Saturday, December 12, 2020

Saturday, December 12, 2020 12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
A couple of new Brontë-related papers just published:
Madame Beck in Villette: A Medical Diagnosis
Jian Choe
Literary Imagination, imaa045,
Published: 06 December 2020

Villette, Charlotte Brontë’s final masterpiece of 1853, evinces the intersection between literature and medicine in mid-Victorian culture, in which the two disciplines became increasingly specialized and also discursively interdependent at the same time.1 The connection between the two distinct fields present in the novel is unequivocally illustrated by its narrative preoccupation with mental and physical illnesses. The subject of insanity, in particular, constitutes one of its overriding concerns. Indeed, Villette offers a revealing glimpse into the human psyche at its most complex with its subtexts layered with a plethora of disturbing images of the mind. In the novel one...
Rebecca Bowler 
Feminist Modernist Studies,  Published online: 03 Dec 2020

This article surveys May Sinclair’s writing on the Brontë sisters in order to chart her revisionist impulse with relation to their reputation, her anxiety about her own literary reputation, genius in women and intellectual self-sufficiency. I argue that in her insistence on the significance of Haworth and the moors as “background” to the sisters’ lives and her careful portrayal of each sister as either “savage” or “half savage” she is establishing the sisters as Romantic geniuses on the one hand and as dissocialized and self-sufficient elemental figures on the other. I move from an examination of Sinclair’s revisioning of Gaskell’s Brontë myth and her engagement with Clement Shorter and the Héger-Brussels question, to a reading of two of her novels in which Sinclair’s own version of the Brontë myth – the untamed intellect of the genius woman in communion with the landscape – is explored. I will draw on the new materialism of recent feminist ecocriticism to argue that, for Sinclair, the cultural and intellectual work of writing is environmentally and materially informed. Sinclair is at pains to show that the Brontë sisters themselves, and Sinclair’s own fictional writer-heroines, can escape essentially uncompromised from domestic and social materiality, and maintain communion with a different kind of materiality: the sacred materiality of landscape.


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