Performing (In)sanity: Un-Doing Gender in Janet Frame’s An Angel at my Table

Laura de la Parra Fernández

Abstract


This essay explores madness as a performative practice in Janet Frame’s An Angel At My Table (1981) as a way to escape from gender conventions. Following Shoshana Felman and Suzette Henke, I will look at how Frame deconstructs and reconstructs a new identity by giving up female gender conventions—especially sexuality and the normative female body. In the second part of this article I analyse how, by omitting an actual account of her stay in numerous mental institutions in her autobiography, she reshapes and “re-members” the image that she wants to portray of herself.


Keywords


Gender studies, Janet Frame; life writing; performativity; madness

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17561/grove.v23.a3

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