"The question that predicates this inquiry is not 'What was it like to be part of literary Paris,'" writes Shari Benstock, but "'What was it like to be a woman in literary Paris?'" That city's Left Bank, says the author, was in the early part of the 20th century "inhabited by all those on the margin of culture, a place for the dislocated, even the dispossessed." Among these expatriates were women writers, editors, poets, journalists, and novelists who came to Paris from America or England, often to escape a family or society that made it hard for them to live as a lesbian or a black woman--or simply as an intelligent, ambitious person uninterested in settling into traditional domestic life.
If you believe the usual literary histories, the early 20th-century modernist movement in English literature was, Gertrude Stein excepted, a movement of men. Benstock restores the roles of such remarkable women as Djuna Barnes, Jean Rhys, Sylvia Beach, and Janet Flanner in the history of the time, revealing what she calls the "underside of the cultural canvas." The book is thorough and wonderfully descriptive, offering both a literary history and a portrait of the lives of creative women. --Maria Dolan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The expatriate experience for American literati in Paris in the earlier part of this century is usually associated with male writers such as Hemingway, Joyce and Pound. In a reassessment of the period and the prevailing one-sided view of it, Benstock, editor of the journal Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, presents the women who left their enduring mark on the cultural milieu of a nation. Through their writings, including unpublished and newly available documentary sources of the period, Djuna Barnes, Nancy Cunard, Jean Rhys, Gertrude Stein, Edith Wharton and others are revealed as significant in the development of modernism, imagism and other avant-garde movements in which they were overshadowed or ignored by their male counterparts. Not only were their experiences different from those of their male counterparts, but they were also distinct from each other. Benstock tracks the sexually liberated lifestyles and the creative originality of these women with a wealth of documentation.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I studied Womanstudies (Genderstudies) at University in Utrecht Netherlands. So my intrest is evident.
I was very happy with both books.
Fascinating information about unusual women, but the writing seemed at times a bit heavy. I loved the choice of subjects!Published 17 months ago by spideri
A lot of interesting American women left home to hang out and in some cases come out in Paris among the artists and left intellectuals who flocked there, especially in the 1920s... Read morePublished on June 16, 2013 by Bear