Title

Renée Vivien and the Ladies of the Lake.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Spring 2002

Publication Title

Nineteenth-Century French Studies

Abstract

This study examines the figures of Ophelia and the Arthurian Vivien in the poetry of the fin-de-siècle lesbian poet, Pauline Tarn, who wrote in French under the name Renée Vivien (1877-1909). Often depicted in Victorian literature and art, the mad self-sacrificing Ophelia, and the seductive sorceress Vivien of the Lake, represent two sides of a feminine gender dynamic that was shifting during the late nineteenth century. Vivien's problematic identification with these "Ladies of the Lake" highlights the conflicts and contradictions inherent in Sapphic decadence, and reveals both the restrictions suffered by creative women, and the disruptive possibilities of feminist poetic revisions. (TLE)

DOI

10.1353/ncf.2002.0014

Volume

30

Issue

3-4