Fictions of the Feminine in the Nineteenth-Century Spanish Press

Fictions of the Feminine in the Nineteenth-Century Spanish Press

by Lou Charnon-Deutsch
     
 

How was the female body perceived in the popular culture of late nineteenth-century Spain? Using a wide array of images from popular magazines of the day, Lou Charnon-Deutsch finds that women were typically presented in ways that were reassuring to the emerging bourgeois culture.

Charnon-Deutsch organizes the 190 images reproduced in this book into six broad

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Overview

How was the female body perceived in the popular culture of late nineteenth-century Spain? Using a wide array of images from popular magazines of the day, Lou Charnon-Deutsch finds that women were typically presented in ways that were reassuring to the emerging bourgeois culture.

Charnon-Deutsch organizes the 190 images reproduced in this book into six broad categories, or "fictions of the feminine": she reads women's bodies as a romantic symbol of beauty or evil, as a privileged link with the natural order, as a font of male inspiration, as a mouthpiece of bourgeois mores, as a focalized point of male fear and desire, and as an eroticized expression of Spanish exoticism and political ambitions. These imaginary visions of femininity, Charnon-Deutsch argues, were a response to, and also helped to create, gendered stereotypes by suggesting ideal feminine behavior and poses. Further, they comprised a reassuring "between-male" cultural medium that provided graphic validation of women's docile body for a culture enthralled with femininity.

Integrating the fields of literature and cultural studies, Charnon-Deutsch's approach to this subject is unique. Many of the images collected here are available for the first time, and they represent only a fraction of the two thousand images Charnon-Deutsch collected during her research. This book will appeal to students of Spanish cultural studies and gender studies, as well as to art historians.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780271019130
Publisher:
Penn State University Press
Publication date:
12/28/1999
Series:
Studies in Romance Literatures
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
8.82(w) x 11.41(h) x 1.01(d)

Meet the Author

Lou Charnon-Deutsch is Professor of Hispanic Languages at the State University of New York–Stony Brook. Her previous books include The Nineteenth-Century Spanish Short Story: Textual Strategies of a Genre in Evolution (1985), Gender and Representation: Women in Nineteenth-Century Spanish Realist Fiction (1990), and Narratives of Desire: Nineteenth-Century Spanish Fiction by Women (1994).

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction1
1The Naturalization of Feminine Nature13
2Family Values53
3The Queen's Body85
4The Economy of the Image, The Imaging of the Economy127
5Exoticism and the Sexual Politics of Difference175
6Death Becomes Her223
Conclusion: Nuestros grabados267
Notes275
Bibliography291
Index303

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