Introduction: Intimacy, Publicity, and Femininity
1. The quotation in the subhead comes from Hurst, Today Is Ladies’ Day, 3.
2. Anonymous, The Bride Stripped Bare; Dowd, Are Men Necessary?; Hanauer, ed.,
The Bitch in the House. Often these contemporary works claim not to be feminist
but to inveigh against the couple on behalf of both partners; but their complaint
rhetoric comes squarely from the women’s culture tradition of comic and melo-
dramatic complaint while being informed by feminist and queer critiques of the
couple and the family. See also the blog “True Wife Confessions,” whose writers
equally straddle feminist and feminine-style demands and desires for sexual and
emotional recognition while demonstrating ambivalence and bitterness about
their investment in the scene as such (http://truewifeconfessions.blogspot.com,
accessed September 20, 2007).
3. Nancy Armstrong argues that the project of the modern novel itself is to man-
age ambivalence by projecting onto women literary figures as such the respon-
sibility for maintaining contradictions within liberal individuality between the
model of the subject as complete, without needs, and the model of the subject
as fundamentally trans-subjective and compassionate. Women never represent
the subject without needs: their signification as bearers of the responsibility for
managing affect, emotion, and sociality produces the figura of autonomy in those
who have the privilege to cast their projections as truths or aspirational moral
conditions. See Armstrong, How Novels Think, especially 3–85.
4. On the “scenario” as a genre of porous incoherence and hegemony that maintains
speculation, see D. Taylor, The Archive and the Repertoire, especially xiii–53.
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