Cold War Sex War, Or the Other Being Inside: Burroughs, Paley, Plath, Hughes

Adam Piette

in The Literary Cold War, 1945 to Vietnam

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780748635276
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651771 | DOI:
Cold War Sex War, Or the Other Being Inside: Burroughs, Paley, Plath, Hughes

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This chapter discusses the conflicting views of male and female writers on the Cold War nuclear programme. It looks at the mothers's concern that the nuclear tests were releasing radioactivity into the air. Men, on the other hand, feature a different form of the gendered viral properties of the nuclear paranoia. The chapter takes a detailed look at the works of Grace Paley, William Burroughs, Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath that feature nuclear testing and radioactivity. It also provides an alternative view, which is the metaphorical substantiation of the Cold War links between genetic research and nuclear energy.

Keywords: Cold War; nuclear programme; radioactivity; viral properties; nuclear paranoia; metaphorical substantiation; genetic research; nuclear energy; male writers; female writers

Chapter.  22584 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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