Linfield Home » Linfield News » Index
News from Linfield College

Kernberger to highlight Bashkirtseff diaries

Katherine KernbergerThe journal and art of Marie Bashkirtseff, European artist and writer, will be the focus of a reading, “Marie and Her Passions,” by Katherine Kernberger on Thursday, April 4, at 4:30 p.m. in the Austin Reading Room of the Jereld R. Nicholson Library at Linfield College.

Kernberger, Linfield professor of English, will read selected passages from “The Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff,” and show examples of Bashkirtseff’s art. Kernberger has taught in the English Department at Linfield since 1979 and has worked with Bashkirtseff’s journal since 1991, taking over the project from her mother after she died. Additionally, Kernberger’s translation of selections from Bashkirtseff’s 106 notebooks has recently appeared as an e-book available online from Amazon and other sources.

Bashkirtseff began keeping her journal at age 14. When her hope for fame as a singer faded as the symptoms of tuberculosis appeared, she turned to art and achieved a degree of success in the annual Salons before she died of the disease at age 25. All earlier versions of the journal, based on Marie’s mother’s bowdlerized excerpts, deliver a falsified portrait of Marie, that of a young woman who appears to reflect the Victorian ideal. Kernberger’s new translation corrects this view, presenting a more assertive, self-centered and modern figure, troubled and angry about the restrictions girls and women faced, who would be much more at home in today’s world than she was in her own.

The reading is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Linfield English Department and Nicholson Library. For more information, contact Susan Barnes Whyte, college librarian, at 503-883-2517, swhyte@linfield.edu or Kernberger at 503-883-2289, kkernber@linfield.edu.