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Tone Selboe

Male Melancholics and Female Fighters: Camilla Collett on George Sand

The title of my talk refers to the Norwegian writer Camilla Collett's view on male versus female writers, and on French literature in particular. While male writers such as Chateaubriand and Benjamin Constant are criticized for their representations of women, George Sand is seen as the first major female writer who fought against perceived notions of femininity and masculinity. Hence Sand, in Collett's opinion “the greatest female writer of the century”, served as an intellectual inspiration for Collett's own writing and thinking. In my talk I will introduce some of Collett's comments on Sand, and discuss them in view of Collett's demand for an alternative assessment of literary history.

SvD, September 2011

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