September 2021

The fugue - music as a euphemism in the works of Carson McCullers and Emiliya Dvoriyanova
Ralitsa Zhekova Lyutskanova-Kostova

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In Women in the House of Fiction Lorna Sage writes: "…the novels too treated the domain of character and representation as the place where the 'others' lived, playing their parts and acting out their roles…" (Sage 1992: viii). Sage investigates the impact women writers have had on post-war fiction employing that every novelist tries to probe the boundaries of fiction, to "voice" their views and positions through the language of literature. Using Henry James's metaphor of fiction as a house, however, Sage is indebted to one of the writers she read and wrote about – Angela Carter. It was Sage, as the first-ever critic to discuss Carter's works thoroughly, who noticed that houses are unable to endure holding the woman and her transgressive power at bay. All houses, castles, buildings, every entity that stands for patriarchal power, are eventually destroyed. Sage reads this as an attack from women novelists against their literary inheritance (Sage 1992: ix). Womanhood is a topic widely outspoken and deeply problematic. Each text takes on different ways to construct, deconstruct, explain and see the woman, her body, her role: in society, history, culture. I argue that women writers project a certain amount of personal experience into the fictional worlds they create - an approach Ellen Moers had in Literary Women and her reading of Frankenstein as Merry Shelly's personified trauma of giving birth. My paper outlines cultural contexts as relevant to the works of different writers. It traces how intentional or non-intentional intertextuality connects texts and motifs; my article seeks to answer how different cultural contexts brought about similar problems. To complete the outlined goals, I rely on close reading of particular texts.


1) McCullers, Carson. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Mariner Books, 2000.

2) Moers, Ellen. Literary women. Doubleday, 1976.

3) Sage, Lorna. Women in the house of fiction: post-war women novelists. Other, 1992.

4) Smith, C. Michael. "A Voice in a Fugue": Characters and Musical Structure in Carson McCullers'" The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter." Modern Fiction Studies 25.2 (1979): 258-263.

5) Дворянова, Емилия. Passion или смъртта на Алиса. Обсидиан, 2005.//Dvoriyanova, Emiliya. Passion or the death of Alice. Obsidian, 2005.


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