Corporeality in Mercè Rodoreda’s Literature
Chapter 1 Textual Body
This chapter examines how notions of embodiment and the representation of corporeality in Rodoreda’s literature have been studied, interpreted or simply overlooked in the course of over three decades of Rodoredan criti- cal analysis. The fact that the debate over the suitability of socio-historical or feminist readings has been central to the construction of Rodoreda’s corpus of criticism has greatly inf luenced this project’s perspective on corporeality, to the extent that at the core of this study lies an attempt to identify the many ways in which cultural identity – as read through the analytical lens of feminist theory – is encoded in the body. Such a reading entails that understandings of the construction of corporeality are situated in relation to specific social and geopolitical spaces. As such, it requires an interdisciplinary approach which enables the reading of the body to be always in dialogue with notions of identity. Because of this focus, the reluctance within Catalan literary studies to engage with feminist theory means that the presence of Catalan criticism will be rather limited. The dif ferences between national and international perspectives on Rodoreda’s narrative are addressed in the first section of this chapter, an exercise that also requires the location of Rodoreda and her literature in relation to Catalan geographical, political and cultural boundaries. The second section then dwells on feminist theory and critically reviews feminist readings of Rodoreda’s narrative, giving particular attention to interpretations of constructions of corporeality in the texts studied in this book. Even though it is...
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