Femininty as Genotext in the Works of 19th Century Female Writers


  • Firat Karadas Phd, Lecturer at Mustafa Kemal University




genotext, the symbolic, femininity, signifying process, textual ambiguity


This paper studies Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar’s idea of femininity as sub-text in the works of the female writers of the 19th century in terms of Julia Kristeva’s idea of ‘genotext’. The focus of this study will be on Gilbert and Gubar’s “Infection in the Sentence” (in The Madwoman in the Attic) and Julia Kristeva’s “Revolution in Poetic Language” (in Revolution in Poetic Language). Although the idea of ‘genotext’ has psychoanalytical connotations in Kristeva’s terminology and essentially relies on Lacanian psychoanalysis, this paper focuses on it only in terms of its close relation to femininity and the implication in it about the sub-textual positioning of this femininity. This paper argues that Gilbert and Gubar’s idea about the representation of femininity in the writings of the female writers of the 19th century can be reread from a Kristevan perspective. So, this study aims to reconstruct Gilbert and Gubar’s idea and even fill in the gaps in it according to Kristeva’s idea of ‘genotext’ and thus bring new insights to the reading of the works of 19th century female writers.


Gilbert, S. & Gubar, S. (1979). The Madwoman in the Attic. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Kristeva, J. (1984). Revolution in Poetic Language. New York: Columbia University Press.

Moi, T. (1985). Sexual/Textual Politics. New York: Methuen.



How to Cite

Karadas, F. (2021). Femininty as Genotext in the Works of 19th Century Female Writers. Kadın/Woman 2000, Journal for Women’s Studies, 22(1), 181–185. https://doi.org/10.33831/jws.v22i1.243