ENG 111

Fall 2002


READING GUIDE:  Dinitia Smith, “A Voice Out of the Silence:  Imagining the Other Cassatt,” Tim’s handout.


Vocabulary . . .


Epitome (para. 2)

Elliptical (para. 5)

Introspective (para. 5)

Sensuous (para. 6)

Self-effacing (para. 8)

Tempestuous (para. 10)

Louche (para. 10)

Misogynist (para. 11)

Disparaging (para. 11)

Conventional/-ly (para. 11)

Reprise (para. 19)



Notes . . .


The reading selection for next time is Dinitia Smith’s review of the book Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper, by Harriett Scott Chessman.


Reading a review of a book, of course, is not the same as reading that book.  But I hope we can glean from the review some idea of Chessman’s intention; why she wrote the book, what she thought she could portray in it about the experiences of women.  (Can we assume that Mary and Lydia Cassatt are a synecdoche, in some important way, for women generally?)


You may think that the review is straightforward and easy to understand . . . until you confront the question “does Smith think Lydia Cassatt is a good book?”  How about it:  what is Smith’s evaluation?  And how do you know—what features of her review indicate her opinion?


But this is only a small part of your work for Monday.  The bulk of it is matching what you read here with what you see at three different web sites that display Mary Cassatt’s art.  They are:


www.nga.gov/collection/gallery/cassatt/cassatt-main1.html  The National Gallery in Washington hosted an exhibit of Mary Cassatt’s work in 1999; I was lucky enough to see it.  The highlights are recounted here.  The link will take you to the homepage; please click on “start tour” and view each piece of art sequentially.  Be sure to read the notes, too!


www.nga.gov/collection/gallery/gg83/gg83-main1.html  Another directory from the National Gallery, this one looks at the works of Cassatt and Renoir together.  Same directions as above. 


Be on the lookout for Lydia Cassatt as the model or the subject of paintings in both of these NG directories.  And also check out the portrait of Lydia at http://sunsite.dk/cgfa/cassatt/p-cassatt8.htm  Chessman ‘quotes’ Lydia as saying of herself, “I’m plain as a loaf of bread.”  Not in this painting.  She looks eternally beautiful.