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Alien Sex Acts in Feminist Science Fiction: Heuristic Models for Thinking a Feminist Future of Desire

Alcena Madeline Davis Rogan
PMLA
Vol. 119, No. 3, Special Topic: Science Fiction and Literary Studies: The Next Millennium (May, 2004), pp. 442-456
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25486060
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Alien Sex Acts in Feminist Science Fiction: Heuristic Models for Thinking a Feminist Future of Desire
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Abstract

Even at their most bizarre, representations of alien sex are bound to reinscribe the terms of human desire. Thus there can be no representation of an alien sex act that is radically alien. However, for certain writers, this representational impasse provides an occasion for thinking through the limits of fictional and feminist representation. Through a reading of Monique Wittig's Les Guérillères, Samuel Delany's Trouble on Triton and Stars in My Pocket like Grains of Sand, and Angela Carter's The Passion of New Eve, I explore how alien sex is represented not only or even primarily in literal terms but also as an act that takes place in a fictional discursive milieu that critiques contemporary human sexual relations. I also describe how these writers' creative imaginings of alien sex function as a dialectical corollary to their theoretical investigations into the limits of representation.

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