sábado, 11 de junio de 2011

Slammerkin, de Emma Donoghue

Slammerkin (2000) departs from specifically Irish themes illustrated in Donoghue’s early 1990s ‘coming out’ novels such as Stir-Fry (1994) orHood (1995), and moves into the realm of historical or historiographic fiction that characterizes later pieces like Life Mask (2004) and The Sealed Letter (2008). Donoghue’s generic shift allows her to contest received masculinist constructions of history and nation, thus still sustaining a critique against normative sexuality and gender structures (Morales Ladrón 2009; Peach 2004).

Slammerkin (meaning a loose dress, and a loose woman) covers the tortuous life of the young Mary Saunders from 1760 to 1763. Going through rape, abandonment, abortion, prostitution, and eventually, murder, Donoghue’s partially historical protagonist, nonetheless, transcends a portrayal of victimization and subjection. The first section of the novel narrates Mary’s initiation into London’s underground life under the guidance of Doll Higgins, an experienced prostitute who teaches the young (anti)heroine proto-feminist lessons like “It’s every girl for herself” (36) and “Never give up your liberty” (70). The prostitutes depicted in Slammerkin are ostracized women, who have historically been relegated to the margins of society and cast out of hegemonic versions of history and nation. These women, however, are portrayed as active presences in the city, often managing to reterritorialize the masculinist spaces they occupy, despite their socio-economic limitations. For material and safety reasons, Mary eventually flees London and arrives at the small town of Monmouth, in the Welsh border. The second half of the novel then follows the doomed protagonist into a spiral of lies and deceit that lead to violence, murder, punishment and her own death.

As evidenced by Virago’s reissue, Slammerkin occupies a central role in Donoghue’s oeuvre not only because it interrogates many of the societal ills that characterized British 18th century society, but also because its critique raises intriguing questions around both the historical and the current condition of women and the gendered division of labor.

Por: Garcazar.

(Reseñado con anterioridad en: Postgraduate Contemporary Women's Writing Network http://pgcwwn.wordpress.com/newsletter/)


1 comentario:

Delirios de una chica bipolar . dijo...

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Delirios de una chica bipolar...] ♥