Geschlecht und Postmoderne
Little research has been conducted so far on the deconstruction of essentialist and binary concepts of gender in postmodernist texts. This book aims at filling this gap for the case of the postmodernist Dutch-language novel by an exemplary re-reading of four core postmodernist writers. First, it examines the circumstances that led to a theoretical association of postmodernist, poststructuralist and feminist thought, which resulted in the underlying assumption that in postmodern texts, the dichotomy between man and woman is replaced with hybrid identities. Secondly, the dissertation introduces the adaptation that literary theory has made of possible-world-theory as a model of the text/world relationship, which is meant to shed light over the question of a feminist approach to literature which rejects the idea of referentiality. Based on this approach, 15 novels are subjected to a detailed critical re-reading from a gender-perspective. The analysis shows that in many cases gender still functions as a naturalized and relatively stable category within a dichotomic scheme, whereas other binary terms (reality/fiction, life/death, self/other) are deconstructed by the literary texts as well as the concept of a unique and distinctive identity. This way, the postmodern concepts of gender displayed in the novels can be characterized as mainly essentialist.