lundi 10 octobre 2011
Linda Huf, APORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG WOMAN, New York, Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1983, 196 pages.
It will be obvious by now that the writers of nineteenth century women's artist novels were shrewd card players. They had to be to keep their hands in a game with men like Nathaniel Hawthorne, who held that by writing for publication a woman so diminished "the loveliness of her sex" that critics should examine her work with a "stricter... eye" and praise only the author who felt "the impulse of genius like a command of Heaven within her." In view of this widespread belief that a woman could be excused for writing books only if under the influence of the divine affatus, it becomes clear why Harriet Beecher Stowe insisted that "God wrote [Uncle Tom's Cabin]." Or why Susan Warner gave out that she wrote the best-selling Wide, Wide World (1860) "upon her knees." Or, indeed, why Elizabeth Stuart Phelps tols her readers with her characteristic earnestness that "The angel said unto me 'Write!' and I wrote."