... improbable enough , heaven knows , but it was the last , and we clung to it . ” Mary , with an hysterical sob , fell back on her chair fainting . > The attention of the guests was now absorbed by her 140 THE WOMÁN OF GENÍUS :
In the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century United States, ideas of genius did more than define artistic and intellectual originality. They also provided a means for conceptualizing women's participation in a democracy that marginalized them. Widely distributed across print media but reaching their fullest development in literary fiction, tropes of female genius figured types of subjectivity and forms of collective experience that were capable of overcoming the existing constraints on political life. The connections between genius, gender, and citizenship were important not only to contests over such practical goals as women's suffrage but also to those over national membership, cultural identity, and means of political transformation more generally. In The Genius of Democracy Victoria Olwell uncovers the political uses of genius, challenging our dominant narratives of gendered citizenship. She shows how American fiction catalyzed political models of female genius, especially in the work of Louisa May Alcott, Henry James, Mary Hunter Austin, Jessie Fauset, and Gertrude Stein. From an American Romanticism that saw genius as the ability to mediate individual desire and collective purpose to later scientific paradigms that understood it as a pathological individual deviation that nevertheless produced cultural progress, ideas of genius provided a rich language for contests over women's citizenship. Feminist narratives of female genius projected desires for a modern public life open to new participants and new kinds of collaboration, even as philosophical and scientific ideas of intelligence and creativity could often disclose troubling and more regressive dimensions. Elucidating how ideas of genius facilitated debates about political agency, gendered identity, the nature of consciousness, intellectual property, race, and national culture, Olwell reveals oppositional ways of imagining women's citizenship, ways that were critical of the conceptual limits of American democracy as usual.
Chapter 4 centers on the American novelist Mary Hunter Austin's writings on women, citizenship, and genius: her 1912 novel, A Woman of Genius; her 1918 citizenship guide, The Young Woman Citizen; and her 1923 self-help book, ...
Author: Victoria Olwell
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Category: Literary Criticism
How did the Victorian woman cope with the image of herself as a writer? What were the constraints on female friendships in a world centred on the pre-eminence of the husband? How significant for an ambitious woman were her politics about men? At the heart of this book, originally published in 1990, is a friendship between two women: Jane Carlyle and the novelist Geraldine Jewsbury. But it was a difficult friendship, and in its difficulty lies much that is illuminating: about nineteenth-century domestic ideology; about writing for a market, and female fame; and about the complex ambivalences between women. Examining aspects of their lives, writing, and relationships, alongside those of two other writers – Felicia Hemans and Geraldine’s sister, Maria Jane – Norma Clarke provides a subtle and illuminating discussion of the possibilities that were open to women in the Victorian age.
The notion of telling men 'a bit of our mind', even as a tough old woman, was sheer fancy. ... Genius in women, she assured a correspondent, required no assertion of the self: 'Certainly all the women of first-rate genius that I know ...
Author: Norma Clarke
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Category: Literary Criticism
The challenge of promoting the "new feminism" has barely been addressed since it was first launched by Pope John Paul II in his 1995 encyclical Evangelium vitae. The thirteen contributors in this book, all outstanding international scholars, take up this task, together laying the necessary theoretical foundation for the new feminism. These chapters articulate an integral philosophical and theological understanding of persons that moves beyond patriarchy on the one hand and traditional feminism on the other. Central to the new perspective offered here is the biblical revelation of the human person - man and woman - in Christ, a vision that directs women beyond the "male" standard against which they have too often been measured. Far from constraining women to an "eternal essence," the dynamic view presented here encourages each woman to realize herself in perfect Christian freedom.
Woman's part in culture and the basis for her unique genius are founded upon her openness to the life of another person and her capacity to treat other persons as worthy of love . Complementarity is not simply a matter of biology or ...
Author: Michele M. Schumacher
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
Sure to take its place alongside the literary landmarks of modern feminism, Elaine Showalter's brilliant, provocative work chronicles the roles of feminist intellectuals from the eighteenth century to the present. With sources as diverse as A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and Scream 2, Inventing Herself is an expansive and timely exploration of women who possess a boundless determination to alter the world by boldly experiencing love, achievement, and fame on a grand scale. These women tried to work, travel, think, love, and even die in ways that were ahead of their time. In doing so, they forged an epic history that each generation of adventurous women has rediscovered. Focusing on paradigmatic figures ranging from Mary Wollstonecraft and Margaret Fuller to Germaine Greer and Susan Sontag, preeminent scholar Elaine Showalter uncovers common themes and patterns of these women's lives across the centuries and discovers the feminist intellectual tradition they embodied. The author brilliantly illuminates the contributions of Eleanor Marx, Zora Neale Hurston, Simone de Beauvoir, Margaret Mead, and many more. Showalter, a highly regarded critic known for her provocative and strongly held opinions, has here established a compelling new Who's Who of women's thought. Certain to spark controversy, the omission of such feminist perennials as Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Virginia Woolf will surprise and shock the conventional wisdom. This is not a history of perfect women, but rather of real women, whose mistakes and even tragedies are instructive and inspiring for women today who are still trying to invent themselves.
She has genius and a manly grasp of mind & woman's heart, but not a manly heart. Will there never be a being to combine a man's mind and woman's heart, & who yet finds life too rich to weep over? Never!”17 Instead of writing fiction, ...
Author: Elaine Showalter
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Social Science
436 WOMEN OF GENIUS . to prove that somehow genius in a woman is in- the legal obligations of a semblance of marriage . compatible with her allotted duties as a housewife , If ever either attempt to unite the bonds again and an obedient ...
This book examines literary collaborations between women and men, revealing how deeply imbued and valuable gender conflict was in modernism.
Being named as Yeats's collaborator, especially on a great work like Cathleen ni Houlihan, would have led critics to dismiss her as a female accessory to male genius and severely hampered her chance to gain respect for works published ...
Author: Russell McDonald
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Category: Literary Criticism
Twenty-nine collected essays represent a critical history of Shakespeare's play as text and as theater, beginning with Samuel Johnson in 1765, and ending with a review of the Royal Shakespeare Company production in 1991. The criticism centers on three aspects of the play: the love/friendship debate.
In response to the first extensive exhibition of her watercolors at the Dowdeswell Galleries , London , in 1901 , Walter Shaw Sparrow wrote an article that , in effect , examines the genus " lady artist . " 13 Should a woman of genius ...
Author: Thelma S. Fenster
Publisher: Psychology Press
Category: Arthurian romances