•  
  •  
 

Abstract

Masterpieces by Sarah Daniels has been described as a voice in the debate on pornography, expressing the anti-pornography position as opposed to the liberal feminist stance in this debate. Despite its ideological clarity reported by many reviewers and critics, the play has been commented upon as deficient or inadequate because of evoking conflicting interpretations and ambiguity. The paper argues that these deficiencies stem from the play’s concern with the distribution of agency and passivity along gender lines as well as the influence of generic and essentialist notions of genders on the perception of social and individual power relations particularly in the domain of eroticism and sexuality. One of the key issues of the play is the question to what extent and in what ways human perception is conditioned by the place of the subject in relation to the agency/passivity dichotomy and his or her viewing/reading position in relation to erotic and pornographic material.

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities | Social and Behavioral Sciences

References

Aston, Elaine. An Introduction to Feminism and Theatre. London: Routledge, 1995. Print

Aston, Elaine. “Gender as Sign-System: The Feminist Spectator as Subject.” Analysing Performance: a Critical Reader. Ed. Patrick Campbell. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1996. 56–69. Print

Barthes, Roland. “The Rhetoric of the Image.” Trans. Stephen Heath. Studying Culture: An Introductory Reader. Ed. Ann Gray and Jim McGuigan. London: Arnold, 1993. 15–27. Print

Daniels, Sarah. “Masterpieces.” Plays 1. London: Methuen, 1997. 159–230. Print

Davis, Tracy, C. “Extremities and Masterpieces: A Feminist Paradigm of Art and Politics.” Feminist Theatre and Theory. Ed. Helene Keyssar. Houndmills: Macmillan, 1996. 137–54. Print

Dolan, Jill. “The Discourse of Feminisms: The Spectator and Representation.” The Routledge Reader in Gender and Performance. Ed. Lizbeth Goodman and Jane de Gay. London: Routledge, 2003. 288–94. Print

Fiske, John. Reading the Popular. London: Routledge, 1994. Print

Fiske, John, and John Hartley. Reading Television. London: Routledge, 1994. Print

Godiwala, Dimple. Breaking the Bounds: British Feminist Dramatists Writing in the Mainstream since c. 1980. New York: Lang, 2003. Print

Goodman, Lizbeth. Contemporary Feminist Theatres: To Each Her Own. London: Routledge, 1994. Print

Heise, Lori L. “Violence, Sexuality, and Women’s Lives.” The Gender/Sexuality Reader: Culture, History, Political Economy. Ed. Roger N. Lancaster and Micaela di Leonardo. New York: Routledge, 1997. 411–33. Print

Heller-Nicholas, Alexandra. “Snuff Boxing: Revisiting the Snuff Coda.” Cinephile: The University of British Columbia’s Film Journal 5.2 (2009): n. pag. Web. 3 Sept. 2011

Mulvey, Laura. “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.” Feminisms: An Anthology of Literary Theory and Criticism. Ed. Robyn R. Warhol and Diane Price Herndl. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 1997. 438–48. Print

Vance, Carole S. “Negotiating Sex and Gender in the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography.” The Gender/Sexuality Reader: Culture, History, Political Economy. Ed. Roger N. Lancaster and Micaela di Leonardo. New York: Routledge, 1997. 440–52. Print

Wandor, Michelene. Post-War British Drama: Looking Back in Anger. London: Routledge, 2001. Print

Whatley, Marianna H. “Raging Hormones and Powerful Cars: the Construction of Men’s Sexuality in School Sex Education and Popular Adolescent Films.” Postmodernism, Feminism, and Cultural Politics: Redrawing Educational Boundaries. Ed. Henry A. Giroux. Albany: State U of New York P, 1991. 119–43. Print

First Page

154

Last Page

170

Language

eng

Share

COinS