samedi 1 octobre 2011
Elaine Showalter, A JURY OF HER PEERS, Londres, Virago Press, 2009, 586 pages.
In short, Jo is becoming a professional writer of genre fiction, and using the techniques all serious writers use to understand human experience; but even for a little woman who would be womanly, such secondhand efforts are risky and taboo, while the firsthand "limited experience" available to her as a woman excludes her from attempting more than domestic subjects. Jo's uneasiness is reinforced by the reaction of her fatherly suitor, Professor Bhaer, who tells her that he does not like to see "good young girls" reading such stories, much less writing them, and makes her feel as if "the words 'Weekly Volcano' were printed in large type on her forehead." In Bhaer's eyes, she is almost as sinful as Hester Prynne; and instead of trying to expand her limited experience or challenging society's restrictions on good girls, Jo burns her manuscripts. By the novel's end, she has given up, or at least postponed, her dream of becoming a great author in exchange for marriage and motherhood, and regards the life she had once desired as "selfish, lonely, and cold."