Becoming George Sand

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You don't believe in unconditional love? You have to be worthy of love. To touch another life, to have it touch hers. To create, to understand. To give back.

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To be part of a whole. I now want to check out George Sand and to read a biography of her life, as she sounds fascinating. Is it the times we live in that make it necessary to stay together rather than fly apart? Add to that, bookish heroines who identify with either a literary character or a long deceased writer, and I'm a goner.

George Sand

You get the point. In Becoming George Sand, we get a cornucopia of all things literary.

The main character, Maria, is a writer who finds herself stuck between a husband and a lover. She is happy enough in the domesticity of her everyday life to not want a divorce, but she seeks the element of passion with her younger lover, a scientist named Sean. She looks to Aurore Dupin aka George Sand for guidance. Sand embarked on a year long "Romantic Rebellion" after divorcing her husband in , and went on to have numerous affairs with some of the most important writers and artists of her day. She has no idea.

She has arrived somewhere where she doesn't know the customs, can't read the signs, and there is no one, except a dead French writer, to give her a clue. She begins researching the life of Sand--her relationship with her mother, her relationships with different men platonic and romantic , her relationship with her children, and why Sand had this craving for love that not be sated, despite the number of lovers she had.

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It is then that Maria's life changes. In compiling a biography of Sand's life, Maria figures out just what she wants out of her hers. She connects with old friends, dissects her own relationship with both men, and goes out on her own to discover her aspirations, her fears, her desires. In being forced to change her circumstances, Maria's life shakes off the stagnation and decay that lead to her own ennui.

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An end leads to a new beginning. Maria begins to see that she should not demand more of her husband than she expects from herself. The ever repeating motions of the days lead to a sort of death of the soul, and thus, of love. How can passion survive that? If you want to live fully, you have to give something up quite deliberately, for nothing is going to do it to you, you are too safe.

The plight of woman, past and present, moves us to examine our own lives. Are we merely plodding through this existence, or are we living? I would recommend this book to any woman-- whether you like the fluffy reads, or the meaty classics This is a definite reread for me. This in no way influenced my opinion of the novel. Couldn't finish this one. Y'know, I'm just not that interested in other women's seedy sex lives.

Unhappy ever after

Paris Street Tales. When she was fourteen years old, Sand was sent to a convent where she developed a great love of mysticism. It was at this time that she also began associating with other writers, some of whom became her mentors; others, her lovers. Is Jean-Francois judged less harshly in the book for his infidelities, either because he is a man or because he is French? Retrieved 17 October George Sand wrote an astonishing number of novels and plays, and had friendships and affairs with an astonishing range of men and women.

Also scandalous was Sand's smoking tobacco in public; neither peerage nor gentry had yet sanctioned the free indulgence of women in such a habit, especially in public though Franz Liszt 's paramour Marie d'Agoult affected this as well, smoking large cigars. While there were many contemporary critics of her comportment, many people accepted her behaviour until they became shocked with the subversive tone of her novels. I entertain a high regard for all my colleagues, but it is not my place to decide whether she is my sister or my brother. She and Dudevant had two children: Maurice — and Solange — She engaged in an intimate friendship with actress Marie Dorval , which led to widespread but unconfirmed rumours of a romantic affair.

Sand spent the winter of — with Chopin in Majorca at the formerly abandoned Carthusian monastery of Valldemossa. He is cared for by a middle-aged actress past her prime, Lucrezia, who suffers a great deal through her affection for Karol. The tipping point in their relationship involved her daughter Solange.

Sand took Chopin's support of Solange to be extremely disloyal, and confirmation that Chopin had always "loved" Solange. Maurice wanted to establish himself as the "man of the estate" and did not wish to have Chopin as a rival. Chopin was penniless at that time; his friends had to pay for his stay there, as well as his funeral at the Madeleine.

George Sand was notably absent. She was buried in the private graveyard behind the chapel at Nohant-Vic. Early in her career, her work was in high demand and already by , the first of several compendia of her writings was published in 24 volumes. In her children sold the rights to her literary estate for , Francs [24] equivalent to 36kg worth of gold, or 1.

Theatre pieces and autobiographical pieces include Histoire de ma vie , Elle et Lui , about her affair with Musset , Journal Intime posthumously published in , and Correspondence. Sand often performed her theatrical works in her small private theatre at the Nohant estate. Sand was well-known around the world, while her social practices, writings, and beliefs prompted much commentary, often by other members of the world of arts and letters.

Sand's literary debut came as a result of a collaboration with the writer Jules Sandeau. They published several stories together, signing them "Jules Sand. In addition, Sand authored literary criticism and political texts. Because of her early life, she sided with the poor and working class as well as women's rights. When the Revolution began, she was an ardent republican.

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Sand started her own newspaper, which was published in a workers' co-operative. However, she was appalled by the violence of the Paris Commune. She wrote: "The horrible adventure continues. They ransom, they threaten, they arrest, they judge. Politically, she became very active after and the leaders of the day often consulted with her and took her advice.

Sand was known for her implication and writings during the Paris Commune , where she took a position for the Versailles assembly against the " communards ," urging them to take violent action against the "rebels. Sand's writing was immensely popular during her lifetime and she was highly respected by the literary and cultural elite in France. Victor Hugo , in the eulogy he gave at her funeral, said "the lyre was within her. In this country whose law is to complete the French Revolution and begin that of the equality of the sexes, being a part of the equality of men, a great woman was needed.

It was necessary to prove that a woman could have all the manly gifts without losing any of her angelic qualities, be strong without ceasing to be tender To the reader, the act of reading a good novel is not unlike taking a Sunday drive. While the Sunday weather is, to a great extent, determined by the degree of pleasure the reader experiences as he drives along, page by page, chapter by chapter, the road itself—its twists and turns, bumps, crests, and potholes, its slow passages and gun-it straightaways—is all the creation of the author.

Thus, the act of reading is all about the relationship of the reader, in his imaginary roadster with the author and the particular topology of his or her narrative. Like the Sunday drive, the pleasure of reading a novel has to do with the excitement of exploration—of discovering places that have, heretofore, been located off the map of personal knowledge—combined with the joy of seeing what lies along the way, from happy cows to trees with leaves in autumnal colors, to the occasional tire swing, farm stand, or hitchhiking amnesiac—things that might lure the reader to linger, or encourage him to hurry on.

Problems arise when the reader is able to predict the undulations of the plot before they arrive, or, worse, if the destination becomes all too clear long before its arrival. In cases of predictable landscapes, the reader hopes instead for the autumn colors, for details that will explode upon the page, momentary surprises to mollify his jaded sensibility. And here our author serves us a bit better, as Roslind Brackenbury is not only a novelist of some note, this being her tenth novel, but a poet as well.


With a provocative eye, she delivers some bits of welcoming curb appeal that spruce up her otherwise drab boulevards. A case in point, a lovely moment early on, as Maria and her lover enter the foyer of her Edinburgh home:. The house is silent, with the dense silence of having been empty of its occupants for several hours. She feels it instantly, its moods and atmospheres.

Becoming George Sand

Start by marking “Becoming George Sand” as Want to Read: For answers, she reaches across the centuries to George Sand, the maverick French novelist who took many lovers. ROSALIND BRACKENBURY is the author of several novels, books of poetry, and short stories. Becoming George Sand: A Novel and millions of other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Becoming George Sand Paperback – March 17, For answers, she reaches across the centuries to George Sand, the maverick French novelist who took many lovers.

In this case, her topic is French writer George Sand, the most notorious of women. Too quickly the parallels fall into place, with Maria discovering herself and her needs as a woman, a mother, and an author through imagining the life of George Sand for a biography of sorts—a work of wild passion for which Maria has yet to find a structure.