Renaissance Women Writers: French Texts, American Contexts

Anne R. Larsen, Colette H. Winn
Wayne State University Press, 1994 - 242 pàgines
Renaissance Women Writers is the first book entirely dedicated to the study of French women writers of the early modern period. The twelve essays, reflecting current trends in Renaissance scholarship in the United States, analyze the formation of women's literary identity by exploring the works of eight of the most frequently read women writers of this period.
The genres considered include sonnets (Louise Labe, Catherine des Roches); elegies (Louise Labe, Pernette du Guillet); memoirs (Marguerite de Valois); novellas (Marguerite de Navarre); translations, plays, and dialogues (Catherine des Roches, Marguerite de Navarre); dedicatory epistles (Louise Labe, Helisenne de Crenne, Jeanne Flore, Marie de Gournay); and novels (Marie de Gournay). Although the essays differ considerably in approach - spanning historical, textual and intertextual, political, and psychoanalytic, or drawing on structuralist and post-structuralist theories of narrative and reader reception - each views the text from a feminist perspective.
The essays are grouped into three sections that reflect major characteristics of the works of French Renaissance women. Part One examines three revisionary practices in relation to dominant codes: women writers define a female reading community to empower the female speaker; demystify the illusion of mastery inscribed in male myths and encode these myths with the topos of female creative bonding; and privilege the "private" over the "public" in a genre such as the memoirs that was hitherto limited to narrating public events.
Part Two focuses on the female body, an object mastered and seduced in male ideology. The essays discuss how women writers de-emphasize and ultimately transcend the female body.
Finally, the essays in Part Three deal for the most part with the "politics of reception" by examining how women writers maneuver within the social restrictions of their time to negotiate their entry into the public world of print.
A collective awareness of the determining role of gender marks the essays in this volume, providing fresh insights into the works of Renaissance women writers.

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The Differentiated Text
A HumanistFeminist Translation
The Mysterious Case of the Body in the Text

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Sobre l'autor (1994)

Anne R. Larsen is professor of French at Hope College. She is the editor of a three-volume critical edition of the collected writings of Madeleine and Catherine des Roches.

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