As ﬁgured here, the telegram is the mortal enemy of the novel, opposing novelistic expansion with a technology of such “condensation,” as Ralph says, that it achieves syntax without subjects. ” But poised between telegraphic and novelistic discourse is gossip, which combines the crudeness of the former with the loquaciousness of the latter.
And indeed this economy may serve a more directed psychic function. Tania Modleski has pointed out that “death can be a very powerful means of wreaking vengeance on others who do not properly ‘appreciate’ us” (Loving 18), and several critics echo her in attributing revenge fantasies to Clarissa. Moreover, when communicated to her oppressors, these fantasies become threats—rhetorical acts in a strategy of resistance. If Clarissa is going down, she lets the world know, she is taking others with her.
All of this is complicated, of course, by the fact that our ﬁeld of interest cannot be cultivated systematically, like a garden. Other people have a tendency to move about, to develop their own interests. Accordingly, Harriet and Jane bear some share of responsibility for the ﬁzzling friendships—Harriet for being tractable and lovesick, Jane for being standofﬁsh and secretive. Neither grows according to Emma’s interests. It is perhaps only in ﬁction, or possibly history, that the people we imagine hold still long enough to reward our interest dependably.
Gossip, Letters, Phones: The Scandal of Female Networks in Film and Literature by Ned Schantz