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|Other Titles:||Speech, Writing, and Allegory in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice|
Department of English, NTNU
|Abstract:||Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice opposes Darcy, a character closely associated with writing, to Wickham, one associated with speech. Elizabeth Bennet’s earlyprejudice in favor of Wickham and against Darcy—by extension, in favor of speech and against writing—is, among other things, an example of what Jacques Derrida calls phonocentrism. Her prejudice is as much a literary necessity as a moral defect, since Austen has ensnared her in a phonocentric allegory. After the unfolding of Darcy’s letter, the novel complicates the allegory, empowering Elizabeth, who, in her final argument with Lady de Bourgh, triumphantly exploits the fact that speech can function like writing. The novel does not replace phonocentrism with its opposite, a prejudice in favor of writing; rather, it shows how both speech and what we commonly call writing depend upon arche-writing. The novel stages its own retroactive detachment from the media prejudice it exploits.|
|Appears in Collections:||Concentric: Studies in English Literature and Linguistics|
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