By Heidi Yeandle
This publication reveals Carter’s deconstruction of the male-dominated self-discipline of Western notion. Revealing the huge philosophical learn that underpins Carter’s intertextual paintings, this booklet deals new readings of her fiction in terms of various philosophical texts and concepts. by way of re-examining Carter’s writing with regards to the archived selection of her notes that has lately develop into to be had on the British Library, Angela Carter and Western Philosophy places ahead new interpretations of Carter’s writing practices. With chapters reading her allusions to Plato, Hobbes and Rousseau, Descartes, Locke and Hume, Wittgenstein and Ryle, in addition to Kant and Sade, this ebook illuminates Carter’s engagement with diverse components of Western idea, and discusses how this shapes her portrayal of truth, identification, civilisation, and morality. Angela Carter and Western Philosophy might be of curiosity to researchers, academics, and scholars engaged on modern women’s writing, philosophy and literature, and intertextual literary practices.
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Extra info for Angela Carter and Western Philosophy
Thus, whereas the Professors have succumbed to some of the proposals Plato puts forward in the Laws, the Barbarians are, in this respect, closer to Plato’s ideal aim for unity depicted in the Republic, with communal families ‘almost’ being a feature of their nomadic lifestyle. This mocks the supposedly civilised Professors; they see themselves as superior to the ‘uncultivated’ Barbarians, but in terms of ‘THE FATHER OF LIES, PLATO’ 27 communality, the outsiders are in fact closer to the ideal. The same argument applies to Doctor Hoffman: on his travels Desiderio temporarily lives with a primitive tribe of River People who represent the opposite of the civilised world endorsed by the city’s Minister.
Heroes and Villains pays particular attention to the structure of the Republic, with Carter’s portrayal of the Professors suggesting that Plato’s suggestions are impractical in real life, as they have had to resort to ideas Plato put forward in the Laws, relating to a second-rate state. Carter’s examination of sex and class relations in Plato’s Republic also play out in this text, as the Professor’s compound has mimicked the Republic in its male dominance as well as its elitism. In both Doctor Hoffman and New Eve Carter moves on to debunking Plato’s ideas of reality and absolute knowledge, rewriting and blurring the Similes of the Divided Line and the Cave, while also mocking Plato’s discussion of poetry via her depiction of both Doctor Hoffman and Zero.
Her father also claims that ‘Rousseau spoke of a noble savage but this is a time of ignoble savages’ (10). The ‘noble savage’ is a key idea in Rousseau’s Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (1754), also known as his Second Discourse. As well as mentioning the ‘noble savage’, Carter directly quotes from this treatise; Marianne says that Jewel’s brother Precious looked ‘just as if he had come from the hands of original nature, an animal weaker than some and less agile than others, but, taking him all round, the most advantageously organized of any’ (Heroes 65; see Meaney 110), which is from the beginning of HOBBES AND ROUSSEAU IN HEROES AND VILLAINS 45 Rousseau’s Second Discourse when he discusses primitive humanity.