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The Apple of Earthly Love

Female Development in Esther Tusquets' Fiction

Series:

Barbara F. Ichiishi

The narrative tetralogy of Esther Tusquets is a daringly innovative series of female novels of development which suggests through narrative structure, voice, and style a distinctive psychic make-up and developmental path for woman. Drawing on American and French feminist theory, this study views the cycle as an unconscious pilgrimage in search of the lost primal mother, a quest rendered formally through the circular, repetitive pattern of the texts and the musical, oneiric prose style which reproduces the endless prolongation and flow of female desire. As the texts go over and over the same psychic issues, Tusquets' fictional personae laboriously spiral upwards to ever higher levels of maturity and self-knowledge. While recording her protagonists' struggle to grow and adapt to the world in which they live, the narrative also challenges the belief systems of patriarchal society through the inscription of an alternative model which dissolves the barriers among diverse modes of sexuality and affirms love in all its forms as the supreme value of life.