I picked up from the University of Pennsylvania's library almost every item from the bibliography of Moyra Davey's Les Goddesses. I’ve been grasping for a way forward with this project, and it feels useful to have the books—including translations of those I can’t read in French—articles, and films piled up or saved on my computer.
Davey’s references are diverse: they include theory (Barthes, Dumas), documentary (Malle), biography (Spark), interview, letters and diaries (Wollstonecraft, Shelley, Goethe), and fiction (Dumas, Goethe); they range from 18th-century to 21st-century texts, though mostly European and North American.
I hadn’t noticed this until I was on the couch, wrestling Ivan's paws, typing each entry into WorldCat. Davey's catholic range feels like a clue.
I’ve also been chatting with people about the next reading-writing group—on Les Goddesses, the film, the published text, and its other iterations. Pedagogically, I want to keep the scope narrow so we can go deep. By focusing on a primary text that we revisit through other texts, images, and films, we'll model Davey's recursive practice.
Her bibliography is a possible framework for this kind of circling around Les Goddesses. I’m wondering how I could group the readings: by theme, type, period? In some kind of Venn diagram? Thinking about those capitalized headings—
—specific names and terms with personal and cultural histories, which turn out to be roomy containers.
Which five or six words, headings, could guide the reading group? Could help structure a few weeks of this research process? Davey's words or my words? Always having to remind myself that open-ended is okay; don't need to close things down or conclude.