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Carnivalizing Difference by David Shepherd, Charles Platter, Paul Allen Miller, Peter I. Barta

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7 THE LAST LAUGH: CARNIVALIZING THE FEMININE IN PIRON'S “LA PUCE”

Sharon Diane Nell

“… the old hags are laughing” (RW, 25).

“… she takes off—laughing” (Clément 1986, 33).

While Mikhail Bakhtin excludes, through his silence, feminist issues from his own work on carnival, and while to feminist critics this silence has posed theoretical problems in appropriating his concepts (see Herndl 1991 and Sipple 1991, 149), it can be argued that these issues have “always already” been in his work. Indeed, from a Derridean point of view, one might say that Bakhtin's exclusion of the feminine is illusory: Woman, “the outside”, is ”inside” because of the intimate connection Bakhtin makes between the female body and carnival (Derrida 1976, 44–65).1 In the ...

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