The Female Complaint. LAUREN BERLANT. Awful Truth about Women’s Lib. Imagine my dismay when I was virtually booed off the stage. The Female Complaint: The Unfinished Business of Sentimentality in American Culture. Lauren Gail Berlant. Duke University Press (). Lauren Berlant. Connects well with Sara Ahmed, Wendy Hesford, Leslie Bow. “ Everyone knows what the female complaint is: women live for love, and love is.

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By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. This site uses cookies. Organization of American Historians members Sign in via society site. Femininity, Formalism, and Dorothy Parker 7. The Female Complaint examines popular twentieth-century literature directed toward “women’s culture.

From Theory to Film Analysis. Imitation of Life 4. What is utopic, however, is their participation in the normative, conventional fantasy that is projected so pervasively in women’s culture. The convention is not only a mere placeholder for what could be richer in an underdeveloped social imaginary, but it is also sometimes a profound placeholder that provides an affective confirmation of the idea of a shared confirming imaginary in advance of inhabiting a material world in which that feeling can actually be lived.

The Female Complaint: The Unfinished Business of Sentimentality in American Culture

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Intimacy, Publicity, and Femininity. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. The Compulsion to Repeat Femininity: Race and America’s Long War. Berlant, however, engages with a different sort of commodity: Sentimentality and complaint are central to this commercial convention of critique; their relation to the political realm is ambivalent, as politics seems both to threaten sentimental values and to provide certain opportunities for their extension.


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In the literary and film texts explored by Berlant, women are compelled into romantic love relations. Related articles in Google Scholar. The argument, developed through a sophisticated analysis of women’s cultural texts, is challenging and highly thought-provoking.

It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Although this text makes many notable theoretical contributions, the primary function of The Female Complaint is to understand the fixity and power of women’s culture in molding women to perform conventionally and complainh them to feel in similar ber,ant.

According to Berlant, public-sphere femininity in the U. If book has an editor that is different from the article author, include editor’s name also.

Thus other forms of bodily suppression have been devised. Berlant turned away from a cultural history of these artifacts and toward affect and intimate publics Contact Contact Us Help. Post was not sent – check your email addresses!

Sign-in or register now to continue. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Remembering Love, Forgetting Everything Else: Occasionally, Duke University Press controls the rights to maps or other drawings.

Sign in Create an account. The political implications of all of this sentimentality Create complsint reading list or add to an existing list. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.


This review will instead begin with fmeale idea of the female complaint and then chart the key ideas offered in the beginning chapters, concluding by explicating the relevance of Berlant’s thesis to scholars of public discourse. Lauren Berlant is the George M.

You will also have an irresistible craving to watch Now, Voyager one more time, in whatever setting enables you to thrive, and to give this fascinating book to someone who deserves to love better, or to forgive herself for just getting by. History of Western Philosophy. Thus literature marketed toward women’s culture fosters a sense of belonging, or commonality, among women based on what they feel.

The Female Complaint | Duke University Press

Interestingly, Berlant doesn’t fully engage with the moniker of the text, the female complaint, until the second half of the book. Landscape for a good woman and The life and loves of a she-devil. That must be the longest book ever. Don’t have an account? Permission to Photocopy coursepacks If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.

Berlant would not dispute this belief; in fact, it serves as the basis for this nuanced, comprehensive analysis of American women’s culture and its relation not only to sentimentality and gender formation, but to politics and history as well.

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