ABSTRACT

The value of the deconstructive critique to feminist theory arid the form it should take within a political reading practice continue to be debated by feminist critics. Women reject the linear time of historiography in favor of a cyclic and monumental temporality traditionally associated with female subjectivity and with ritual, marginalized religious practices, and mysticism. As a literary representation of the lives of several generations of women, Marilynne Robinson's novel Housekeeping shows how an analysis like Julia Kristeva's might organize a narrative of women's resistance to the historical limitations imposed on them. Like Kristeva's historical model of the development of feminist responses to marginalization, Housekeeping offers some support for the conclusion that women have in practice already begun 'to operate from displacement as such'. Housekeeping and 'Women's Time' also offer some insight into a psychodynamic of women's writing that would connect textual production to women's prefigurative social practices.