Saturday, June 6, 2015

Deborah Lutz

Deborah Lutz divides her time between Brooklyn and Louisville, KY. She is the Thruston B. Morton Professor of English at the University of Louisville. Her scholarship focuses on material culture; the history of attitudes toward death and mourning; the history of sexuality, pornography and erotica; and gender and gay studies.

Lutz's most recent book is The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. her reply:
I have decided to embark on a reading of the novels of George Sand. I like the idea of reading all of the 19th-century female writers who called themselves “George”—not a hard task since George Eliot is the only other one, as far as I know. I was also recently reading through the first volume of Proust again, and the narrator, as a child, is given George Sand’s novels by his grandmother. He adores them. And then George Eliot was a fan of Sand, and some of her novels, as I have found, hew pretty closely to Sand’s work. I started with Francois le Champi, translated, rather unfortunately I think, as The Country Waif in my edition (my French isn’t good enough for me to read it in its original language). This is a charming novel about, well, incest. Or, at least, about a foundling child, taken in and raised by a pretty woman. As he grows to be a handsome man, he falls in love with his “mother” and they marry. This is the sort of incest the narrator in Proust would appreciate, since he relishes kissing his mother.

Then there was The Miller of Angibault, which was an odd, over-heated affair, with the gothic touch of a mad woman who roams loose, eventually burning down a castle. It had the kind of high drama and passion found in Stendhal, although generally Stendhal does it better. I’m just starting Indiana, which so far promises well.
Visit Deborah Lutz's website.

--Marshal Zeringue