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“Sex-Consciousness” to Self-Consciousness: Second-Wave Feminism and Postmodern Autofiction

By Marjorie Worthington »»» This essay draws a direct line of connection between the Women’s Movement and the subsequent challenge to male privilege at all levels of social organization was a key stimulus of postmodern literary self-consciousness. Through an examination of the form of fiction known as “autofiction,” it argues that, just as modernist crises of masculinity led to a reification of the self-abnegating attempts at universality and objectivity of High Modernist literature, postmodern crises of masculinity were a contributing factor in the widespread manifestation of self-consciousness in postmodern literature.