Having It All in the Belle Epoque How French Women's Magazines Invented the Modern Woman

ISBN-10: 0804784248

ISBN-13: 9780804784245

Edition: 2013

Authors: Rachel Mesch

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Description:

At once deeply historical and surprisingly timely,Having it All in the Belle Epoqueshows how the debates that continue to captivate high-achieving women in America and Europe can be traced back to the early 1900s in France. The first two photographic magazines aimed at women,FeminaandLa Vie Heureusecreated a female role model who—unlike the fear-inducing New Woman—could balance age-old feminine convention with new equalities. Often referred to simply as the "modern woman," the feminine role model promoted inFeminaandLa Vie Heureusewas a bundle of decidedly new contradictions, as she embraced a newfound sense of equality without completely abandoning conventional gender roles. Full of never before studied images of the modern French woman in action—from the adorably adventurous mountain climber, literally reaching new heights, to the multiple dazzling incarnations of the woman writer herself, gracefully balancing work and family,Having it Allshows how these early magazines exploited new photographic technologies, artistic currents, and literary trends to offer a powerful new model of French femininity—one that has exerted a lasting, if rarely recognized, influence on French expression. The book introduces and explores the concept of Belle Epoque literary feminism, a product of the elite literary and artistic milieu from which the magazines emerged. Defined by its refusal of political engagement, this feminism was nevertheless preoccupied with expanding women's roles through the journalism and fiction, which worked to construct a collective fantasy of female achievement.Having it Allconsiders this fantasy's refraction through popular women's fiction and explores the limits of this alternative feminism beyond the devoted readership of the women's press. Through an astute blend of historical research, literary criticism, and visual analysis, Mesch offers an original window onto a bygone era that can serve as a framework for ongoing debates about feminism, femininity, and work-life tensions.
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Book details

List price: $39.95
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Publication date: 7/3/2013
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 264
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.078
Language: English

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Femina, La Vie Heureuse and the Invention of the Femme Moderne
Readers and Writers
Ch�res lectrices: Cinderella Powder, Poet Queens and the Woman Reader
Beyond the Bluestocking: Images of Work-Life Balance in the Belle Epoque
The "Oriental" Authoress: Myriam Harry and Lucie Delarue-Mardrus
The Writer Writes Back
Texts and Contexts
A New Man for the New Woman? Belle Epoque Literary Feminism and the French Marriage Plot
Jean Lorrain's Women's Magazine: Emma Bovary Meets Celebrity Culture
A Belle Epoque Media Storm: Marcelle Tinayre and the Legion of Honor
Conclusion: Imagining the Acad�micienne
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index
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