Sibylline Sisters: Virgils Presence in Contemporary Womens Writing

Hardcover | October 29, 2011

byFiona Cox

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The history of Virgil and his receptions is long and varied. His twentieth-century career transformed his appearance as an anaemic imitator of Homer into the 'Father of the West', speaking above all for the marginalized and exiled. At the turn of the millennium it is women writers who, havingbeen largely absent from the story of Virgil's reception, are for the first time shaping a new aetas Vergiliana by drawing on his poems to speak of their own preoccupations and concerns. Through an analysis of Virgil's presence in the work of contemporary women writers from North America (Joyce Carol Oates, Janet Lembke, Ursula Le Guin), Britain (Margaret Drabble, A. S. Byatt, Ruth Fainlight, Michele Roberts, Carol Ann Duffy, U. A. Fanthorpe, Josephine Balmer), Ireland (EavanBoland), and continental Europe (Christa Wolf, Helene Cixous, Charlotte Delbo and Monique Wittig), this book identifies a new Virgil: one who speaks in female tones of the anxieties, exclusions, pleasures, and threats of the contemporary world. While each of the female writers included in thisvolume draws upon her own distinct cultural heritage, Cox focuses on a number of shared themes and values which emerge through their work.Through the works of these modern versions of the Sibyl, Virgil speaks both of explicitly female concerns and wider cultural issues and threats that shadow modern life.

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The history of Virgil and his receptions is long and varied. His twentieth-century career transformed his appearance as an anaemic imitator of Homer into the 'Father of the West', speaking above all for the marginalized and exiled. At the turn of the millennium it is women writers who, havingbeen largely absent from the story of Virgil...

Fiona Cox is currently Lecturer in French at the University of Exeter, where her research interests include classical reception, modern French literature, and contemporary women's writing.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:296 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.91 inPublished:October 29, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199582963

ISBN - 13:9780199582969

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements1. Introduction2. Female Orpheus: Virgil in Contemporary Women's Poetry3. Ruth Fainlight44. Eavan Boland5. Michel Roberts6. Margaret Drabble7. A.S. Byatt8. Christa Wolf9. Monique Wittig10. Joyce Carol Oates11. Janet Lembke12. Ursula Le Guin13. ConclusionBibliography