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Sep 22
Talk
Ideas and Ideals: Strong Female Voices III ONLINE EVENT  Albertine Bookstore/French Embassy 972 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10075 
Sep 22
Talk
Ideas and Ideals: Strong Female Voices III ONLINE EVENT  Albertine Bookstore/French Embassy 972 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10075 
Sep 22
Performance
When the Waves Have Come and Gone Plage des Catalans

Transgressing Gender in the Nineteenth-Century French Novel with Lise Schreier

What is a woman? In nineteenth-century France, writers, painters, doctors, and husbands tried to answer this question by defining women as morally, sexually, legally and politically different. And fundamentally dangerous. Their obsession with women, whom they adored, hated, and more than occasionally brutalized, defined their work and behavior. But many nineteenth-century French women fought back. Adulteresses, courtesans, hysterics, and bad mothers resisted the roles imposed upon them and embraced others. Lead by Lisen this group, we will discuss how some of the most famous literary texts of the era promoted modesty, chastity, and charity, all the while displaying an obsession with prostitution and madness. We will also see how and why the cult of virtue that prevailed for most of the century was challenged during the Belle Epoque, when literature reflected both new ways of resisting reductive conceptions of femininity, and the anxiety associated with the birth of feminism.

  • Session I: The Girl with the Golden Eyes by Honoré de Balzac
  • Sessions II & III: Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  • Sessions IV & V: Nana by Émile Zola
  • Session VI: Monsieur Vénus: A Materialist Novel by Rachilde
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