The Feminist Encyclopedia of French Literature

By Eva Martin Sartori; Colette H. Winn et al. | Go to book overview

D
Dacier, Anne Le Fèvre ( 1654-1721). Born into a financially comfortable and intellectually driven family, she married André Dacier, a classical scholar in his own right. Dacier was schooled in languages, became fluent in Greek and Latin, and demonstrated an affinity for the classics and translation*. With her husband and other linguists, she translated and edited works by Callimachus, Dictys, and Aurelius and was also responsible for translations of Terence's comedies, the poetry* of Anacreon and Sappho, and Plato Phaedo. Dacier offers insightful remarks on these editions. Her own critical work includes Homère défendu contre l'Apologie du R. P. Hardoüin ou suite des causes de la corruption du goust. In a most clear display of feminist consciousness and resistance, Dacier tackles the well-respected and celebrated classical critic Hardoüin for his critiques of detractors and defenders of Homer and his Iliad. She felt it most pressing to redress Hardoüin's misreadings and to rearticulate her positions on the classical poet. While Hardoüin does not explicitly name Dacier, a fact which, she argues, subtends a sexist dimension, she explicitly names him and dissects his observations of Homer. In a quasi-battle over Homeric interpretations, a face-off between a polished woman erudite and a male critic, Dacier challenges specifically Hardoüin's supposition that he alone knows the true subject of the Iliad, as well as a broader legacy of French male scholars as keepers of knowledge and authorities on matters of literary import. T Denean Sharpley-Whiting
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Primary Text
Homère défendu contre l'Apologie du R. P. Hardoüin ou suite des causes de la corruption du goust. Paris: Chez Jean-Baptiste Coignard, 1716.

Translations by Dacier
La Poésie d'Anacréon et de Sapho avec des remarques par Madame Dacier. Amsterdam: Chez la veuve de Paul Marret, 1716.

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