How might the idea of recognition offer a fresh slant on contemporary women’s writing? In this essay, we bring theories of recognition into dialogue with two literary works: Chris Kraus’s widely reviewed memoir I Love Dick and The Other Woman by the well-regarded Swedish novelist Therese Bohman. Our analysis focuses on recognition within the texts as well as its relevance to relations between texts and readers. We seek to clarify how attitudes to heterosexual love, feminism and same-sex identification are entangled and the broader implications of such entanglements. We are interested in how the protagonists engage the world as readers and the role of literature in shaping their identifications and attachments. Yet, a comparative analysis can also bring to light how a feminist habitus is predicated on class and education, suggesting that these two texts may invite rather different experiences of recognition.
- Theresa Bohman
- Chris Kraus