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16 / BLUM as female/male, nature/culture, private/public, family/society, body/mind, passion/reason "occur with nauseating repetitiveness," yet "not as static categories, but along a continuum of possibilities" (116). Any project of the scope and ambition of Twilight will inevitably generate critical responses. As I have suggested, not all readers have embraced its interdisciplinary method. Nor have all scholars agreed with the largely pessimistic account of Enlightenment and Revolution that Gutwirth lays forth. Lynn Hunt, for one, perceives in the radicalism of the Revolution a less vicious curtailment of women's rights, and a stronger prospect for the emergence of feminism. She and Gutwirth, in company with other respected scholars, have vigorously debated the Revolution's meaning for women, its relationship to gender politics in the eras that preceded and followed it, and women's participation in and resistance to revolutionary debate, legislation and ritual. For my part I find it difficult to agree fully when Gutwirth writes, in reference to the novels of Isabelle de Charrière, "Charrière's world is still an aristocratic and provincial one, where the woman's struggle is vain, her defeat foreordained." I find there to be greater optimism in Charrière's writing, and perhaps find more cause to hail the positive achievements of her age. This said, I also recognize that the overall pessimism concerning the direction of gender politics that is articulated in Twilight bespeaks Gutwirth's underlying belief in an ideal equality of the sexes toward which women and men can only continue to strive. In other words, Madelyn Gutwirth's militancy in relation to the present stands in counterpoint to her apparent pessimism regarding the past. In this spirit it seems appropriate for me to conclude with the short but moving final paragraph of Twilight of the Goddesses: "The women of history, too, survived the French Revolution, in and in spite of men's representations of them. For while their struggle to alter men's consciousness of their reality had met with pitiless civil and moral retribution, their resilience was imperishable" (385). IN RETIREMENT CAROLBLUM I've had the good fortune of knowing Madelyn Gutwirth and Marcel for a number of years, both through her writings and through our encounters at ASECS, EASECS andNEASECS meetings. We really became friends however when they and I were spending the Fall of 1993, in Paris. We ran into each The Career and Work of Madelyn Gutwirth I 17 other in the Bibiothèque nationale; when Madelyn asked me what I was doing, I told her my husband had just died and I had no idea what I was doing, and she said, "Well, tonight you're having dinner chez Georges with us." And so we did. It was immensely comforting to have her and Marcel's warm presence that difficult autumn, as we shared meals, trips to the theater and as always, great eighteenth-century talk. Her superb book, Twilight of the Goddesses, had just appeared, and we were able to explore the ideas she discussed, as I learned more about the shadowy other side of the Enlightenment. Madelyn's book was, and still is, a wonder to me; I remain amazed by the immense range of materials she has assimilated and woven together into such a powerful demonstration of the complexities of being a woman in eighteenth-century France, a subject not unrelated to being a woman anywhere, anytime. A few years later we decided that it would be wonderful to see if we could get National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) funding for a summer seminar. In the summer of 1996 I had the pleasure of codirecting an NEH Summer Seminar for College Teachers, "Women, Marriage, Sex, and Reproduction in Eighteenth-Century France: A Multidisciplinary Inquiry" with Madelyn. She and Marcel rented a little house in Stony Brook for the six weeks and we worked with a super group of participants, fourteen women and one courageous male, who remarkably kept his equanimity throughout the whole experience. It gave me the feeling for Madelyn's superlative gifts as a teacher as well as a scholar, or rather the intimate connection between the two activities when they work together...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1938-6133
Print ISSN
0360-2370
Pages
pp. 16-19
Launched on MUSE
2010-06-24
Open Access
No
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