Bru-Domínguez, Eva (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Restricted to Repository staff only until 31 March 2014.
This thesis examines constructions of corporeality in three novels by the Catalan author Mercè Rodoreda: El carrer de les Camèlies (1966), Mirall trencat (1974) and La mort i la primavera (1986), and the short stories: ‘Aquella paret, aquella mimosa’, ‘Una fulla de gerani blanc’ and ‘La meva Cristina’. The study is concerned with locating the author’s formulations of the body in relation to the Catalan socio-historical context and argues that by rendering corporeal representation problematic Rodoreda enters into dialogue with Catalonia’s own historical past, often challenging culturally specific social, sexual, political and aesthetic precepts. The thesis primarily draws on visual and spectatorship theory, urban and spatial studies and feminist analyses in order to explore the idea of the politically, culturally and gender coded body as limit or border. It covers four main areas of analysis: the idea of the body as surface, image and texture and the practices of viewing that objectify the body; the relationship between the body and domestic and urban space; the culturally and politically constructed body as limit; and the concept of the abject or open body which in Rodoreda’s literature is often the consequence of either social, visual or physical violence.
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