Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Elizabeth BowenTheory, Thought and Things$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jessica Gildersleeve and Patricia Juliana Smith

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474458641

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474458641.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 21 May 2022

‘Some Really Raging Peculiarity’: Female Fetishism in The Little Girls

‘Some Really Raging Peculiarity’: Female Fetishism in The Little Girls

(p.145) Chapter 9 ‘Some Really Raging Peculiarity’: Female Fetishism in The Little Girls
Elizabeth Bowen

Patricia Juliana Smith

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter shows that many of Bowen’s female characters have curious relationships with inanimate objects, endowing them with special powers or personal attributes. The pattern of these relations, in which certain objects obtain an unusual significance to their possessors, even, in some cases, to the extent of being preferred over relationships with other people, is obvious in Bowen’s works, yet it eludes the usual definitions of fetishism. Critics attempting to theorize female fetishism have tended to rely on paradigms articulated by Freud (ie erotic) or Marx (ie consumerist). Neither of these constructs, however, adequately describe the relationships with objects that possess overwhelming importance to many of Bowen’s characters and, through these attachments, lead often lead to perverse consequences. Recently, however, German theorist Hartmut Böhme has postulated that fetishism is an entirely European concept, one crucial to our understanding of Modernism. Using Böhme’s axioms of fetishism and Modernism as well as insights from anthropological and theological sources, this chapter explores female characters’ ‘object relations’ (not necessarily in the Freudian sense of the term) in Bowen’s works.

Keywords:   Elizabeth Bowen, Objects, Fetishism, Modernism, Object relations

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.