As we have seen with Ashputtle, Angela Carter is keenly interested in the authority and status of the fairy tale as ur-text. Central to her interest is the manner in which established cultural narratives embed traditional political and moral standards in apparently innocuous fables. The Lady of the House of Love is, in an obvious sense, a version of the Dracula-Nosferatu legend. On a deeper level, however, Carters text dramatizes the power of story-telling as a form of discursive power. As Barbara Hernstein-Smith writes, the repeated reference to a basic story that is independent of any of its versions…independent of any human purposes, perceptions, actions, or interactions obscures the fact that every conceivable type of causal relation among the stories could be established between different versions (140, 142). Drawing on Barthes insight into how all literature is intertextual, how does Carters text confront the various personal (e.g. the Ladys family history) and cultural discourses (e.g. Sleeping Beauty, Jack and the Beanstalk, the 1921 silent film, Nosferatu, Enlightenment rationalism vs. Tarot-card prophecy, Shakespeares Romeo & Juliet, Bram Stokers Dracula, etc.) she finds herself positioned within? How does Carter weave together and manipulate these existing narratives to produce a new version? Moreover, in what ways does the Ladys capacity/incapacity to assume a new identity depend upon her ability to negotiate and/or re-write existing narratives? How does the Ladys relationship with the bicyclist represent a confrontation of existing knowledge systems? Using Carters The Lady of the House of Love, compose a 1000-1500 word (4-6 pp., double-spaced) essay on the following question:In terms of Bahktins understanding of society as a confrontation between ideologically-saturated language terrains, as well as Foucaults understanding of discourse and its implications for resisting dominant cultural narratives, in what ways does Carters protagonist negotiate, what she calls, the closed circuit of discursivity (195)? In what ways, if any, is the protagonist able to move beyond a system of repetitions to learn a new song(195)?PLEASE NOTE: As with the last assignment, the purpose of this assignment is to evaluate how effectively you can apply the theories & concepts studied thus far to a specific textual example. As such, you must employ specific narratological theories and terminology in your reading of Carters story. While you are free and encouraged to use any and all relevant narratological theories in your paper, a particular stress should be put on the discursive theories of narrative studied in the latter half of the course (e.g. Strawson, Million, Christian, Barthes, Foucault, Bahktin, Lyotard, Roof, de Lauretis, etc.). Essays that fail to specifically address narratological theories, regardless of how astute the reading of The Lady of the House of Love happens to be, will be docked accordingly. therefore, please apply the narratologists opinions to the literary analysis of the novethe lady of the house of love.
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