Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly


On her book Beauty or Beast? The Woman Warrior in the German Imagination from the Renaissance to the Present

Cover Interview of December 21, 2010

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“The idea of a woman with the potential to kill causes deep unease.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“Wearing a skirt indicates that the woman’s assumption of the warrior role is limited in time and/or has only come about because of some exceptional circumstance. And so she can be allowed to die a noble death. Wearing trousers and masquerading as a man makes her a much more ambivalent and dangerous figure.”

On the second:

“Women themselves only begin to have their say on representations of them from the second half of the 18th century—which is when secular literature in German by women began to be produced in quantity.”