The Name of the Mother : Writing Illegitimacy

In this original and highly accomplished study, first published in 1994, Marie Maclean studies the writings of social rebels and explores the relationship between their personal narratives and illegitimacy. The case studies which Maclean examines fall into four groups:those which stress alternative family structures and ‘female genealogies’those which pair female illegitimacy and revolutionthose which question the deliberate refusal of the name of the father by the legitimatethose which study the revenge of genius on the society which excludes itSkilfully interweaving feminist theory, French literary criticism, social and cultural history, deconstruction and psychoanalytic theory, Maclean traces the place of these personal narratives of illegitimacy in history and their use in theory, from Elizabeth I to Freud, Sartre and Derrida. The Name of the Mother will be of vital interest and importance to any student of critical theory, feminist philosophy, French or cultural studies.