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Kivland, Sharon
Publisher: Psychological Clinic Press
Journal: The Psychological Clinic
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: Reviews and Criticism
Sharon Kivland lives in the French countryside, though going frequently to London for discussion on philosophy, politics, and psychoanalysis. She remarks that Jean-Jacques, despite his many fine qualities, despite his declarations on moral and political equality, has a rather different programme of education for girls (of which she rather disapproves, for she cannot find a place there for herself) so she turns instead (naturally) from Emile to Choderlos de Laclos. An admirer of Rousseau, he nonetheless advocates, with fervour, the equality of the sexes, dwelling on ‘la femme-naturelle’, for whom only a revolution can change her current condition of slavery – and where there is slavery there can be no education (he adds). \ud In reflections on slavery, labour, revolution, and desire, Sharon Kivland exhibits fifteen embroidered linen robes (as worn by the wild girl of the woods of Champagne when she is domesticated perhaps? No, no, that is merely whimsical – they are the nightdresses of working girls, whatever their embroidered texts declare), and a selection of other works on her favourite subjects, including some small kidskins (a reminder of natural relations), a series of photographs of those French soaps called ‘Bonne Maman’ (so useful in the punitive insistence on good language), leather cartes de visite carrying descriptions of the transgressive body of that natural woman of the demi-monde, Nana, returned to her through a simple change in pronoun, and useful pencils and handkerchiefs.\ud \ud The project is educational, but naturally so, intended to induce the convulsive laughter of noisy merriment, the expression of pleasure, and numerous contradictions.
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