Angela Carter and Western Philosophy by Heidi Yeandle

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By Heidi Yeandle

This publication finds Carter’s deconstruction of the male-dominated self-discipline of Western idea. Revealing the wide philosophical learn that underpins Carter’s intertextual paintings, this ebook deals new readings of her fiction on the subject of a number philosophical texts and ideas. by means of re-examining Carter’s writing just about the archived selection of her notes that has lately develop into on hand on the British Library, Angela Carter and Western Philosophy places ahead new interpretations of Carter’s writing practices. With chapters analyzing her allusions to Plato, Hobbes and Rousseau, Descartes, Locke and Hume, Wittgenstein and Ryle, in addition to Kant and Sade, this publication illuminates Carter’s engagement with diversified parts of Western suggestion, and discusses how this shapes her portrayal of truth, identification, civilisation, and morality. Angela Carter and Western Philosophy should be of curiosity to researchers, teachers, and scholars engaged on modern women’s writing, philosophy and literature, and intertextual literary practices. 

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The other prisoners would think that he was blind, and believe ‘that there was no use in even thinking of ascending’ (350–1). While the hostages have no knowledge and privilege sight, the philosopher has reached the intelligible Forms and thinks that the senses are inferior; the philosopher dismisses ‘the world we experience as being on the level of a shadow or a dream’ (Annas Introduction 263). But Plato’s Simile specifies that the philosopher is compelled to return to the underground den and rule: because the philosopher has ‘seen the beautiful and just and good in their truth’, Plato believes that once they re-adjust to the visible realm of the cave, they ‘will see ten thousand times better than those in the den’ (354), and can therefore govern effectively.

125). Although Eve(lyn) has seen Tristessa outside the cinema environment and knows the ‘truth’ behind her Hollywood disguise, s/he has not reached a higher understanding of reality. Instead, Eve(lyn) interprets Tristessa as an ‘anti-being’ who challenges the notion of reality altogether (126). Once again, this poses a simultaneous challenge to Plato and Hollywood. Hollywood’s construction of ideal femininity is put in the spotlight, as Eve(lyn) wonders—vis-à-vis Tristessa’s success as a screen siren—if anyone in the film industry was ‘in on the gross deception’ (141).

The film-like depiction of ‘time […] running back on itself’ (179) where ‘rivers neatly roll up on themselves like spools ‘THE FATHER OF LIES, PLATO’ 41 of film and turn in on to their own sources’ (181) suggests that Carter does have Plato in mind here, and recalls the cinema at the beginning of the novel. As a version of Plato’s Cave, Mother’s Cave houses a shadowy version of reality, questioning our knowledge of the world and rewinding evolution and the foundations of our knowledge. The reversal of the evolutionary process is suggestive of erasing the forces that have shaped the Western world, including Plato’s lies, and restarting this process from the same origins.

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