NOBEL PRIZE FOR THE IDEAL WOMAN?
|Beatrice Cenci -- from Nobel's collection|
Alas, no. But if there was a prize, Alfred Nobel made the qualifications clear:
- Without decency and human dignity a woman cannot be a true wife or mother. Okay, we won’t quarrel about that, but if dignity is such a big deal, why does he call his lover my little toad and signs his letters Your grouchy-bear?
- The ideal woman will keep busy. Female craziness…has no other reason than a lack of occupation or a lack of company. Hmm. And male craziness?
- Nobel never married, perhaps because he couldn’t find anyone who sweetened a man’s life, as a woman should do. A woman, however, should marry and become a good wife and fulfil the purpose of her life.
- First and foremost, women should be sensitive. The secret of winning hearts is in the ability to understand the feelings and aspirations of others.
- Of course the ideal woman should be educated. I don’t demand perfect all-round education, I’m not even partial to that, but I don’t want to be embarrassed by every word a lady utters…At the first public display of vulgarity, I’m off.
- In a word, the ideal woman must be reasonable and forget stupid nonsense. On this point, however, Nobel can’t quite make up his mind. Be a dear good little toad, he writes to his mistress, and be reasonable. Well, you and reasonable! That idea makes me laugh. The nice thing about you is the complete absence of reason.
(Source: Nobel’s correspondence, my translation. For more quotes see Kenne Fant, Alfred Nobel: A Biography)