Remodeling the Frauenzimmer: Women-Authored Spaces in German Literature from 1770-1820
Heilmann, Lena Margaret
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"Remodeling the Frauenzimmer: Women-Authored Spaces in German Literature from 1770-1820" searches for a narrated space that could allow women authors to communicate with one another free from controlling forces exerted by male authors and editors and how women could negotiate their entrance into the public realm with their literary texts and the limitations they had to overcome to publish. Women authors around 1800 have historically been neglected and marginalized, but, by writing about specific spaces, women authors could narrate their own experiences and identities and share them with readers by way of their literary publications. For example, the tension between Wieland's preface for La Roche's epistolary novel _Geschichte des Fräuleins von Sternheim_ (1771) and the novel's contents demonstrate how male authors and editors maintained a consistent presence in mitigating a woman's voices through their authorial and authoritative positions. Women authors around 1800 were particularly interested in narrating explicit moments of violence and assault, as well as the insistence of the male gaze to watch and censor women's texts and bodies. The dissertation is organized into four body chapters: the bedroom, the theater, the masked ball, and the Italian carnival. In the bedroom chapter, a close reading of Kleist's 1808 novella _Die Marquise von O..._ shows how the famous dash that covers up the moment of assault likewise covers up an emerging women's discourse on violence done against them. The theater and masked ball chapters read against Lessing, Goethe, and Eichendorff to argue that even with performances and disguises, women are not free from male figures who monitor and censor them. The final chapter moves outside of Germany and looks at how women authors, in contrast to Goethe and his monumental _Italienische Reise_, describe and narrate a projection of Italy that depicts this country as a space violated and occupied by the male German imagination.
- German