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Culture and Gender in Nineteenth-Century Spain$
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Lou Charnon-Deutsch and Jo Labanyi

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198158868

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198158868.001.0001

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Autobiography as Insult

Autobiography as Insult

(p.27) 2 Autobiography as Insult
Culture and Gender in Nineteenth-Century Spain


Oxford University Press

Autobiography constitutes public revelation of one's interiority. However, a woman culturally defined as pure domesticity was enclosed in her own interiority. To declare oneself an autobiographical subject was tantamount to invading the verbal territory in which men operated. A significant part of the socio-moral context in which 19th-century Spanish women writers moved was precisely that cultural and physical space to which Hispanic literary criticism in general has paid scant attention. This chapter focuses on one particular context, the relation between poetess [poetisa] and village/town [aldea/pueblo], in order to suggest a way to read the female autobiographical act as a ‘process of situation’, in which the subject situates herself in physical and verbal spaces governed by certain linguistic and affective movements. Making use of recent anthropological research carried out by James Fernandez, David Gilmore, Stanley Brandes, and Carmelo Lisón Tolosana, the chapter is an interpretative experiment based on an ‘anthropology of affect’.

Keywords:   autobiography, poetess, village, town, process of situation, James Fernandez, David Gilmore, Stanley Brandes, Carmelo Lisón Tolosana, anthropology of affect

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