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Title: The female voice in Lopez de Ubeda's 'La Picara Justina' and Goethe's 'Wilhelm Meister'
Author: Zecevic, Patricia D.
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 1998
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The thesis has grown out of a perceived similarity between two novels from quite different cultural periods and national literary contexts: Lopez de Ubeda's Spanish picaresque novel, La Picara Justina of 1605 and Goethe's Wilhelm Meister of 1795- 1829. Both novels deal with the problem of female self-presentation, and use similar stylistic (poetic) resources to give expression to the female voice. The Introduction argues for the appropriateness of adopting a double strategy - both analytic and historical - in order to provide both internal and external evidence to make the point that the authors studied are participating in a shared cultural tradition. Chapter I introduces an account of the Kabbalah's presentation of the divine Speaking Woman (the Shekhinah), analysed in terms derived from contemporary feminist discussion. Chapter II then traces Goethe's life-long interest in the Divine Feminine, as illustrated in his Faust, various poems, and his Autobiography. In Chapter III Goethe's Wilhelm Meister is analysed with regard to his presentation of key female figures and to his lending them a mode of aesthetic language that empowers them to express their true identity. The purpose of Chapter IV is to show that the protagonist Justina's development in Lopez de Ubeda's novel is represented in part by the series of Great Mother figures she encounters and in part by her identification with the Shekhinah model. Then, in Chapter V, the ways in which Justina is made to exploit the Spanish language, like her resourceful use of her female persona, are examined to bring out the similarity of her rhetoric to that employed by Goethe (and advocated by Luce Irigaray). In the Conclusion, some suggestions are offered as to possibly fruitful lines of investigation which this inquiry may open up.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Spanish; German; Novels; Women; Culture