'Une femme qui rêve n'est pas tout à fait une femme': Lélia en rupture d'identité

Abstract: 

In the first version of her novel Lélia (1833), George Sand raises the question of a woman's identity to a crisis point by articulating it around the heroine's frigidity. Drawing on the phenomenological work of the philosopher Denise Riley, this article shows that Lélia's condition is symptomatic of a wider historical and philosophical construction of gender differences, which is still visible in Jean-Paul Sartre's discussion of frigidity in Being and Nothingness. Since they are destined to sustain the whole edifice of gender, women must stay in their bodies at all times, and are thus denied the right to dream, or to think. Thus Sand's experimental text dramatizes, in its very pathos and inconclusiveness, a question that has occupied feminist thinkers to this day, namely "which identities are truly viable for women? (In French) (EE) 

Author: 
Ender, Evelyn.
Release Year:
Project MUSE: 
Volume: 
2001 Spring-Summer; 29(3-4): 226-46.