A knowledge of spirit and flesh: a novel and exegesis exploring the numinous feminine, the interior journey and sites of resistance within a patriarchal world

Thomas, Niqi (2002) A knowledge of spirit and flesh: a novel and exegesis exploring the numinous feminine, the interior journey and sites of resistance within a patriarchal world. PhD thesis, Victoria University of Technology.

Abstract

The thesis comprises the novel 'A Knowledge of Spirit and Flesh', and an exegesis that locates the novel within three major theoretical strands - female spirituality, the 'interior journey' and ecriture feminine - and shows their relevance to the novel. Knowledge of Spirit and Flesh is set in Reformation Slovakia in 1643, and fictionalises actual events of the time. These occurred in the city of Bratislava, and focussed on the laundry-maid Regina Fischer, brutally haunted by a malicious ghost intent on releasing his soul from purgatory.The novel tells the story of Regina and the Catholic priest sent to write down her story to save her from a witchcraft accusation by the Lutherans of the city. The novel explores themes of resistance, both political and personal, within a context of religious tension. The exegesis scrutinises A Knowledge of Spirit and Flesh in relation to feminist, numinous and writing theorisations. The exegesis is centrally concerned with the notion of 'feminism/patriarchy', and it implications for feminist fiction and theory. The exegesis asks: how can the female fiction writer transcend the stalemate of 'feminism/patriarchy' in her work? The exegesis explores three key paradigms - the numinous feminine, the 'interior joumey' and ecriture feminine - as sites of resistance outside the patriarchal Symbolic Order, and thus posits an alternative framework to that upon which many current feminist theories are based.

Additional Information

2 volumes in one

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/15284
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Communication and the Arts
Current > FOR Classification > 2005 Literary Studies
Keywords Ghosts, Fiction, feminist fiction, novel, spirituality, withcraft, political resistance, religious tension, patriarchy
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