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"To Save the Life of the Novel": Sadomasochism and Representation in "Wuthering Heights"

Robin DeRosa
Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature
Vol. 52, No. 1 (1998), pp. 27-43
DOI: 10.2307/1348290
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1348290
Page Count: 17
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"To Save the Life of the Novel": Sadomasochism and Representation in "Wuthering Heights"
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Abstract

This essay explores the limits of representation, specifically how the novel form impedes a certain kind of transcendence which a narrative itself might endorse. Theory on the "death drive" suggests that there is a shattered identity, a merged, masochistic identity which offers the "subject" an escape from any interpellating ideologies. "Wuthering Heights" engages with these ideas, positing both a space outside of discourse and an inevitable retreat back into the discursive realm of the novel form. The essay explores the relationship between the "real" and the "romantic," and how these two terms both suggest a realm beyond the symbolic order which is inaccessible to authors and readers alike.

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