CHRISTINA ROSSETTI & DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI. Quest Stalled and Feminized. OUTLINE. 1. Introduction: Victorian Society, The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and its Women 2. Christina Rossetti vs. Dante Gabriel Rossetti Song,” “In an Artist Studio” vs. “The Blessed Damozel” Group time
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CHRISTINA ROSSETTI &DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI Quest Stalled and Feminized
OUTLINE 1. Introduction: Victorian Society, The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and its Women 2. Christina Rossetti vs. Dante Gabriel Rossetti • Song,” “In an Artist Studio” vs. “The Blessed Damozel” • Group time 3. The Goblin Market
VICTORIAN SOCIETY AND WOMEN • Can Jane Eyre stay single? Would Rochester stay monogamous was his vision not injured? • Review: The Victorians (2009) 02 Home Sweet Home (44:26, fallen women – desperate women – disloyal wives--constraints) • The Victorians (2009) 04 Dreams and Nightmares • 12:05 the Age of Doubt • 14.51 The Lady of Shallot • Skip Burn Jones • 22.68 William Morris red house as an escape • 25.23 Rossetti
VICTORIAN QUESTSIN POETRY & PRE-RAPHAELITE PAINTINGS • Failed: Robert Browning • Feminized: Tennyson and the Pre-Raphaelites* • Escapist: back to the medieval times • Romantic: love and female beauty (women as objects of quest) • Stalled: larger-than-life women “waiting” on the threshold, immobile or withdrawing • How about female writers like Christina Rossetti?
DEFINITION OF PRE-RAPHAELITE PAINTING • "The Pre-Raphaelites sought ...to restore to painting the naturalness and simplicity they insisted it has lost after Raphael by demonstrating in their own art the superiority of realism--freshly observed nature transferred to canvas--to timid emulation. • anti-establishment • the persistent romantic-Victorian attachment to the Middle Ages. • mixture of mysticism and "fleshliness" (i.e. sensuousness) especially in connection with female subjects. “The Fleshly School of Art • Pre-Raphaelitism revived in art the literary romanticism of half a century earlier. The movement was much indebted to Keats. . ." (Altick 288-90) • Illustration and Decorative Art … (The Pre-Raphaelites(8/9) 3:02 Beloved- -DGR’s women Illustration)
FREQUENT THEMES – WOMEN AS SUBJECTS • Medieval Legends of Arthur & Romantic love • Women Waiting (2/9) The Pre-Raphaelites – • 3:02 DGR – Lizzie Siddal • 4:04 Annunciation [model: CR] • 8:11 – Mariana • Death • The Pre-Raphaelites (4/9)– Ophelia [model: LS] • (2/4) A Passion for the Pre-Raphaelites (Andrew Lloyd Webber)– 6:20 [model: Jane Morris] – solitude, individuality • (4/4) A Passion for the Pre-Raphaelites Lady of Shalott, 1:35 --Ophelia, etc. death, and their paintings’ ir-relevance
CHRISTINA ROSSETTI VS. DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI Christina Rossetti Dante Gabriel Rossetti • 1828-1882 – new realism • influential leader in PRB --medievalism • 1862-1872 most productive years (turn to draw women in flat background & with dense colors) • mental breakdown in June 1872 • Left: CR by DGR • Right: Self-portrait,1847 • 1830-1894 • 3 suitors, turned down –two for religious reasons • Poems, children’s rhymes and stories • Seen as “intuitive” and simple • a candidate to succeed Tennyson as Poet Laureate
DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI • 1848 the formation of Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.* • 1849 met Elizabeth Siddal and used her as the main model (not to be used by the others) • 1856 met Fanny Cornforth and used her as the main model • 1857 met Jane Morris • 1860 married Siddal • 1862 Siddal died • 1863 Fanny Cornforth became somebody else's housekeeper. • 1865 used J. Morris as the main model • 1871 Dante Gabriel Rossetti criticized as "the Fleshly School of Poetry" • 1882 Dante Gabriel Rossetti died
LIZZIE SIDDAL • Portrait of Elizabeth Siddal, 1854 Dante Gabriel Rossetti, • Self Portrait, 1853-4 Elizabeth Siddal, .
FANNY CORNFORTH:LADY LILITH Photograph of Fanny Cornforth
Dante's Dream at the Time of the Death of Beatrice by Dante Gabriel Rossetti Wikipedia [model: Jane Morris]
GROUP TIME ON SHORT POEMS 4. “Song” –analyze the poem, its main theme and tone6. How does “Song” differ from its Chinese translation/re-creation? And the reading, singing shown at YouTube? 3. “The Blessed Damozel” – analyze its depiction of the lady and the space of heaven. 8. What impact does the painting brings to the poem? 5. “In an Artist’s Studio” – two Q’s about form and content 2. “In an Artist’s Studio” – two Q’s about one face and its stories 7. “In an Artist’s Studio” – as related to paintings and drawings of/about Siddal 1. Compare different views of death and women expressed in “The Blessed Damozel” on the one hand, and “Song” and “In an Artist’s Studio” on the other.
A slumber did my spirit seal; I had no human fears: She seemed a thing that could not feel The touch of earthly years. No motion has she now, no force; She neither hears nor sees; Rolled round in earth's diurnal course, With rocks, and stones, and trees. A SLUMBER DID MY SPIRIT SEAL (A SONG)
REMEMBER REMEMBER me when I am gone away, Gone far away into the silent land; When you can no more hold me by the hand, Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay. Remember me when no more day by day You tell me of our future that you plann'd: Only remember me; you understand It will be late to counsel then or pray. Yet if you should forget me for a while And afterwards remember, do not grieve: For if the darkness and corruption leave A vestige of the thoughts that once I had, Better by far you should forget and smile Than that you should remember and be sad.
DGR – Eternal Love or Eternal Waiting “THE BLESSED DAMOZEL”
“THE BLESSED DAMOZEL” (1847, PUBLISHEDIN1850) • 24 stanzas, in Three Parts, each ends with the lover’s words. • 1. The damozel’s appearance in heaven and her sense of time different from those on earth. surely she leans over me. • 2. More description of her existence in heaven (far away, alone among lovers) and her voice will she catch up with me? • 3. The damozel expresses her wish to be joined by the lover. I see her smile and hear her tears
Obsession with or Self-Projection onto ONE FACE “IN AN ARTIST’S STUDIO”
“IN AN ARTIST’S STUDIO” • One face looks out from all his canvasses,One selfsame figure sits or walks or leans;We found her hidden just behind those screens,That mirror gave back all her loveliness. • A queen in opal or in ruby dress,A nameless girl in freshest summer-greens,A saint, an angel;—every canvass meansThe same one meaning, neither more nor less. • He feeds upon her face by day and nightAnd she with true kind eyes looks back on himFair as the moon and joyful as the light: • Not wan with waiting, not with sorrow dim;Not as she is, but was when hope shone bright;Not as she is, but as she fills his dream.
“IN AN ARTIST’S STUDIO”: DISCUSSION QUESTIONS • 1) Who are the speakers (“we) of this poem? And their tone? Circles the clues (in repetitions or sound or word choice) you find. • 2) What effects do the poetic form produce (Petrarchan sonnet and rhyme scheme)? • 3) Why do you think that there is only one face and one meaning in one artist’s work? What does that suggest about the relations among the artist, the model/muse and his work? (ref.da Vinci) • 4) Do you know any stories like this?
BACKGROUND • The poem is said to explore the relations between DGR and Lizzie Siddal. • “As Siddal came from a working-class family, Rossetti feared introducing her to his parents. Lizzie Siddal was the victim of harsh criticism from his sisters. Knowledge that his family would not approve the marriage contributed to Rossetti putting it off. Siddal appears to have believed, with some justification, that Rossetti was always seeking to replace her with a younger muse, which contributed to her later depressive periods and illness.” (source)
Religious Poem or Feminist/Lesbian poem? “THE GOBLIN MARKET”
“THE GOBLIN MARKET” – CRITICAL VIEWS • “Her brother reports that he had ‘more than once heard Christina say that she did not mean anything profound by this fairy tale – it is not a moral apologue consistently carried out in detail’ (Bell 1898: 207)” (Brandt 11). • Various Interpretations: “a fairy tale (Watson 1984), a nursery fantasy of oral desire (May 1992), and a feminist manifesto (Gilbert and Gubar 1979; Shurbutt 1992). The cravings described have been related to phenomena as varied as erotic starvation (Greer 1975), lesbian eroticism (Homans 1985), anorexia nervosa (Cohen 1985), vampirism (Morrill 1990), and Victorian capitalism (Menke 1994). Other critics have considered the poem in relation to issues such as • sisterhood (Mermin 1983; Watson 1986; Casey 1991) and motherhood (Marshall 1994a). (Brandt 12)
“THE GOBLIN MARKET” – SUMMARY • Stanzas– in 4 parts: • a. Goblins call out to maids to buy their fruits, and Laura gets curious about it. (stanzas 1-3) • b. Laura trades the fruits with a strand of her golden lock and starts to waste away, for she cannot hear the goblins anymore. (stanzas 4-16) • c. Lizzie goes to buy the fruits for Laura; she squeezes her mouth shut. The goblins then kicks her and puts juice all over her. Lizzie runs back to let Laura kiss her and suck her juice, which cures Laura. (stanzas 17-) • d. Years later, they still tell this story to their children.
“THE GOBLIN MARKET” – DISCUSSION QUESTIONS • 1. How would you interpret the goblins and their fruits? • -- Why are the fruits of so many kinds? And the goblins, too? • -- Why do they sell it in the evening, not for money, but for Laura’s hair? What can the silver coin and the strand of hair mean symbolically? • 2. How are the two sisters characterized? And their relationship? • 3. How does Lizzie resist the goblin’s temptation? And Laura? • 4. What do you think are the meanings of this poem and the goblin market?
YOUTUBE COLLECTION • Goblin Market: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBSLDxPWWYE • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrAZGXVTPrE MUSIC; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPMaOk_BnAE Song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5LHQNEoO9g • Chinese – song with lyrics http://www.wretch.cc/blog/markim/22868198 • Song, image with lyrics http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CJ754acMN8 • Brigget Bordeau http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PAABJ0hH84 The Blessed Damozel Claude Debussy - La Damoiselle Elue http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcVMmOZ3Q6Q
REFERENCE • The Pre-Raphaelites; A Passion for the Pre-Raphaelites (Andrew Lloyd Webber) • Richard Altick. Victorian People and Ideas. NY: Norton, 1973. • “In an Artist’s Studio”; Goblin Market: summary and analysis • Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool Museum. Exhibition. • Christina Rossetti’s Life and Work • Brandt, Katja. Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market”: • Milton Revised or Revived? Finland: Åbo Akademi UP, 2006.