W S 203 Chapter 1: Notes from Lesbian Short Stories(1)

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Women's Studies
W S 203
Alissa Kristine Stoehr

Notes from Lesbian Short Stories • The Wise Sappho-H.D. (1916-1918) o The word “lesbian” is derived from the island of Lesbos, the birthplace of Sappho, who was herself gay. o Demonstrates the self-consciousness of Sappho modernism o Blends history, fiction, and theory to examine a past and continuing tradition for women, for lesbians, and for literature o Uses a mixture of theory and imagination o Positive images of lesbians • Martha’s Lady-Sarah Orne Jewett (1897) o Romantic attachment that made lesbian love possible and invisible at the same time o No embarrassment or confusion in Martha’s old-fashion chivalric love, nor in Helena’s final acknowledgement of that devotion • Leves Amores-Katherine Mansfield (1907) o Ambivalence toward lesbian relationships and romantic friendships • A Room of One’s Own-Virginia Woolf (1928) o Started as a lecture at Girton College in Cambridge, England in October 1928 o Olivia falls in love with Chloe who dressed as a man • Miss Furr and Miss Skeene-Gertrude Stein (1922) o Witty account of the life of a gay couple o The word “gay” was a shibboleth (belief or identity distinguishing a particular class or group of people, especially a long-standing one seen as no longer important) o 2 characters, Helen Furr and Georgine Skeene, met, lived together, and then drifted apart because they both realized they had different desires; based on two of Gertrude Stein’s friends o Both characters were married, became unhappy in their relat
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