Performance and Femininity in Eighteenth-Century German Women’s Writing

The Impossible Act

  • Authors
  • Wendy Arons

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History book series (PSTPH)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Wendy Arons
    Pages 1-13
  3. Wendy Arons
    Pages 15-47
  4. Wendy Arons
    Pages 49-74
  5. Wendy Arons
    Pages 75-109
  6. Wendy Arons
    Pages 111-143
  7. Wendy Arons
    Pages 145-185
  8. Wendy Arons
    Pages 187-206
  9. Wendy Arons
    Pages 207-221
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 223-270

About this book


In this book, Wendy Arons examines how women writers used theater and performance to investigate the problem of female subjectivity and to intervene in the dominant discourse about ideal femininity. Arons shows how contemporary demands for sincerity and authenticity placed a peculiar burden on women in the public sphere, especially on actresses, who - like professional writers - overstepped the boundaries of what was considered proper behavior for women.  Paradoxically, in their representations of ideal women engaged in performance, these writers expose ideal femininity as an impossible act, even as they attempt to perform it in their writing and in their lives.


authenticity behavior German theatre women writing

Bibliographic information