Publication Details

Turcotte, G, Sexual Gothic: Marian Engel’s Bear and Elizabeth Jolley’s The Well, Ariel: A Review of International English Literature, 26(2), April 1995, 65–91. Original journal available here.


[Extract] In the process of retrieving female writing from patriarchal control, women writers have focussed on a number of sites for re-vision. This article is concerned with two areas which have received sustained critical and creative attention. The first is language itself and the possibility for underscoring this “politicized” subject—and here, in particular, the way generic categories such as the Gothic have been destabilized or re-appropriated in order to comment on those “systems” which institutionalize and perpetuate imperialist, sexist or so-called “normative” values. The second is sexuality and the body. Specifically, Canadian and Australian Gothic women’s writings have shown marked interest in expressing the physical side of feminine experience, although, it should be stressed, the two—language and body—are invariably connected.