Research Article


DOI :10.26650/LITERA2022-1104177   IUP :10.26650/LITERA2022-1104177    Full Text (PDF)

Medusa and Matisse: Myth and Art in A.S. Byatt’s “Medusa’s Ankles”

Asya Sakine Uçar

In “Medusa’s Ankles”, English novelist and writer A.S. Byatt syncretizes a marginal female mythical figure, Medusa from Greek mythology, with a modern work of art by the French artist Henri Matisse, Pink Nude (1935). In the story, the protagonist Susannah’s visit to a hairdresser upon seeing an image of that painting culminates in an act of smashing the salon mirror. Such Medusean rage becomes symbolic as it represents a disengagement from dominant ideologies and stereotypical notions concerning a woman’s body, gender and sexuality. Extremely conscious of her aging body, classics professor Susannah interiorizes the cultural demand that women be young and beautiful; hence the fragments of the mirror reflecting distorted images point to the whole concept of ill or misrepresented women in society. Employing myth and art as key intertextual elements, Byatt presents confounding models to interpret Susannah’s struggle for identity offering innovative perspectives on body/mind dilemma and mirror/gaze argument. While the mythopoeia of Medusa, generally associated with fear and rage, could also connote creative energy and empowerment, the unusual and unattractive depiction of a female body represented by Matisse’s Pink Nude could offer a novel way of exploring the representation of women against sexually charged images in a society defined by certain assumptions.

Keywords: MedusaMatissemythartByatt

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APA

Uçar, A.S. (2023). Medusa and Matisse: Myth and Art in A.S. Byatt’s “Medusa’s Ankles”. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, 33(1), 205-218. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2022-1104177


AMA

Uçar A S. Medusa and Matisse: Myth and Art in A.S. Byatt’s “Medusa’s Ankles”. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies. 2023;33(1):205-218. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2022-1104177


ABNT

Uçar, A.S. Medusa and Matisse: Myth and Art in A.S. Byatt’s “Medusa’s Ankles”. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, [Publisher Location], v. 33, n. 1, p. 205-218, 2023.


Chicago: Author-Date Style

Uçar, Asya Sakine,. 2023. “Medusa and Matisse: Myth and Art in A.S. Byatt’s “Medusa’s Ankles”.” Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies 33, no. 1: 205-218. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2022-1104177


Chicago: Humanities Style

Uçar, Asya Sakine,. Medusa and Matisse: Myth and Art in A.S. Byatt’s “Medusa’s Ankles”.” Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies 33, no. 1 (Feb. 2024): 205-218. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2022-1104177


Harvard: Australian Style

Uçar, AS 2023, 'Medusa and Matisse: Myth and Art in A.S. Byatt’s “Medusa’s Ankles”', Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 205-218, viewed 24 Feb. 2024, https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2022-1104177


Harvard: Author-Date Style

Uçar, A.S. (2023) ‘Medusa and Matisse: Myth and Art in A.S. Byatt’s “Medusa’s Ankles”’, Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, 33(1), pp. 205-218. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2022-1104177 (24 Feb. 2024).


MLA

Uçar, Asya Sakine,. Medusa and Matisse: Myth and Art in A.S. Byatt’s “Medusa’s Ankles”.” Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, vol. 33, no. 1, 2023, pp. 205-218. [Database Container], https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2022-1104177


Vancouver

Uçar AS. Medusa and Matisse: Myth and Art in A.S. Byatt’s “Medusa’s Ankles”. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies [Internet]. 24 Feb. 2024 [cited 24 Feb. 2024];33(1):205-218. Available from: https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2022-1104177 doi: 10.26650/LITERA2022-1104177


ISNAD

Uçar, AsyaSakine. Medusa and Matisse: Myth and Art in A.S. Byatt’s “Medusa’s Ankles””. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies 33/1 (Feb. 2024): 205-218. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2022-1104177



TIMELINE


Submitted19.04.2022
Accepted25.04.2023
Published Online13.06.2023

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