Paper cuts: The material page and the body of writing
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"Paper Cuts: The Material Page and the Body of Writing" explores the connection of text and body. Beginning by looking at how most critical theory has overlooked the page, this dissertation reassesses the role the material page plays in the construction of textuality. I argue that the space of the page is active, material and embodied. This is exemplified in readings of William Gass' Willie Masters' Lonesome Wife , Steve Tomasula and Stephen Farrell's Vas: An Opera in Flatland , and Shelley Jackson's Patchwork Girl and Skin . While exploring the metaphor of the book as a body, these authors simultaneously rewrite the body as a book. These texts show what is possible when the textual body is presented as material pages. As an embodiment in the surface of the page, the page surface becomes an inscribed skin. As the page becomes an active part of writing, the space of the page is in fact an embodied flesh. By writing on and through the body, these authors show that the material of writing, like the material body, always matters.