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Timothy C. Baker | Fear and Pity, Pity and Fear: Rereading Muriel Spark’s The Driver’s Seat in the Age of #MeToo

Abstract

Muriel Spark’s The Driver’s Seat (1970) is often approached simply as a narrative puzzle. Examining it in relation to #MeToo rhetoric and recent work by feminist scholars including Kate Manne and Linda Martín Alcoff, as well as examining its unacknowledged inspiration from giallo films, provides an opportunity to reconsider Spark’s complicated portrayal of agency and bodily experience, especially as it is perceived in the classroom. Spark’s novel questions the possibility of writing female bodies in an age, and a form, that is dominated by misogynistic representations, and how the reception of such novels is often determined by cultural trends.

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