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Blurring Boundaries and a Generic Matrix in Jane Eyre’s ‘Political Unconscious’.
ماتریکس ژانرایی در ضمیر ناخودآگاه سیاسی رمان "جین ایر"
In The Political Unconscious, Fredric Jameson regards genres as ‘literary institutions’, arguing that genres are political and a reflection of the sociohistorical circumstances. Earlier in Marxism and Form, Jameson had proposed that the key aspect of a text is its form and that content is only secondary to form. In this sense, interpretation is inseparable from literary form — and all interpretation is historical. This paper attempts to map Jane Eyre’s ‘political unconscious’ to suggest that the novel’s generic elasticity — its elaborate fusion of Gothic transgression, romance dialectics and echoes of autobiography and Bildungsroman — is the hidden and coded manifestation of a utopian imagination. In effect, Jane Eyre incorporates a technique of montage and a (subsequent) collapse of generic boundaries, because the text’s political unconscious dreams of a disintegration of class boundaries. It is often argued that the concept of genre is no longer relevant in our postmodern context, as postmodern texts are characterized by a tendency to transgress generic boundaries. This paper considers the theoretical implications of such transgression for an interpretation of Jane Eyre’s generic affiliations.