Troublesome Bodies

  • Mary Eagleton


Clever girls are held back by bodies that are pregnant, maternal or deemed ‘unprofessional’. This troublesome corporeality takes other forms in Hilary Mantel’s work. The body is culturally and historically situated, and her protagonists discover how mobility necessitates the right placements and the right configuration of attributes. Mantel considers the problematic female body in two further ways: the anorexic body, read here in the context of Susan Bordo’s and Maud Ellmann’s work, and the obese body, positioned within Julia Kristeva’s understanding of the grotesque as abject. Both bodies exist at the historical moment when, as Lauren Berlant describes, they are about to become examples of ‘the case’. The apparent ‘opportunity’ of social mobility is worked out on the body which is either desired and controlled or despised and repelled.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Eagleton
    • 1
  1. 1.YorkUK

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