The femme fatale is a male topos in which masculine traits are attributed to a woman. Thus, she is powerful, initiating, and independent; yet being also beautiful and erotic she is associated with seduction and corrupting forces which lead men to their own destruction. Though this topic had existed since the beginning of humankind, her image was presented almost obsessively at the turn of the twentieth century. In fact the femme fatale is a vital sign of the emergence of a new feminine image since the 1850s; a consequence of social, political and cultural circumstances.
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Inspiring books, highly readable style with powerful writing. Dr. Zack shows in her series a unique blend of thought and analysis. She employs an original provocative voice on feminine principle in opera. She gives the fullest portrait on haunting world of heroines with their operatic story. Profound vividly understanding and fresh look at the new image of women - in our patriarchal social order. Every word counts with clear sensitivity and wisdom. A must read in the departments of gender, music, and women studies. Very important for students and scholars to enjoy and learn. Varda Fox, Israel