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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Women read fiction, men read non-fiction[1] is an observation written by J. W. Geerinck in 2006 on the subject of different reading habits between men and women.

"I am still with Resa Dudovitz book on women's fiction and it strikes me that there is truth in the notion that “women read fiction, men read non-fiction”. This is confirmed by Nina Baym’s 1978 Women's Fiction: A Guide to Novels by and About Women in America, 1820-1870 and Dudovitz herself."

The observations and questions.

So what about the depiction of literature in painting? How about visual depictions of women reading? What about the female reader, the lectrice?.

Lady Reading the Letters of Heloise and Abelard (c.1780) is an oil painting by French painter Bernard d'Agesci and its subject was a female reader swooning over the love letters by Abelard and Heloise in the posthumously published Letters of Heloise and Abelard.

Love letters, it must be said, has been one of the most popular genres in the history of literature. Consider the aforementioned Letters of Heloise and Abelard, but also Letters of a Portuguese Nun and Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister. See also amatory fiction and the epistolary novel.

"Love letters, it must be said, has been one of the most popular genres in the history of literature." Why? Because it reduces the reader to the part of eavesdropper or voyeur, it allows you to step out of yourself and live the life of another.

See also

female reader





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