Catalan Women Writers and Artists: Revisionist Views from a Feminist Space

By Kathryn A. Everly | Go to book overview

Preface

FEMINIST CRITICS HAVE CONSTANTLY STRUGGLED WITH THE IRRESOLVable duality of female identity and patriarchal language. Just when it seems clear what we mean by women’s voices and women’s words, we are reminded that those very words that make up the expression are part of the larger signifying problem. In an effort to get away from what is becoming something of an annoying skip on the soundtrack of feminist theory, current studies have tried to explore the idea of the complicated construction of the gendered subject. Instead of locating the speaking subject in a concrete culturally defined position, the feminine voice has emerged in contemporary theory as being located outside of culture, outside of society, outside of what is acceptable and “normal.” Thus, the idea of women living in everyday exile from language, from expression, from true appreciation as human beings comes to represent what the women in this study seek to remedy. Even though this book deals with art and literature, the themes are about us, women, still in many ways searching to be included in a society that categorically pushes us to the margins.

certain themes reappear in the works studied here, such as motherhood, marriage, sexuality, and creativity. These are complicated epistemological concepts that cannot be changed by the passing of a law but require serious reconsideration of gender roles and female desire if there is ever going to be a shift in the way we think of these experiences. Catalunya during the second half of the twentieth century provides fertile ground for women to express themselves in new and intriguing ways. A tradition of liberal politics paired with a distinct language gives catalan women a concrete place from which to begin to examine their position in the larger society. The experience of exile caused by war and the metaphorical exile caused by gender-based societal unrest share many common characteristics including isolation, confusion, entrapment, and eventually a liberation of the individual. This space of physical

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