Women in the Works of Lou Andreas-Salomé

Women in the Works of Lou Andreas-Salomé

Negotiating Identity

Muriel Cormican


Camden House



Comprehensive view of Andreas-Salomé's fictional works, focusing on her depictions of women and questions of narrative and identity.
The writer and intellectual Lou Andreas-Salomé (1861-1937) fascinates scholars of German literature because of her associations with Nietzsche, Rilke, and Freud and because she was active in the cultural and intellectual vanguard of late 19th- and early 20th-century Germany and Austria. Recent editions of her fictional works have garnered wider attention from scholars of literature and theory, particularly those interested in women's studies, identity politics, and narrative theory. This study analyzes how Andreas-Salomé depicted women in her fictional works just as feminism was emerging, revealing a complex engagement with questions of narrative and identity. More than mere thematic explorations of women's changing roles in society, her works investigate the concept of identity and its relationship to gender, sexuality, and narrative representation. She is as concerned with a cultural crisis of femininity and masculinity as with the identity crises of her individual women characters. This book offers the best account of Andreas-Salomé's literary works, de-emphasizing biographical and psychoanalytical perspectives but taking into account the sociopolitical, historical, and cultural contexts in which they were written. It also adds to contemporary theoretical discourses on gender, feminism, and identity.

Muriel Cormican is Professor of German at the University of West Georgia, Carrollton, Georgia.

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December 2009
194 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571134141
Format: Hardback
Camden House
BISAC LIT004170, LIT004290, SOC028000
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Table of Contents

Woman versus Women: Gender, Art, and Decadence in "Der Mensch als Weib" and Eine Ausschweifung
Articulating Identity: Narrative as Mastery and Self Mastery in Fenitschka
Marriage and Science: Discourses of Domestication in Das Haus
Untamed Woman: Talking about Sex and Self in Jutta
Motherhood, Masochism, and Subjectivity in Ma: Ein Portraet
Returning the Gaze: Uppity Women in Menschenkinder


Lucid, convincing study. CHOICE

Cormican's study contributes to the ongoing re-evaluation of the importance of the extraordinary individual that was Lou Andreas-Salomé. JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES

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