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    Performance and Femininity in Eighteenth-Century German Women's Writing

    By: W. Arons

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    In this book, Wendy Arons examines how women writers used theater and performance to investigate the problem of female subjectivity and to intervene in the dominant discourse about ideal femininity. Arons shows how contemporary demands for sincerity and authenticity placed a peculiar burden on women in the public sphere, especially on actresses, who - like professional writers - overstepped the boundaries of what was considered proper behavior for women. Paradoxically, in their representations of ideal women engaged in performance, these writers expose ideal femininity as an impossible act, even as they attempt to perform it in their writing and in their lives.

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