SLL7    Embodied Boundaries: Images of Liminality in a Selection of Women-Authored Courtship
Narratives
Valerie Henitiuk, 2007
ISBN 84-931843-5-7

A comparative, interdisciplinary approach, incorporating both anthropological theories of the limen and feminist literary criticism, brings to light vital aspects of four very different works. This book analyses liminality as a meaningful strategy for social comment and protest in works by Murasaki Shikibu, Marie de France, Elizabeth Inchbald, and Edith Wharton. Negotiating the demands and perils of courtship, their heroines create a form of refuge on the threshold as a way of protesting a female’s bounded body and limited options. Through an innovative juxtaposition of East and West, ancient and modern, and multiple linguistic communities, meaningful commonalities in women’s writing are revealed. Embodied Boundaries demonstrates how these authors, despite obvious differences in socio-cultural context, employ strikingly similar images that act to destabilize the prevalent centre/margin paradigm and thereby challenge gendered hierarchical practices based on a damaging imbalance of power.