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(111) The use of a male first-person narrator, actually quite characteristic of speculative fiction by women during the 1960s and early 1970s (another example is Ursula K.Le Guin's Left Hand of Darkness ), is an important factor in interpreting Dr. Yet only the books of Peach and Tucker (whose volume reprints the excellent excerpt from Robinson's Engendering the Subject [SUNY Press] that Peach is quoting from above) address this matter of Carter's early "ventriloquism." Peach is perhaps too insistent on Carter's debt to Leslie Fiedler's discussion of Euro-American Gothicism in Love and Death in the American Novel (Criterion, 1960): he makes a strong case, but overlooks equally probable influences; Carter didn't stop reading (or thinking) in 1965.
For, while strong on the matters they do address, Tucker's authors proceed from such different assumptions about Carter (her genres and her fictional practices) that the sum of this book is quite difficult to total.Tucker's introduction does provide a lucid chronological survey of Carter's writings, but it focuses mainly on Carter commentators not represented in the volume, including Salman Rushdie, Lorna Sage, Linda Hutcheon, and Claire Kahane.A rationale for the reprinted articles also was needed--some account of how they fit together and why they were selected.Lindsey Tucker's volume, a miscellany of reprinted essays, flings the door wide to a variety of challenging readings and promising approaches, but Tucker offers little guidance on how these (in some cases mutually exclusive) interpretations might be synthesized into an overview.Two of these books lay claim to being the first full-length work of criticism on Angela Carter.To Aidan Day, Carter is preeminently a rationalist; to Sarah Gamble, she is a feminist interested in dramatizating the liminal.To Linden Peach, a scholar in Britain who specializes in US fiction, Carter is an English writer strongly influenced by American culture, especially the criticism of Leslie Fiedler.Hoffman, for instance, Peach is sensible and insightful: Desiderio is the author of a narrative which, as [Sally] Robinson (1991) says, "enlists an array of misogynist sentiment and fantasy"....However, here Carter as a female author is appropriating a male consciousness to expose how women are trapped, like the woman reader of this novel, in a male imaginary.(There is no Works Cited section in Peach's volume, and the Bibliography lists only Penguin's Selected Melanie Klein : Klein's theories are described without citation of a single article or book title.) Despite the minimal documentation, however, this gracefully written account of Carter's development as a novelist rings true overall.A Toni Morrison scholar, Peach knows the discourse on myth and folklore, adding an interesting dimension to his reading of Carter.