History as a discourse in Jeanette Winterson's "The passion" : the politics of alterity

María del Mar Asensio Aróstegui


Set in the historical context of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars, Jeanette Winterson's The Passion is an outstanding example of the kind of fiction that Elizabeth Wesseling (1991: vii) calls postmodernist historical novels, that is, "novelistic adaptations of historical material". Besides, being profoundly self-reflexive, the novel also falls under Linda Hutcheon's (1988) category of historiographic metafiction. The present paper focuses on Winterson's political choice of two representatives of historically silenced groups, a soldier and a woman, who use two apparently opposed narrative modes, the historical and the fantastic, to tell a story that both exposes history as a discursive construct and provides an alternative fantastic discourse for the representation of feminine desire.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18172/jes.54

Copyright (c) 2000 María del Mar Asensio Aróstegui

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