Shuli Barzilai


The multiple identities of Joan Foster in Lady Oracle are the by-products of many literary and social models. Joan exists partly as a central narrative agent and partly as a nexus or repository of language and culture. At stake, however, is something more than an authorial display of postmodernist temperament and virtuosity. The intricate weave of the Bluebeard syndrome into the heterogeneous narratives that constitute Lady Oracle dramatizes the complex exchanges between popular culture and the reality of women’s lives. Margaret Atwood explores the unsettling transpositions between literary and literal romance, on the one hand, and between imagined and experienced aggression against women, on the other.