A New Approach to Body and Literature: Deleuze’s Territorialization and the Female in Donne’s Songs and Sonets

Hamed Morovatdar


The perception of body has shifted significance from a commonsensical and everyday fact to a historicized concept within the past century. However, the extremes of the biological or social theorizations concerning body have been mutually dismissive of the other and this has robbed them both of their capacity to relate to the lived body of experience. The last model for considering body, however, has been expounded in the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze whose postmodern ontology brings the theories of the biological and social body together in a synthesis so as to show how they relate to each other and to the holistic aspect of embodiment called territorialization, which is closer to the reality of the lived body than both of them. In this manner, Deleuze introduces a progress into the study of human body particularly as the object which we not only “have” but actually “are,” that is to say, the deep relation the body has to identity. This philosophical advancement has reverberations in other fields such as woman’s studies and literature. Thus, female body and literary texts can be scrutinized from a Deleuzian standpoint with two aims; the first one analyzing the extent to which the literary texts can claim greatness by mirroring the reality of being, and the second one to investigate the manipulation of female body and identity in literature. This paper aims to provide evidence for the improvements Deleuze’s philosophy has introduced into conceptualizations of body, female body and identity in the first place and in the second place how Donne’s love poetry in his Songs and Sonets, as one proven example of great literature, is a mirror to “being,” regarding the femininity of his woman-beloved through his treatment of the territorialization of the her body and identity.



Deleuze, Territorialization, The natural body, The social body, The lived body, Assemblage, Relations

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.2n.4p.245


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