Censored sentiments : letters and censorship in epistolary novels and conduct material /
Barbara Maria Zaczek.
Newark : University of Delaware Press ; London : Associated University Presses, c1997.
209 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
0874136083 (alk. paper)
More Details
Newark : University of Delaware Press ; London : Associated University Presses, c1997.
0874136083 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 198-205) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-01:
Zaczek (Clemson Univ.) examines epistolary fictions ranging in time from Lettres portugaises (1669) to Dacia Maraini's Lettere a Marina (1981), including works in French, Italian, and especially English. She reads these novels in light of conduct books, notions of literary decorum, and Foucault's concept of disciplinary practice. Literary theories during the time of the flowering of the epistolary novel claimed a strict dichotomy between men and women. Women could write only from and of the heart, without art or rationality. Thus, familiar letters were a genre allowing women spontaneous sentiment while confining them to the private sphere. Even as women's letters were praised (and simultaneously dismissed) for the untrammeled flow of feeling, conduct books cautioned women to guard against the encroachment of seducers who threatened the stability of the bourgeois family. Zaczek traces the evolution from early celebrations of feeling to Clarissa, which enshrines prudence as womens' key virtue, and she reveals how the "censor" moves from without to within the text, as women writers submit to a rigid new set of conventions. Richardon's successors tried to accommodate or subvert the "censor in the text." Zaczek concludes by examining a number of contemporary novels that reject the Richardsonian notion of women as passive sufferer, artless writer, denizen of merely the private sphere. Clear, well written, and persuasive. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates and above. K. P. Mulcahy; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 1998
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Unpaid Annotation
Censored Sentiments offers a new perspective on women as letter writers and on the eighteenth-century increase in, and subsequent decline of, epistolary fiction by tracing forms of censorship that affected female letters in England, France, Italy, and America.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 11
Female Letters in Conduct Materialp. 21
Letters as a Means of Liberation for Female Corespondentsp. 52
Clarissa - Woman Writer and Reader in an Epistolary Webp. 75
Female Epistolary Strategies in Evelina, Lady Susan, and Lettere di una novizia: The Tactics of Caution, Convention, and Clichep. 103
Deconstructing the Definition of Female Letters as Sentimental, Nonliterary, and Privatep. 138
Conclusionp. 175
Notesp. 178
Bibliographyp. 198
Indexp. 206
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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