A History of Central European Women's Writing (Studies in by Celia Hawkesworth

By Celia Hawkesworth

A background of primary ecu Women's Writing deals a special survey of literature from the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Slovakia, and Slovenia. It illustrates the improvement of women's writing within the zone from the center a long time to the current day, putting person writers of their social and political context and displaying how methods shaping their lives are mirrored of their works.

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21 Amongst the influences on her work were the oriental romance, the pastoral idyll, Boccacio’s Decameron, and the comedia dell’arte. Most plays also followed the Baroque tradition of including operatic interludes and ballet performances. A regular correspondent of Radziwil⁄ l⁄ owa was another, less widely known woman poet, Antonina z Jel⁄owickich Niemiryczowa (c. 1700–80), 20 Polish Women Authors before 1800 although the two differed widely in their artistic directions. The connection is interesting, for it was on the back of letters received from her friend Franciszka Urszula Radziwil⁄ l⁄ owa that in 1896 Wiktor Gomulicki discovered, quite by chance in an antiquarian bookshop in Warsaw, Niemiryczowa’s manuscript collection of 85 poems entitled Wiersze polskie and dated 1753.

She has remained one of the outstanding writers, and the only woman writer, of humanist Latin verse from Rudolphine Bohemia. In an age when women’s self-expression in writing was highly restricted, the epistle was one of the few forms in which they could articulate their thoughts and excel as stylists. The letters produced by the European elite such as the famous Madame de Sévigné, were frequently intended for public consumption and were appreciated by circles of admirers. 13 It is the epistolary form in which Czech women of the CounterReformation tended to express themselves, albeit in a personal rather than a public vein.

This is particularly the case, since the male authors of histories of literature, a genre which began in the nineteenth century when there was a plethora of bad writing by women, tend to assume that only male writers deserve their attention. They might have noted what Bod wrote in connection with the seventeenth-century princess, patron of the arts and writer, Zsuzsanna Lorántffy (c. 4 It is easy to find folk who do not like the idea of women reading the Bible. 5 From the time of the Hungarian occupation of the Danube Basin at the end of the ninth century, Hungary was regarded as a mission field by both the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.

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