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Gossip, Letters, PhonesThe Scandal of Female Networks in Film and Literature$
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Ned Schantz

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195335910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335910.001.0001

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Letters to Clarissa: The Fantasy of a Female Network

Letters to Clarissa: The Fantasy of a Female Network

Chapter:
(p.34) CHAPTER 2 Letters to Clarissa: The Fantasy of a Female Network
Source:
Gossip, Letters, Phones
Author(s):

Ned Schantz (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335910.003.0004

This chapter considers how long-distance female networks emerge out of gothic claustrophobia to flourish in the fantasy space of epistolary suspension. As it reads Clarissa for its powerful commitment to speculation, alternatives emerge to the dominant story of female virtue as lethal singularity. That Richardson refused these alternatives becomes the key to a reading of Evelina in the shadow of Clarissa. Here epistolarity goes underground as an agoraphobic heroine seeks shelter from uninhabitable female standards.

Keywords:   fantasy, epistolarity, singularity, gothic, claustrophobia, agoraphobia, Clarissa, Evelina

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