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'Femmes a part': unsociable sociability, women, lifewriting

Chapter


Abstract


  • When Christine de Pizan, in her 1410 Lamentation on the Evils of Civil

    War, described herself as 'seulette a part' (de Pizan, 1984: 84) she expressed

    a divided sense of identity that has echoed throughout women's lifewriting

    right up to the present day. Calling desperately for an end to the

    warfare that was dividing France, she marshalled all the rhetorical pathos

    she could to attain her end, portraying herself simultaneously as a loyal

    member of, and an outsider to, French society. The striking ambiguity

    of the phrase 'a part' captures the uncertain standing she experienced as

    a widow and a female commentator, alluding to the social marginality

    her position brought with it, but also, vitally, to the valuable reflective

    distance it allowed her as a lone woman calling for peace in her fractured

    society. In this short, three-word self-description, which informs the title

    of this chapter, Christine captures succinctly the complex, uneasy relationship

    between the female autobiographical self that is 'a part' of communities

    and institutions, and the self that stands 'apart' from them. It

    is this complex and frequently agonized sense of self - seeking to belong

    yet yearning for solitude and privacy, or indeed for distinction from the

    group - that is at the heart of this volume's exploration of women's lifewriting.

    This mode of self-representation, in the many guises in which

    It is taken up in the chapters that follow, is at the heart of what we are

    (,lIlling the unsociable sociability of women's lifewriting.

Publication Date


  • 2010

Edition


  • 1

Citation


  • D'Arcens, L. & Collett, A. A. 2010, ''Femmes a part': unsociable sociability, women, lifewriting', in A. A. Collett & L. D'Arcens (eds), The Unsociable Sociability of Women's Lifewriting, 1 edn, Palgrave Macmillan, UK. pp. 1-17.

International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13


  • 9780230246478

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/artspapers/444

Book Title


  • The Unsociable Sociability of Women's Lifewriting

Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 17

Place Of Publication


  • UK

Abstract


  • When Christine de Pizan, in her 1410 Lamentation on the Evils of Civil

    War, described herself as 'seulette a part' (de Pizan, 1984: 84) she expressed

    a divided sense of identity that has echoed throughout women's lifewriting

    right up to the present day. Calling desperately for an end to the

    warfare that was dividing France, she marshalled all the rhetorical pathos

    she could to attain her end, portraying herself simultaneously as a loyal

    member of, and an outsider to, French society. The striking ambiguity

    of the phrase 'a part' captures the uncertain standing she experienced as

    a widow and a female commentator, alluding to the social marginality

    her position brought with it, but also, vitally, to the valuable reflective

    distance it allowed her as a lone woman calling for peace in her fractured

    society. In this short, three-word self-description, which informs the title

    of this chapter, Christine captures succinctly the complex, uneasy relationship

    between the female autobiographical self that is 'a part' of communities

    and institutions, and the self that stands 'apart' from them. It

    is this complex and frequently agonized sense of self - seeking to belong

    yet yearning for solitude and privacy, or indeed for distinction from the

    group - that is at the heart of this volume's exploration of women's lifewriting.

    This mode of self-representation, in the many guises in which

    It is taken up in the chapters that follow, is at the heart of what we are

    (,lIlling the unsociable sociability of women's lifewriting.

Publication Date


  • 2010

Edition


  • 1

Citation


  • D'Arcens, L. & Collett, A. A. 2010, ''Femmes a part': unsociable sociability, women, lifewriting', in A. A. Collett & L. D'Arcens (eds), The Unsociable Sociability of Women's Lifewriting, 1 edn, Palgrave Macmillan, UK. pp. 1-17.

International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13


  • 9780230246478

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/artspapers/444

Book Title


  • The Unsociable Sociability of Women's Lifewriting

Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 17

Place Of Publication


  • UK