This chapter discusses Marie le Jars de Gournay's “The Apology for the Woman Writing.” The “Apology” is, in essence, a profuse autobiographical self-justification, with “apology” meaning “defense,” on the model—invoked self-consciously and rather grandiosely—of Plato's Apology of Socrates. In defending herself, like the persecuted Greek philosopher, against slanders that menaced her reputation and, if not her life, her livelihood (by thwarting her prospects for patronage), Gournay composed what is undoubtedly the most revealing, on several levels, of her three major autobiographical pieces. It takes the readers to her very origins as a writer in the Promenade of Monsieur de Montaigne, where her quasi-mystical ideal of communion among grands esprits—those of antiquity joining with Michel de Montaigne himself—was already at loggerheads with the imperatives of histoire tragique.
Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.