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Dear?, Am I Truly Yours?: Private Correspondence as a Field of Public Meanings
Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Contexts and Cultural Boundaries (KK).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4453-945X
2008 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Writing a life necessarily means that the dichotomy public/private is actualised. Even the most private matters are made public as soon as they are put into the public medium of writing. As is a well-known fact, for a woman writing in the 19th century this transition from private to public was particularly problematic. In order to handle it, many female writers adopted a male pseudonym in order to gain acceptance in the public arena. What was more unusual for a woman was to keep up a male persona in private correspondence.

In 1910 the Australian novelist Henry Handel Richardson (pseudonym for Ethel Lindsay Richardson) was contacted by the French man of letters Paul Solanges whose aim was to translate her first novel Maurice Guest (1908). In the ensuing correspondence spanning almost four years she never dropped the male mask. In the proposed paper I want to demonstrate the complex web of gendered position-taking in the letters they exchanged, which in the end proved that both their lives were entrapped in writing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008.
National Category
Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-23627OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-23627DiVA: diva2:650295
Conference
ESSE (European Society for the Study of English) 9, Aarhus, Denmark, 22-26 August, 2008
Available from: 2013-09-20 Created: 2013-09-20 Last updated: 2015-11-23Bibliographically approved

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