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This slender book remains a sketch, though, not an in-depth portrait.Lindsey Tucker's volume of reprinted articles is, as noted, in size and intellectual scope much the most substantial of these four.Are we being invited to a lustily transgressive carnival or a grim and decadent masquerade?
Hoffman, for instance, Peach is sensible and insightful: Desiderio is the author of a narrative which, as [Sally] Robinson (1991) says, "enlists an array of misogynist sentiment and fantasy"....
However, here Carter as a female author is appropriating a male consciousness to expose how women are trapped, like the woman reader of this novel, in a male imaginary.
But no attempt is made in the introduction to synthesize the contents of the volume--to pull together the disparate elements of Carter's achievement addressed piecemeal in the reprinted essays.
For, while strong on the matters they do address, Tucker's authors proceed from such different assumptions about Carter (her genres and her fictional practices) that the sum of this book is quite difficult to total.
Collectively, they suggest a lack of consensus on Carter, a certain cluelessness.
Is she best approached through her ideas or through her images--i.e., her by turns gothic and festive representations of the body? Is she tragic or comic, postmodern or surreal or realistic?
Tucker's first name is spelled "Lindsey" on the title page, "Lindsay" on the cover.) With the exception of Tucker's substantial edition of reprinted scholarly essays, these books are physically and intellectually slight.
Tucker's emphasizes Carter's fairy tales and short fiction and includes no chapter on Love (1971) or Wise Children; the other three focus on providing simple chronological or thematic surveys of Carter's novels.
All were published between September 1997 (Gamble) and November 1998 (Tucker), and all to some degree have an air of being rushed into print.
(The two published in the US, for instance, might have proofed their copyright pages. Peach's copyright page gives Carter no death date [1940- ], while Tucker's not only provides no death date but is off on the date of birth [1951- ].