Daughters Of Decadence share button
Elaine Showalter
Format Paperback
Dimensions 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.78 (d)
Pages 352
Publisher Rutgers University Press
Publication Date August 1993
ISBN 9780813520186
Book ISBN 10 0813520185
About Book
At the turn of the century, short stories by--and often about--"New Women" flooded the pages English and American magazines such as the Atlantic Monthly, Harpers, and the Yellow Book. This daring new fiction, often innovative in form and courageous in its candid representations of female sexuality, marital discontent, and feminist protest, shocked Victorian critics, who denounced the authors as "literary degenerates" or "erotomaniacs."

This collection brings together twenty of the most original and important stories from this period. The writers included in this highly readable volume are Kate Chopin, Victoria Cross, George Egerton, Julia Constance Fletcher, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Sarah Grand, Vernon Lee, Ada Leverson, Charlotte Mew, Olive Schreiner, Edith Wharton, Constance Fenimore Woolson, and Mabel E. Wotton.

As Elaine Showalter shows in her introduction, the short fiction of the Fin-de-Siecle is the missing link between the Golden Age of Victorian women writers and the new era of feminist modernism.

Elaine Showalter is a professor of English at Princeton University. She is the author of A Literature of Their Own, The Female Malady, and other books, and editor of Alternative Alcott, a volume in the American Women Writers Series (Rutgers University Press).


Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly

Wexelblatt ( Life in the Temperate Zone and Other Stories ) constructs rich stories that make heavy subjects dance weightlessly before the reader's eyes. In one tale, a writer who believes that under repressive regimes ``art becomes . . . political against its will'' gets a chance to live out the plot of a story he sketched when he suddenly becomes president of the republic. The nature of historical truth is considered when a professor replies to a graduate student who is trying to ``cope'' with history: he interprets the story of ``The Savior, Ishl Teitelbaum,'' a Jew in a concentration camp who listens to a rabbi and a political ideologue debate the meaning of the Holocaust-- and is then gassed. A 92-year-old nursing home resident reflects on his days as a member of an artists' collaborative that challenged accepted notions of individuality and creativity. Even tales that at first seem conventional become luminescent and unsettling, as in the story of a writer who recalls a Saturday afternoon of games with friends when he was 10; the narrative is interrupted by a dialogue between the author and an inquisitor that explores memory, truth and the knowledge of death. (Jan.)