Introduction

The bibliography provides information on writings dealing with the history of rape, including sexual child abuse, sexual harassment, sexual molestation, child prostitution, forced prostitution, sexual slavery, sexual(ized) violence. The blog informs about calls for papers, forthcoming events and new literature in this field.

January 5, 2011

ART: Steele, Kathryn L. »Clarissa’s silence.«

Journal: Eighteenth-century fiction
Volume: 23
Issue: 1
Year: Autumn 2010
Pages: 1-34
Full Text: Project MUSE [Restricted.]

Abstract: »This article reconsiders interpretive struggle as a paradigm for Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa and, in particular, for understanding the novel’s eighteenth-century readers. Taking Clarissa as an exemplary character implies a reading strategy that understands female silence as modesty, piety, and passive obedience—an obedience to the idea of authority that nonetheless questions its abuse. I compare modern and eighteenth-century responses, using approaches to the rape as a way to identify significant differences in strategies of interpretation. I also find traces of one of these alternate strategies of interpretation in the use and circulation of religious texts. I argue that religious reading, with concurrent forms of silent response, is an influential implied reading strategy even as this alternate framework of interpretation is difficult, if not impossible, to perceive. Suggesting that we might re-evaluate our readings of Clarissa to consider her as a religious example, this essay meditates on the problem of shifting interpretive protocols.« [Source: Eighteenth-century fiction.]