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Concord Companions: Margaret Fuller, Friendship, and Desire

Martin, RK and Edwards, J (2015) Concord Companions: Margaret Fuller, Friendship, and Desire Canadian Review of American Studies, 45 (1). pp. 83-100.

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In this paper, we examine the rhetoric of friendship and desire in mid-nineteenth-century American writing. We begin by looking at Emerson’s essay on friendship and Thoreau’s poem “Sympathy” (1840) to provide a context for reading Margaret Fuller’s fascinating texts on samesex bonds between women. Of particular interest to us is Fuller’s translation of Elizabeth von Arnim’s Die Gu¨nderode (1840), a collection of letters between Arnim and the German Romantic poet Karoline von Gu¨ nderode which provides compelling insights into the early to mid-nineteenthcentury continuum between female friendship and same-sex desire. We situate this translation alongside Fuller’s own female friendships and expressions of love for women, more specifically her declarations of love to Anna Barker and, later, to George Sand. This latter relationship, we suggest, was a source of admiration and anxiety, for Sand’s cross-dressing and fluid sense of gender identity was simultaneously celebrated and condemned in Fuller’s Women in the Nineteenth Century (1843).

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Literature and Languages > English
Authors :
Martin, RK
Edwards, J
Date : February 2015
DOI : 10.3138/cras.2015.S05
Related URLs :
Additional Information : Copyright 2015 University of Toronto Press. Posted here by permission of the publisher.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 03 Mar 2015 15:01
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 17:21

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