The Juggler

Front Cover
Rutgers University Press, Sep 1, 1990 - Fiction - 215 pages
2 Reviews
"For those readers who are interested in women writers, and in questions of gender and psychoanalytic theory, The Juggler will be a new text to explore and to add to the canon. For those readers who are looking for an exciting narrative, The Juggler will be considered 'a good read.'"--Elaine Marks, University of Wisconsin-Madison The Juggler (La Jongleuse) is a "decadent" novel that was first published in 1900. Its author, Marguerite Eymery Vallette (1860-1953), who used the pseudonym Rachilde, was a prolific novelist (over sixty works of fiction), playwright, literary critic and reviewer, and a forceful presence in French literary society of her time. The protagonist of the novel, Eliante Donalger, is in some sense an exaggerated double for her creator--bizarre in appearance, clothing, and interests. Instinctively grasping a medical and psychological truth that the turn-of-the-century scientific world was only beginning to understand, Eliante maintains that there is nothing "natural" about human sexual expression. She claims to be in love with an inanimate (though anthropomorphic and sexually ambiguous) object, a Greek amphora, and the novel traces the rivalry between this faithful partner and an ardent human suitor, a young medical student. It is only through juggling, both literally and metaphorically, that Eliante is able to use her seductive power to maintain desire. The surprise ending challenges the limits of such power in a controversial and surprising twist. Although Rachilde's work has been neglected in the past, the women's movement and feminist criticism have stimulated renewed interest in her fiction. The Juggler is a major rediscovery.

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Review: The Juggler

User Review  - Paul - Goodreads

Rachilde is the corporeal essence of a tempest. In the Juggler, she creates an enormously complex creature above gender, above sexuality, above allure, & yet, reflecting as accurately as one ever ... Read full review

Review: The Juggler

User Review  - Amy - Goodreads

“This woman let her dress trail behind her like a queen trailing her life.” In my week-long creative writing workshop titled “Quantum Poetics and New Narratives: Writing the Speed of Light” last year ... Read full review

About the author (1990)

Rachilde was a playwrite, and one of the few women active in Paris theater in the 1890's.

Melanie Hawthorne is Professor of French at Texas A&M University. Her research focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century French literature, with special emphasis on prose fiction of the "Decadent" period and on women writers.

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