By Bonnie Braendlin, Hans Braendlin
Recognized students within the fields of literature and picture deal with the problems of authority and transgression as sociocultural phenomena, discussing such themes as female and male sexuality, socioeconomic formations, heritage and fantasy, the relative energy of fictionality, style, canon formation, cinematic conventions, and conventions of educational discourse.
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Extra info for Authority and transgression in literature and film
The doctor was, significantly, a woman. She arranged for Jane's alternative insemination. ") A midwife helped to deliver the baby, Heather. Heather does have a daddy, but he is only an anonymous sperm donor. The male and the masculine are reduced to this jerky role in the reproductive process. Women and a gender-neutral technology control all the rest. Not only can the narrative provoke a hostile interpretation of Heather's birth as "unnatural," but it can also stimulate a fierce castration anxiety.
In their seminal study on transgression, Peter Stallybrass and Allon White appropriate Marcel Detienne's[Détienne's] important point that a "system of thought ... is founded on a series of acts of partition whose ambiguity ... is to open up the terrain of their possible transgression at the very moment when they mark off a limit. " 2 Acts of transgression furthermore are no less "ambiguous" than acts of partition in that they open up the terrain of their possible repression at the moment when they displace limits.
O, Mother, and Boy also form a primal family, in which Mother is at once sweetly maternal, a phallic mother, and a goddess. In a gothic scene, which may or may not be a fantasy, which may or may not be a dream, Boy watches Mother make love to O and then release O to him. After a courtship, which the regulars at the bar watch over as if they were members of a chorus, O Page 20 and Boy marry. Before the ceremony, O, with the help of Sally, a drag queen, has Boy enact a series of roles: a trembling schoolboy, a small-town queen, a soldier on leave, a black man, a woman.