The "postfeminist" biopic: Re-telling the past in The Hours, Sylvia and Iris
Dolan, J. , Gordon, S. and Tincknell, E. (2009) The "postfeminist" biopic: Re-telling the past in The Hours, Sylvia and Iris. In: Carroll, R. , ed. (2009) Textual Infidelities: Adaptations in Print and Visual Cultures. Continuum. ISBN 978-0826424648
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This co-authored article about biopics of key women writers of the twentieth century is located in the proliferation of the genre since the 1990s. Analysis of Iris (Richard Eyre, 2001), The Hours (Stephen Daldry, 2002) and Sylvia (Christine Jeffs, 2003) maps a reiteration of nineteenth century equations drawn between female genius and women’s psychic instability identified by Second Wave Feminists. It traces the ways in which this putative instability legitimates the narrative strategy of privileging male protagonists point of view, who are represented as proto ‘New Men’. Thus the films can be located in postfeminist discourses that proclaim the redundancy of feminism since they represent the ‘New Man’ as always already in existence, effectively negating Second Wave feminist politics.
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