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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis is the first study that examines the concept of autobiography in Walter Pater's works using ecriture feminine. Ecriture feminine serves as a critical model that interrogates the semiotics behind Pater's strategy in the composition of his oeuvre. The study goes beyond the scope of traditional scholarship by reading Pater's texts not oniy as thematic expressions of his artistic ability, but also by uncovering his hidden political agenda by examining the language of the texts against the grain of his cultural milieu. By positing a speaking subject at the intersection of language and text, this study reveals how Pater uses intertextuality to portray his marginalization from the intellectual and cultural community of his time. This study focuses mainly upon "Diaphaneite," Gaston de Latour, Imaginary Portraits, and his letters. The validity of the study clearly lies in its systematic inquiry of the concept of a gendered speaking subject in Pater's texts, particularly one that is structured both rhetorically and semiotically through the typical Victorian metaphor of crisis yet enunciates a radical response to Victorian ideology.