elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,
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elisa_rolle

Kate Chopin & Kitty Garesche

Kate Chopin, born Katherine O'Flaherty (February 8, 1850 — August 22, 1904), was an American author of short stories and novels. She is now considered by some to have been a forerunner of feminist authors of the 20th century.

From 1892 to 1895, she wrote short stories for both children and adults which were published in such magazines as Atlantic Monthly, Vogue, The Century Magazine, and The Youth's Companion. Her major works were two short story collections, Bayou Folk (1894) and A Night in Acadie (1897). Her important short stories included "Desiree's Baby," a tale of miscegenation in antebellum Louisiana (published in 1893), "The Story of an Hour" (1894), and "The Storm"(1898). "The Storm" is a sequel to "The 'Cadian Ball," which appeared in her first collection of short stories, Bayou Folk. Chopin also wrote two novels: At Fault (1890) and The Awakening (1899), which are set in St. Louis & Natchitoches Parish and New Orleans & Grand Isle. The people in her stories are usually inhabitants of Louisiana. Many of her works are set in Natchitoches in north central Louisiana.

Within a decade of her death, Chopin was widely recognized as one of the leading writers of her time. In 1915, Fred Lewis Pattee wrote, "some of [Chopin's] work is equal to the best that has been produced in France or even in America. [She displayed] what may be described as a native aptitude for narration amounting almost to genius."


Kate Chopin's House
Kate Chopin was an American author of short stories and novels. She is considered to have been a forerunner of feminist authors of the 20th century. An early feminist, many of Chopin’s writings feature such intimate female-female relationships. So did her life—one of her lovers was Sister Katherine "Kitty" Garesche, a friend from school days. Garesche entered the Sacred Heart convent shortly after Chopin married but the two women continued their intimate friendship for the rest of their lives.


Convent of the Sacred Heart

Kate Chopin lived with her husband Oscar on a Louisiana plantation and wrote novels set in the steamy swamps and bayous of the Creole and Cajun countryside. Her hooks include At Fault, Bayou Folk, A Night in Acadie, and1899’s The Awakening, in which the sensuous touch of another woman sends Edna Pontellier on a passionate journey of emotional and sexual exploration:
Madame Ratignolle laid her hand over that of Mrs. Pontellier, which was near her. Seeing that the hand was not withdrawn, she clasped it firmly and warmly. She even stroked it a little, fondly, with the other hand, murmuring in an undertone, "Pauvre cherie."
The action was at first a little confusing to Edna, but she soon lent herself readily to the Creole’s gentle caress. She was not accustomed to an outward and spoken expression of affection, either in herself or in others.

An early feminist, many of Chopin’s writings feature such intimate female-female relationships. So did her life—one of her female friends was Sister Katherine "Kitty" Garesche, from her school days.

Garesche entered the Sacred Heart convent shortly after Chopin married, but the two women continued their intimate friendship for the rest of their lives. In 1900 Chopin wrote a poem for Garesche’s fiftieth birthday:
It is not all of life
To cling together while the years
glide past.
It is not all of love
To walk with clasped hands from
first to last.
That mystic garland which the
spring did twine
Of scented lilac and the new-
blown rose,
Faster than chains will hold my
soul to thine
Thro’ joy, and grief, thro’ life-
unto its close.
Chopin's short story "Lilacs" portrays at least a yearning for intimacy between a nun and a sometime female visitor.

Katherine Milligan Garesche (1850, Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri - Mar. 10, 1940, Grosse Pointe, Wayne County, Michigan) was the daughter of Peter Bauduy Garesche (1822 - 1868) and Juliette McLane (1826 - 1885). Katherine, known as "Kitty" was born in St Louis and attended the Academy of the Sacred Heart, 334 North Taylor Avenue. While at the Academy Kitty became a classmate with and best friend of Kate Chopin. After graduating from the Academy in 1868, Kitty entered the novitiate then at Maryville, St Louis, and was the first member of the family to enter the Society of the Sacred Heart. Later, both her younger sister Lily and mother Juliette (after her husband's untimely death) would follow her into the Society.

As Mother Kitty Garesche, RSCJ, she had a long career in education, ending her days as superior at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Grosse Pointe, MI. She is buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, Plot: Section 47, Lot 590, Space 8. Kate Chopen is buried at Calvary Cemetery and Mausoleum, Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri.

Source: Queers in History by Keith Stern

Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1500563323
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher


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