Gabriel: An English Translation

Overview

"An admirable ruse, indeed! To inspire in me the horror of females, only to throw it in my face and say: but this is what you are."

The handsome, heroic heir to a vast estate, raised as a man to follow a man's pursuits and to despise women, is devastated to learn at the age of seventeen that he is in fact a she. Gabriel courageously refuses to give up her male privileges, and her tragic struggle to work and fight and love in all the ways she knows how offers a window into the obstacles faced by George Sand, the ...

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Overview

"An admirable ruse, indeed! To inspire in me the horror of females, only to throw it in my face and say: but this is what you are."

The handsome, heroic heir to a vast estate, raised as a man to follow a man's pursuits and to despise women, is devastated to learn at the age of seventeen that he is in fact a she. Gabriel courageously refuses to give up her male privileges, and her tragic struggle to work and fight and love in all the ways she knows how offers a window into the obstacles faced by George Sand, the prolific intellectual woman whom the popular press portrayed as a promiscuous, cigar-smoking oddity in trousers. "Strange that the most virile talent of our time should be a woman's!" exclaimed a reviewer in 1838.

Kathleen Robin Hart's introduction contextualizes the drama, discussing its relation to the theater of Sand's day, the sentimental tradition, the subversive workings of carnival and masquerade, and the vein of literary androgyny in Romantic works.

Kathleen Robin Hart's introduction contextualizes the drama, discussing its relation to the theater of Sand's day, the sentimental tradition, the subversive workings of carnival and masquerade, and the vein of literary androgyny in Romantic works.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Sand's [play], with its probing of masculinity and femininity, its reflection on male and female education, love and friendship, women and the law . . . [is] an excellent addition to the MLA's Texts and Translations series."

--Annabelle Rea, Occidental College

"[F]aculty should not hesitate to include this play on reading lists for theatre and literature classes alike. [Hart's introduction] skillfully condenses Sand's controversial life and works, making this play accessible to Sand experts and neophytes alike. . . . The footnotes throughout the play are judiciously employed. . . . It was a pleasure to read both the original text and Hart and Fenouillet's translation. . . . The original French text would complement a literature course at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. For the undergraduate student, the language is accessible and the subject matter exciting and provocative. For the graduate student, the complexity present in Sand's handling of the gender question allows for rigorous analysis of gender identity in Romanticism. The translation . . . is an admirable addition to our field that should introduce many new non-francophone scholars and students to George Sand's important play. It will be an excellent example to hold up to students of translation, an exciting work for a theatre class to tackle, and the perfect addition to courses that deal with gender and sexuality in Romanticism."

--Jennifer Law Sullivan, Women in French Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781603290784
  • Publisher: Modern Language Association of America
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Series: Texts and Translations , #28
  • Edition description: Translation
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Kathleen Robin Hart is associate professor of French and Francophone studies at Vassar College. Her publications include Revolution and Women's Autobiography in Nineteenth-Century France (Rodopi), articles, book reviews, and, with Paul Fenouillet, an English translation of George Sand's 1839 novel in dramatic form, Gabriel (Modern Language Association "Texts and Translations Series," 2010).

In addition to being a poet and translator, Paul Fenouillet is a lecturer in the department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at SUNY New Paltz. Recent publications include short collections of poems, Tout orœilles and Dissipation, and translations with Michèle Duclos of poetry by Paige Ackerson-Kiely. Earlier publications include an article on the French underground press in Contemporary French & Francophone Studies; poetry in reviews and anthologies; and translation with Robert DeMaria, Jr. of poetry by Rose-Céleste Bache.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Suggestions for Further Reading

Note on the Translation

Gabriel 1

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