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Writing versions of home: Marosia Castaldi's Per quante vite and the poetics of the visible

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Abstract:

What happens to the object and idea of house/home in a world of inner displacement and geographical uprooting? This article looks at the representation of house/home in Marosia Castaldi's novel Per quante vite (1999) [For How Many Lives], focusing on the coincidence between house and psyche highlighting the protagonist's spatial dislocation, the loss of the maternal body leading to 'homelessness' and lack of memory, and the attempt to overcome this condition by creating alternative homes in the body and writing. Castaldi deploys a poetics of absence–presence and full–void that signifies both her protagonist's neurosis and the remedies for it: her body's capacity to contain and generate life and a writing practice that fills books with the matter of life and finds in books templates for life. The article argues that Castaldi's protagonist succeeds in realizing the feminist project of 'giving birth to the world' pursued by feminist philosophers of difference.

Keywords: CASTALDI; FEMALE REALISM; HOUSE/HOME; PAUL ET VIRGINIE; PER QUANTE VITE; SAINT-PIERRE; THE BODY; THE MATERNAL; THE VISIBLE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/jrs.2010.100205

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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