Troublesome Teleri: Contemporary Feminist Utopianism in Marion Zimmer Bradley's 'Lady of Avalon'

Jan Shaw


This essay explores dystopianism and utopianism in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s 'Lady of Avalon', focusing on the tale of Teleri, a subplot in Part II of the text. Invoking feminist theories of Helen Cixous and Luce Irigaray, and the feminist utopianism of Lucy Sargisson, the argument traces the development of the character of Teleri through a progression of complexities of complicity and resistance to a final liberatory act. This radical act creates a space of risk and uncertainty, a utopian/outopian space within which new ways of thinking can be imagined. Finally, this essay argues that the narrative thread of the tale is sufficiently subversive to destabilise the paradigms of established order which permeate the larger text.

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