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Sunday Afternoon Lecture


The Femme Fatale in Literature


Presented by Patrick Quinn, Ph.D.


audio file available to Club members upon email request

Sunday,  4 PM - 6 PM,  October 24th,  2010

The archetypal figure of the femme fatale as a literary construct is a masculine creation.  This lecture will explore the development of the femme fatale from her literary inception in France about 1840 through to her development in American literature which ends about 1920, a period that produced an unprecedented number of manifestations of her in the roles of muse, mistress, and emasculator.  As one of the most important literary images of the period, the femme fatale offers the opportunity for some interesting speculations about men’s attitude towards Woman both then and now.


Patrick Quinn, PhD, is the Dean of Wilkinson College at Chapman University.  He was educated in the United States, Canada, and England.  His PhD was granted from the University of Warwick (UK) and concerned the English soldier poets such as Robert Graves, Siegfried Sassoon Wilfred Owen.  He is the author or editor of twelve books on the literature of the Great War, the poetry of the 1930s, American propaganda literature, and post-colonial literature.  He is currently half way through writing a book on the history of decadent literature, from which many of the reflections of this talk are based.  He has taught in universities in Canada, England, Greece, Germany, Iraq, and here in the USA. 

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