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“A tangled web of mindfuck": Andrea Dworkin and the Truth of Pornography
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013). (KuFo)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5104-1716
2016 (English)In: Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, ISSN 0732-7730, E-ISSN 1936-1645, Vol. 35, no 1, 145-171 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This essay argues that Andrea Dworkin’s much derided argument against pornography may still prove productive if read in relation to her fiction. Taking note of the fact that Dworkin’s own novels have been accused of being pornographic according to her criteria, the essay explores the possibility that her radical feminist anti-porn stance, inevitably described as something of a moralistic backlash by sex-liberals, could be seen as a continuation of the pornographic imagination it so vehemently protests. Through critical readings of Dworkin’s novels Ice and Fire and Mercy, as well as her autobiographical works and theoretical writings on pornography, the essay demonstrates that the contradic- tions that beset her writings echo the contradictions inherent in our contemporary under- standing of pornography. Much like the pornography she would resist, Dworkin’s writings invite a solipsistic mode of reading, the experiential rewards of which are not so much of an interpretive as of a sensual nature. In so doing, Dworkin’s fiction paradoxically proves an invaluable point of entry into the pornographic imagination, making evident its essentially monologic nature. While this circumstance may be damaging for her status as an agitator, it points to her continued—if as yet largely unacknowledged—importance as a writer. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 35, no 1, 145-171 p.
Keyword [en]
pornography; feminism; american literature; andrea dworkin
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Comparative Literature; English
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-44362ISI: 000378368300006OAI: diva2:946210
Available from: 2016-07-04 Created: 2016-07-04 Last updated: 2016-08-05Bibliographically approved

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Ullén, Magnus
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