Document Type

Article

Abstract

And, so, when Richard Stern published his private dialogue with himself about the physical appearance of certain writers at the 1986 International PEN conference, Joyce Carol Oates insisted on not only an angry rebuttal-punctuated by constant page referencing to Stern's "pig-souled sexism"-but photographic evidence-a kind of footnote in itself-dismissing his physical characterization of her. When Susan Gubar published "What Ails Feminist Criticism?" her essay provoked an immediate, critical, and heavily documented response from Robyn Weigman, several letters to the editor, and Gubar's own footnoted rejoinder. Jane Gallop's defense of a sexual act she engaged in with one of her students and Paul de Man's controversial writings in a Belgian newspaper in the thirties (which, incidentally, resulted in a marked decline in the number of times he was cited in our pages) generated similar feelings of anger, disgust, and betrayal, all accompanied by footnotes. This journal, in fact, argues that passion is not diminished when it is superscripted. In point of fact this apparent function may nearly always be associated with such diverse functions as the manifestation of relations of allegiance or dependence, of strategies of affiliation, of annexation or of defence (this is the role, for example, of guarantee references, ostentatious references or alibi-references).

Disciplines

English Language and Literature | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Philosophy