Actress-Writers in Germany from Enlightenment to Romanticism
New Studies in the "Age of Goethe"
In the last three decades of the eighteenth century, a small but significant number of German actresses, including Sophie Albrecht (1757-1840), Marianne Ehrmann (1755-1795), and Elise Bürger (1769-1833), began to publish poetry, autobiographies, drama, and short fiction under their own names. These "actress-writers" came of age at a time when the status of the actress was beginning to be radically redefined in accordance with Enlightenment aesthetics and the cult of sensibility as the model of the enterprising actress-director in the tradition of Caroline Neuber gave way to an idealized view of the actress as sentimental heroine. The Mask and the Quill: Actress-Writers in Germany from Enlightenment to Romanticism is an exploration of this generation of actress-writers, their significance for German literary and cultural history, and their attempts to come to terms with the new image of the actress through literature and performance.
"The Mask and the Quill is an important contribution to German studies, gender studies, and performance studies."--Lena Heilmann, University of Washington, Seattle, Modern Language Review 108:1 (2013):316-317.
""Dupree unfolds a fascinating, comprehensive, and coherent argument focusing on a wide range of literary genres of self-expression in order to get a larger picture of the literary imagination of the actress-writer circa 1800, starting with the culturally "imagined" new type of "Gefühlsschauspielerin" (Ackermann) and continuing with the different modes and forms of "self-imagining" by Albrecht,Ehrmann, and Bürger."
--Gaby Pailer, University of British Columbia,Vancouver; Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies (September 2014)
About the author:
Mary Helen Dupree is Assistant Professor at Georgetown University.
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