Politics of feminist revision in di Prima’s Loba

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In her article “Politics of Feminist Revision in di Prima’s Loba” Polina Mackay explores Diane di Prima’s two-volume epic Loba (1998) and, through a comparison of di Prima to the work of Adrienne Rich, argues that Loba practices a politics of feminist revision. Further, Mackay examines the ways in which di Prima starts to move away from the recovery project of female voices in patriarchal culture, associated with late twentieth-century Feminism, towards a women’s literature which need not be defined entirely through its resistance to patriarchal narratives of gender in men’s literature. Here it focuses on di Prima’s revisionist critique of another epic by a modern female writer, H.D.‘s Helen in Egypt (1961), where di Prima rewrites the mythical Helen into a single mother facing modern-day hardship. Mackay concludes that di Prima’s decision to appropriate H.D.‘s Helen in Egypt is suggestive of the politics of feminist revision the author practices. It shows that, in addition to the rewrite of straightforwardly patriarchal narratives, such as the story of Mary in the Christian discourse, a fully revised script of female presence in literature and culture would also have to include a critique of women’s literature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
JournalCLCWeb - Comparative Literature and Culture
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


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