the-yellow-wallpaper

It’s not a personal account, but I thought the readers of this blog would relate to and enjoy reading this story by Charlotte Gilman. Everything in the story happens because of how the main character’s husband treats her. He doesn’t respect her voice or opinion in any way and thinks he knows better about her own health than she does. It’s a good read, I recommend it to anyone

For many years I suffered from a severe and continuous nervous breakdown tending to melancholia–and beyond. During about the third year of this trouble I went, in devout faith and some faint stir of hope, to a noted specialist in nervous diseases, the best known in the country. This wise man put me to bed and applied the rest cure, to which a still-good physique responded so promptly that he concluded there was nothing much the matter with me, and sent me home with solemn advice to “live as domestic a life as far as possible,” to “have but two hours’ intellectual life a day,” and “never to touch pen, brush, or pencil again” as long as I lived. This was in 1887.

I went home and obeyed those directions for some three months, and came so near the borderline of utter mental ruin that I could see over.

Then, using the remnants of intelligence that remained, and helped by a wise friend, I cast the noted specialist’s advice to the winds and went to work again–work, the normal life of every human being; work, in which is joy and growth and service, without which one is a pauper and a parasite–ultimately recovering some measure of power.

Being naturally moved to rejoicing by this narrow escape, I wrote The Yellow Wall-Paper, with its embellishments and additions, to carry out the ideal (I never had hallucinations or objections to my mural decorations) and sent a copy to the physician who so nearly drove me mad. He never acknowledged it.

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Dioramas Inspired by 19th-Century Women Novelists

Jane Eyre.Wuthering Heights.The Awakening.The Lifted Veil. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” What these works have in common is, of course, that they’re all pieces of fiction written by women authors in the 19th century. Undoubtedly as a result, they all share an explicit or latent fixation with the domestic sphere to which so many women were relegated at the time – and with the psychological implications of that confinement.

These are the subjects of Julia Callon's Houses of Fiction, a series of photographed models that depict rooms from these novels, exploring both their sedate surfaces and their chaotic subtext. “The dichotomous representation of women – mad or sane – is crucial to represent in this series,” Callon writes. “Therefore, each story is presented as a diptych: one image represents the passive, subservient woman, while the other represents ‘madness.’”

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