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Freak Temporality

Female Adolescence in the Novels of Carson McCullers

Alison Sperling


In this article I will explore the repeated depiction of freak show performers and their relation to adolescent, tomboyish female protagonists in the novels of Carson McCullers. In a surprisingly recurrent trope across McCullers’s work, young girls believe that they will grow uncontrollably, as tall as the “nine foot tall” woman at the fair on the outskirts of town. Serving as a link between their rapidly developing bodies and their emergent sense of their own queerness, freakishness threatens to divert them from the normative futures of womanhood. I investigate this intersection of freak studies, a sub-discipline of disability studies, and queer theories of temporality, arguing for an extension of queer time through crip time, one which is necessitated by a consideration of freakishness in relation to youth and development. The figure of the freak across McCullers’s work calls for a reassessment of girlhood’s complex relationship to embodiment, place, sexuality, and temporality.

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Lolita Speaks

Disrupting Nabokov’s “Aesthetic Bliss”

Michele Meek

. “ Lolita Misrepresented, Lolita Reclaimed: Disclosing the Doubles .” College Literature 22 ( 2 ): 81 – 104 . Pease , Allison . 2000 . Modernism, Mass Culture, and the Aesthetics of Obscenity . Cambridge : Cambridge University Press . Pera , Pia

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James Joyce's “The Sisters”

Implied Pederasty and Interpreting the Inexpressible

Barry Ryan

. Oxford : Oxford University Press . Johnsen , William A. 1982 . “ Joyce's ‘Dubliners’ and the Futility of Modernism .” In James Joyce and Modern Literature , ed. W. J. McCormack and Alistair Stead , 5 – 21 . London : Routledge . Joyce

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Martin Woodside

. Berkeley : University of California Press . 10.1525/9780520915329 Worden , Daniel . 2011 . Masculine Style: The American West and Literary Modernism . New York : Palgrave Macmillan . 10.1057/9780230337992