Gerard Holmes deposited George Sand’s Consuelo, Nineteenth-Century American Literature, and Pleasure-Writing on Humanities Commons 1 year, 6 months ago
In spring 2020, I finished my dissertation, on nineteenth-century American literature and improvisation, and decided to read for pleasure for a while. I had time in my hands, because – thanks to COVID – there were no jobs available. I’d set aside many books and essays while writing the dissertation. Among these were George Sand’s novels Consuelo and The Countess von Rudolstadt. Reading Sand’s novels, about an improvvisatrice’s romantic and political adventures, had the strange effect of bringing me back to American literature, as I found traces of the novels’, and Sand’s, effects everywhere in the nineteenth-century US writers I’d been reading. Sand, who wrote fast and rather improvisationally herself, was also an inspiration to write scholarship fast and for pleasure, outside of the incentive structures of the tenure track.