Chick Lit Analysis

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I. Chick lit

1.1. Short history of chick lit

The genesis of chick lit is marked with irony. Cris Mazza and Jeffrey DeShell coined the term chick lit to characterize their anthology of postfeminist short stories entitled Chick-Lit: Postfeminist Fiction (1995) in which they emphasised the contradictory desires and relationship with femininity and patriarchy, in the works of young female writers. Their goal was “not to embrace an old frivolous or coquettish image of women but to take responsibility for our part in the damaging, lingering, stereotype” (Ferris & Young 2006, 18). Mazza and DeShell wanted to reclaim the connotations of chick -a noun usually depicting an attractive woman who is nonthreatening to power hierarches- by using it as
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Chick lit is typically written in the first person with various novels adopting Fielding’s diary style, which adds an openness and spontaneity to the genre and. Others employ letters and emails. This “confessional” approach creates the impression that the protagonist is talking directly to her readers, which enables reader-protagonist identification (Ferris & Young 2006, 5). This relatability of chick lit -the ‘that’s me’ phenomenon, as Imelda Whelehan dubbed it- is a key element of the genre’s success. Chick lit attempts to provide a realistic portrait of the life of a modern young woman, nonetheless that reality is still idealised. However this has not stopped women all over the world to identify with chick lit heroines such as Bridget Jones: Bridget was considered not a fictional character but “as a representative of the zeitgeist” (Gill & Herdieckerhoff 2006, 489). Lucy-Anne Holmes writes in her article Chick Lit: Hate the Term, Love the Genre :

“Part of my love for Bridget Jones is that Helen Fielding shone a comedy light on much of the angst I was feeling as a young woman. Angst that calories consumed my thoughts, that being attractive to and not making a fool of myself in front of the opposite sex was something that I hoped for.” Out of all the characteristics of chick lit, the humorous tone is the most salient one. A chick lit heroine deploys self-deprecating humour in situations, which serves as comic relief, entertains and shows the readers that they are flawed just as they are. The relatability and wit of the genre are the two pillars of chick lit’s popularity.

1.3. All chick and no

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