Tag Archives: women’s writing

“I was just thinking: Frankenstein!”

10 Feb

Last week I attended a wonderful talk/ book discussion, “Reading like a Writer: Frankenstein,” which conjured Mary Shelley et al telling spooky stories around a fireplace on a rainy night in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1816. It must be the most famous party in literary history. (Conveniently, during our discussion, it was raining heavily, and we met at a haunted Victorian mansion.)

I just watched the latest episode of Doctor Who, at the end of which the Doctor said, “I was just thinking: Frankenstein!” My first thought: “Are they going to Geneva in 1816?!” After the credits, there was a brief preview, and it indeed looks like the Doctor and her friends are going to visit Lord Byron’s villa in Geneva on the night that Mary Shelley first started writing Frankenstein! If I had a TARDIS, that would be high on my list of times/places to visit.

Also, next month I’m going to see Manuel Cinema’s mixed media production of Frankenstein; it involves puppets and video and whatnot. It’s going to be amazing.

Maybe this year I’ll read some more books by and about Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft. I’m feeling so inclined….

Collecting Books by George Sand

22 Apr

Several of my books by George Sand (Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin) were published in the 1970s, a decade when second wave feminists wished to read George Sand and found it frustrating that they could read about her but couldn’t find her books. (People found her life scandalous, and misogynists insist on pretending that women are nothing but sexual objects–even a woman as brilliant as George Sand). Maybe Joanna Russ, author of How to Suppress Women’s Writing, sought books by George Sand. The main publishers of her work in English in North America were Shameless Hussy Press and Cassandra Press.

To this day, if you wish to find books by George Sand, you can’t find them in bookstores that only sell new books. Unless you shop on Amazon.com, you can only find them in libraries and used bookstores, even though she was a prolific author and wrote books that are still relevant to today’s society.

Circa 2000, I started searching for books by George Sand. I went to the public library and used interlibrary loan. I fell in love with her epic, historic, and romantic novel Consuelo and wanted my own copy. Since then, I’ve been collecting books by George Sand; some are antiques, and I found the majority at Powell’s City of Books. On Amazon.com, I eventually found print-on-demand (POD) copies of Consuelo and its sequel, The Countess of Rudelstadt, but I kept my antique copy of Consuelo.

Dismissiveness toward women’s experiences and perspectives of course are tied to dismissiveness toward women’s writing. This dismissiveness is, of course, a result of systemic misogyny.