Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus: A Routledge Study by Helen Stoddart

By Helen Stoddart

A hugely unique and influential paintings of recent British literature, Angela Carter’s Nights on the Circus combines a beautifully artistic plot with a powerful political undertone. the result's an emotive and provocative novel, which has attracted a lot serious recognition from a number of views together with poststructuralism, gender reviews, postmodernism and psychoanalysis.

This consultant to Angela Carter’s advanced novel, presents:

  • an obtainable creation to the textual content and contexts of Nights on the Circus a serious historical past, surveying the numerous interpretations of the textual content from ebook to the current
  • a number of new serious essays at the Nights on the Circus, by means of Heather Johnson, Jeannette Baxter, Sarah Sceats and Helen Stoddart, supplying quite a few views at the novel and increasing the assurance of key serious methods pointed out within the survey part
  • cross-references among sections of the consultant, so that it will recommend hyperlinks among texts, contexts and feedback
  • suggestions for extra studying.

Part of the Routledge publications to Literature sequence, this quantity is vital analyzing for all these starting precise research of Nights on the Circus and looking not just a advisor to the unconventional, yet a manner in the course of the wealth of contextual and important fabric that surrounds Carter’s textual content.

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Extra resources for Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus: A Routledge Study Guide

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The way is thereby prepared for Fevvers’ moment of (terrifying) liberation in the first chapter of Section III when she has lost the ‘mastery’ over time she believes was conferred on her by her ‘mascots’ of patriarchy (‘Father Time’ and the Ma Nelson’s toy sword ‘Victory’). When Lizzie points out to her, ‘You are Year One. You haven’t any history and there are no expectations of you except the ones you create’ (Pt. III, Ch. 1, p. 198), she, typically, captures something of the politically radical potential of the novel’s fairy-tale suspension of time mastery and division for the construction of newly imagined female selves.

122–3. Bahktin, Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics, p. 125. Bahktin, Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics, p. 127. Bakhtin, Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics, p. 123. 65 Carnival may be ‘all-annihilating’, but it is also ‘all-renewing’. There is no such thing in the carnivalesque as ‘absolute negation and destruction’; things which are destroyed or killed are never replaced by their opposite, only by a renewed version of them. The carnivalesque, therefore, emphasizes both dualism and ambivalence with each element always in a circular or shifting dynamic with an opposite, but without final resolution or replacement of one by the other.

58 Mulvey, ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’, p. 11. TEXT AND CONTEXTS 27 the eye of the beholder’ (Pt. I, Ch. 2, p. 23). The emphasis in both statements is on the codification of female display and the implication that follows, which is that female exhibitionism is a set of socially acquired gestures, signs and codes which are learnt through ‘apprenticeship’; they adorn the female but do not constitute her and are therefore not essential to her. For Fevvers, this permits an escape route in her early years because in Ma Nelson’s brothel she can occupy the ‘sign’ of love by enacting various sexually symbolic women without ever having to give herself over to the act of sex itself.

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