Suzanne Lilar  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Suzanne, Baroness Lilar (née Suzanne Verbist) (b. Ghent, 21 May 1901 - d. Brussels, 12 December 1992) was a Flemish Belgian essayist, novelist, and playwright writing in French. She was the wife of the Belgian Minister of Justice Albert Lilar and mother of the writer Françoise Mallet-Joris and the art historian Marie Fredericq-Lilar.

She was a member of the Royal Academy of French Language and Literature from 1952 to 1992.

Lilar's earliest essays are on the subject of the theatre. Soixante ans de théâtre belge (1952), originally published in New York in 1950 as The Belgian Theater since 1890, emphasizes the importance of a Flemish tradition. She followed this with Journal de l'analogiste (1954), in which the origin of the experience of beauty and poetry was guided by a path of analogies. A short essay Théâtre et mythomanie was published in 1958. Transcendence and metamorphosis are central to her seminal work Le Couple (1963), translated in 1965 as Aspects of Love in Western Society. In writings on Rubens, the Androgyne or homosexuality in Ancient Greece, Lilar meditates on the role of the woman in conjugal love throughout the ages. Translated into Dutch in 1976, it includes an afterword by Marnix Gijsen. In the same vein she later wrote critical essays on Jean-Paul Sartre (À propos de Sartre et de l'amour, 1967) and Simone de Beauvoir (Le Malentendu du Deuxième Sexe, 1969). Lilar's latter book was prophetic about the development of ideas from feminists like Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva and Hélène Cixous, first presented to Americans in the popular anthology New French Feminisms (see Simons M.A, 1995, Feminist Interpretations of Simone de Beauvoir, Penn State Press).





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