‘Grossly Material Things’
The Introduction makes the case for the intersection between feminist literary history, history of the book, and the study of materiality, briefly outlining these fields by analysing Woolf's foundational plea for A Room of One's Own. It explores the different models offered recently for the study of the material text, particularly the circuit and the map, and suggests that the spider's web may provide a more compelling framework. The web or network, the introduction suggests, better reflects the contingencies and collaborations of authorship, making, and reception and coincides in productive ways with recent sociological and anthropological work on the study of ‘stuff’. The introduction closes by briefly describing the chapters which follow, urging the need to foreground women's textual labours and to rethink the sex/gender of the text.
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