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The Seductive Fallacy: Women and Fascism in British Domestic Fiction

Suh, Judy (2004) The Seductive Fallacy: Women and Fascism in British Domestic Fiction. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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"The Seductive Fallacy" provides a literary focus for feminist critiques of fascist gender and sexuality. It explores two fascist and three anti-fascist novels—Wyndham Lewis' The Revenge for Love (1937), Olive Hawks' What Hope for Green Street? (1945), Virginia Woolf's The Years (1937), Phyllis Bottome's The Mortal Storm (1938) and The Lifeline (1946)—that illuminate British domestic fiction's rhetorical range in the prolonged crisis of liberal hegemony after World War I. Across political purposes and a range of readerships and styles, they illuminate the genre's efficacy to theorize modern women's social, political, and cultural agency. In particular, the dissertation's critical readings of these novels explore fascism's emergence within liberal democracies. Juxtaposing Lewis and Hawks with literature from the archives of the British Union of Fascists (BUF), the first two chapters stress fascism's production and consumption of political fantasies prevalent throughout the British novel's humanist tradition, especially notions of women's agency inscribed in the traditions of nineteenth- and twentieth-century domestic literature. The last two chapters highlight and evaluate Bottome's and Woolf's divergent critical representations of fascist domesticity. The dissertation concludes that Woolf's anti-humanist feminist domestic fiction better enables readers to perceive the irreducible modernity of fascism.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBove, Paul Above@pitt.eduBOVE
Committee MemberGreen,
Committee MemberClarke, Eric Oeclare@pitt.eduECLARE
Committee MemberLandy, Marciamlandy@pitt.eduMLANDY
Date: 27 June 2004
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 31 March 2004
Approval Date: 27 June 2004
Submission Date: 19 April 2004
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Faculty of Arts and Sciences > English
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: domestic fiction; fascism; feminism; twentieth-century British literature
Other ID:, etd-04192004-120703
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:38
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:40


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