chapter  8
12 Pages

‘What is more vulgar than the ideal of novelists?’ The Metaliterary Ghost in The Odd Women

ByCristina Ceron

The Odd Women has been read primarily as a novel on feminism, with a special focus on a society that was evolving from a patriarchal model into a nuclear one. My reading, instead, starts from a different premise – that is, from the direct LQÀXHQFH WKDW OLWHUDWXUH LQ SDUWLFXODU WKH SRSXODU QRYHO DV JHQUH H[HUWV RQ WKH main characters. In this light, Rhoda and Monica, but also Widdowson and Bevis, are assessed not as mere embodiments of an ever-changing society, but rather as LQGLYLGXDOVZKR DUH WU\LQJKDUG WR DVVHUW WKHLU LQGLYLGXDOLW\ DQG¿QG WKHLU SDWK WKURXJK OLIHZKLOH FRPLQJ WR WHUPVZLWK WKHSHUYDVLYH LQÀXHQFHRI WKH OLWHUDU\ model, the primary shaper of their worldview.1