Download e-book for iPad: Madame de Stael: The Dangerous Exile by Angelica Goodden

By Angelica Goodden

ISBN-10: 0191528773

ISBN-13: 9780191528774

ISBN-10: 019923809X

ISBN-13: 9780199238095

How does exile beget writing, and writing exile? what sort of writing can either be fuelled by way of absence and extend it? Exile, which used to be intended to imprison her, mockingly gave Madame de Sta?l a freedom that enabled her to be as lively a dissident as any girl within the past due eighteenth and early 19th centuries was once in a position to being. time and again banished for her nonconformism, she felt she have been made to endure two times over, first for political bold after which for bold, as a lady, to be political (a rather grave offence within the eyes of the misogynist Napoleon). but her outspokenness - in novels, comparative literary reviews, and works of political and social concept - made her look as a lot a danger outdoors her loved France as inside of it, whereas her friendship with statesmen, infantrymen, and literary figures resembling Byron, Fanny Burney, Goethe, and Schiller easily further to her risky megastar. She preached the virtues of liberalism and freedom anywhere she went, turning the reports of her enforced absence into an arsenal to take advantage of opposed to all who attempted to suppress her. Even Napoleon, probably her maximum foe, conceded, from his personal exile on St Helena that she might final. Her unremitting task as a speaker and author made her into exactly the kind of activist no lady at the moment used to be accepted to be; but she ironically remained a reluctant feminist, seeming even to connive on the inferior prestige society granted her intercourse even as vociferously demanding it, and closing torn by way of the conflicting calls for of private and non-private existence.

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Extra info for Madame de Stael: The Dangerous Exile

Example text

However carefully she might occasionally try to shroud them in indirectness, her challenges seemed too obvious to be disregarded and hence left unpunished. At times, as both Constant and Byron suggest, she was either her own worst enemy or a traitor to the cause she apparently upheld. She challenged prevailing ideologies that signalled repression—sexual, social, or political—for any class to which she might belong, but also relished her uniqueness. Like Wollstonecraft, who mistrusted many of Stae¨l’s principles, she saw herself as an examplar of female resource and independence at odds with prevailing orthodoxies.

Paris may have been her spiritual home, but smaller constellations could still support life. If she resembled Montaigne in seeing the epitome of Frenchness in Paris, she diVered from him in not liking travel for its own sake or because it was a version of the perpetual movement that inhered in life. 52 Just as she expected Europe’s other languages to bow before French (though she did try to learn English when she entered Fanny Burney’s circle in Surrey, and made some progress in German with the aid of her children’s tutor and Wilhelm von Humboldt), so she would have preferred London, Berlin, Vienna, and Stockholm somehow to be absorbed by Paris, if that had been possible.

35 See Robert de Luppe´, Les Ide´es litte´raires de Madame de Stae¨l et l’he´ritage des Lumie` res (Paris: J. Vrin, 1969), 28. 44 juniper hall introduction to the world and exposure to the danger of liaisons that is also the central theme of Les Liaisons dangereuses. Stae¨l’s interest in Cecilia, by contrast, may seem merely the concern of someone not yet a novelist to discover what made a (female) Wctional best-seller, even though Cecilia made less of a stir among the reading public than Evelina had done.

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Madame de Stael: The Dangerous Exile by Angelica Goodden


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