Olive Schreiner

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Olive Schreiner (1855-1920) is internationally recognized as the first novelist of major importance to emerge from colonial South Africa. A pioneering feminist whose liberal social ideals played a critical role in the political and artistic movements of her time, Schreiner struggled throughout her life against the confining role allotted to Victorian women, especially those in the colonies. Schreiner's life is central to her texts. In this study Cherry Clayton explores Schreiner's fiction and nonfiction as ...
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Overview

Olive Schreiner (1855-1920) is internationally recognized as the first novelist of major importance to emerge from colonial South Africa. A pioneering feminist whose liberal social ideals played a critical role in the political and artistic movements of her time, Schreiner struggled throughout her life against the confining role allotted to Victorian women, especially those in the colonies. Schreiner's life is central to her texts. In this study Cherry Clayton explores Schreiner's fiction and nonfiction as "complementary aspects of the same developing mind and art." Without reducing Schreiner's literature to the purely autobiographical, Clayton suggests that Schreiner's fictional accounts of spiritual and social unconventionality are profoundly tied to the author's experiences as a young woman. Schreiner's troubled relationship with her distant and sometimes severe mother, according to Clayton, led to an ambivalence about women that is expressed in her female characters. Schreiner's close relationships also led her to a deeper understanding of the effects of a hypocritical social code on women. Exploring the relationship between gender and imperialism, Clayton traces Schreiner's emerging feminism and discusses how the development of this ideal informed the author's opposition to colonialism. Although she was strongly critical of the colonial political system, Schreiner had a deep love for South Africa and found in her "intense responses to the landscape" a symbolic alternative to the oppressions of society. Clayton, herself a South African, brings to her readers this sense of place and of the beauty that it lends to Schreiner's work. Clayton examines each of Schreiner's major works, The Story of an African Farm, From Man to Man, and Women and Labour, as well her pamphlets and political writing, placing her discussion in the context of contemporary criticism. Throughout her study, the most thorough assessment of Schreiner's work to date, Clayton draws a vivid po
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Explores the life and writing of the first novelist of major importance to emerge from colonial South Africa, suggesting that her fictional accounts of spiritual and social unconventionality are tied to her experiences as a young woman. Examines her fiction as well as her political writing, looking at the relationship between gender and imperialism and discussing how her emerging feminism informed her opposition to colonialism. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805782875
  • Publisher: Cengage Gale
  • Publication date: 3/28/1997
  • Series: World Authors Series
  • Pages: 140
  • Product dimensions: 5.79 (w) x 8.79 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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