I don’t think, sir, you have a right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.
Tell him, Jane! (via hopefullywildeandfree)
I had a theoretical reverence and homage for beauty, elegance, gallantry, fascination; but had I met those qualities incarnate in masculine shape, I should have known instinctively that they neither had nor could have sympathy with anything in me, and should have shunned them as one would fire, lightning, or anything else that is bright but antipathetic.
‘I cannot see my prospects clearly to-night, sir; and I hardly know what thoughts I have in my head. Everything in life seems unreal.’
‘Except me: I am substantial enough - touch me.’
‘You, sir, are the most phantom-like of all: you are a mere dream.’
Not many months ago, the New England States were visited by a distressing mental epidemic, passing under the name of the “Jane Eyre fever” … The hero, Mr. Rochester … became a great favorite in the boarding-schools and in the worshipful society of governesses. That portion of Young America known as ladies’ men began to swagger and swear in the presence of the gentler sex, and to allude darkly to events in their lives which excused impudence and profanity.
Artist Statement: Houses of Fiction
‘Whether domestic spaces are depicted as places of confinement or refuge, the private sphere is an evident preoccupation for many nineteenth-century female writers. Often a reflection of women’s ‘place’ in society, the stories depicted in this series demonstrate the metaphorical and literal significance of space. Borrowing partially from literary criticism, this series attempts to synthesize ideas and images through the process of interpretation and adaptation. In each of the five selected stories conventional notions of womanhood are undermined, inciting conflict and eventually ‘madness’ - this tension is implicit in each of the narratives examined.
The dichotomous representation of women - mad or sane - is crucial to represent in this series. Therefore, each story is presented as a diptych: one image represents the passive, subservient woman, while the other image represents ‘madness’. The first image is literal and based on the emphatic description of space in the individual stories. Alternatively, the representation of the maddening consequence of confinement.
It should not be possible to read nineteenth-century British literature without remembering that imperialism, understood as England’s social mission, was a crucial part of the cultural representation of England to the English. The role of literature in the production of cultural representation should not be ignored. These two obvious “facts” continue to be disregarded in the reading of nineteenth-century British literature. This itself attests to the continuing success of the imperialist project, displaced and dispersed into more modern forms.
If these “facts” were remembered, not only in the study of British literature but in the study of the literatures of the European colonizing cultures of the great age of imperialism, we would produce a narrative, in literary history, of the “worlding” of what is now called “the Third World.” To consider the Third World as distant cultures, exploited but with rich intact literary heritages waiting to be recovered, interpreted, and curricularized in English translation fosters the emergence of “the Third World as a signifier that allows us to forget that “worlding,” even as it expands the empire of the literary discipline.
It seems particularly unfortunate when the emergent perspective of feminist criticism reproduces the axioms of imperialism. A basically isolationist admiration for the literature of the female subject in Europe and Anglo-America establishes the high feminist norm. It is supported and operated by an information-retrieval approach to “Third World” literature which often employs a deliberately “nontheoretical” methodology with self-conscious rectitude.