From Goethe to Gide: Feminism, Aesthetics and the French and German Literary Canon, 1770-1936

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This book brings together specially commissioned essays on twelve canonical male writers from the later Enlightenment to the beginnings of Modernism - six French and six German.

Working with the tools of feminist criticism, leading specialists in Britain and North America demonstrate how feminist readings of key works by Rousseau, Goethe, Schiller, Hoffmann, Stendhal, Baudelaire, Flaubert, Heine, Fontane, Zola, Kafka, Gide illuminate far more than attitudes to women. The volume raises fundmaental aesthetic questions regarding creativity, genre, realism and canonicity and shows how feminist criticism can revitalize debate on these much-read writers. It therefore foregrounds the major authors who shaped the dominant aesthetics, philosophy and bourgeois culture of European literature between 1770 and 1936.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780859897211
  • Publisher: University of Exeter Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2005
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Orr is Professor of French at the University of Southampton. Her principal publications include: Flaubert’s Madame Bovary: Representations of the Masculine (Berne, 1999); Flaubert: Writing the Masculine (OUP, 2000). Lesley Sharpe is Professor of German at the University of Exeter. Her principal publications include: Friedrich Schiller: Drama, Thought and Politics (Cambridge, 1991); The Cambridge Companion to Goethe (Cambridge, 2002).
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Table of Contents

1 Errant strivings : Goethe, Faust and the feminist reader 7
2 Hospitality and sexual difference in Rousseau's Confessions 22
3 Gender and genre : Schiller's drama and aesthetics 34
4 Male foibles, female critique and narrative capriciousness : on the function of gender in conceptions of art and subjectivity in E. T. A. Hoffmann 49
5 Varieties of female agency in Stendhal 65
6 Heine's 'Madchen und Frauen' : women and emancipation in the writings of Heinrich Heine 80
7 Mundus Muliebris : Baudelaire's world to women 97
8 Flaubert's cautionary tales and the art of the absolute 113
9 Manly men and womanly women : aesthetics and gender in Fontane's Effi Briest and Der Stechlin 129
10 Bodies in crisis : Zola, gender, and the dilemmas of history 145
11 Karl Rossmann, or the boy who wouldn't grow up : the flight from manhood in Kafka's Der Verschollene 168
12 Andre Gide and the making of the perfect child 184
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