david greven Connecticut College n July 1843, Margaret Fuller published her essay "The Great Lawsuit. Man versus Men. Woman versus Women" in the Dial, the major transcendentalist magazine, of which she was one of the editors; she later expanded it for publication in book form in 1845 with its title changed to Woman in the Nineteenth Century. During the period between publishing "The Great Lawsuit" and Woman, Fuller traveled to Niagara and the Great Lakes. The work that emerged from this trip, Summer on the Lakes, in 1843, published in 1844, has been regarded as one of this author's most significant. In this essay, I argue that what makes the book particularly interesting to studies of gender and sexuality in the period is the light it sheds on her awareness of same-sex desire and its relationship to antebellum gender politics. In Summer's Mariana narrative, Fuller links her critique of constrictive gender roles and their dynamics to the experience and implications of same-sex desire within a female homosocial environment; the play between collective gender identity and singular queerness provides the central drama of this narrative. From the prevailing critical perspective shaped by the theories of the French social historian
Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Jun 1, 2012
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