Playing with fire: an examination of the other 'other' AND Interview as genre: Djuna Barnes' rhetorical voice

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Alissa J. Price (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Nancy Myers

Abstract: Deepa Mehta's 1996 film Fire sparked controversy among right wing nationalist groups and secular audiences from the onset of its premiere in India; its popularization led to riots, the destruction of movie houses, and the ban of the film from theaters across the continent. Both film critics and cultural theorists have examined the content and context of the film as it relates to its representation of a non-heteronormative desire between two female characters, and some, like Gayatri Gopinath and Jyoti Puri, have suggested that the film implicates transnational trajectories for queer identity, and, further, a potentially new Indian identity category that exists outside of the Western discourse of homosexuality. This essay further explicates how the Western scholarship on identity in queer theory and how the discourse of post-colonial theory focused on national identity formation fail to comprehensively account for the non-identity forming same-sex desire evident between the two women. PRICE, ALISSA J., M.A. Interview as Genre: Djuna Barnes' Rhetorical Voice. (2010)Directed by Dr. Nancy Myers. 20 pp. Over the last thirty years, scholarship has emerged regarding little-known writer/artist Djuna Barnes' major works, including her best-known Modernist novel Nightwood and her New York Times best seller Ryder. However, little scholarship exists on Djuna Barnes' journalistic interviews, even though they offer insight to her rich dialogic rhetorical voice. This essay explicates interview texts by Barnes to examine how the use of genre blending and bending subverts the standard interview format and blurs the lines between fact and fiction. The question of how the interview can be considered a genre is explored by applying Mikhail Bakhtin's concepts of primary and secondary speech genres. Moreover, I argue that the function of Barnes' blended writing style is examined regarding its ability to destabilize established generic categories as exemplified in the shared caricatures created throughout the interviews and literary fiction.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
Postcolonial theory, Queer theory
Mehta, Deepa, $d 1949- $x Criticism and interpretation.
Barnes, Djuna $x Criticism and interpretation.
Other (Philosophy) $v In art.
Lesbians in art.

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