"Too disconnected/too bound up": the paradox of identity in Mercé Rodoreda's The time of the doves

Short, Kayann, author
Freeman, Marion, committee member
Mitchell, Carol, committee member
Boyer, Harriet, 1936-, committee member
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Feminist theory has shown how women's lives are paradoxically both marginal to, yet affected by, hegemonic discourses of power. However, as long as women's experiences are viewed singularly along an axis of sexual difference, placing paradox as a trope for female identity risks reinscribing a closed system of oppression based only on male-female relations, thereby foreclosing possibilities for oppositional strategies organized around intersecting locations of resistance. Mercé Rodoreda's The Time of the Doves, originally published in Catalan as La Plaça del Diamant in 1962, portrays a working-class woman's life in Barcelona from the onset of the Second Republic to the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, a period she calls "a piece of history." Natalia's presence as both "articulate" narrator and "inarticulate" character embodies her paradoxical position as both outside and inside discourses of gender, class, and national oppression. Attention to the specific cultural contexts within which women's lives are both externally constructed and internalized allows a recognition of Natalia's silence and inwardness oppositional strategies of survival rather than as qualities of limitation and alienation.
1991 Spring.
Includes bibliographical references.
Title page has student's name as Kay Ann Short.
Rights Access
Spanish fiction -- Women authors
Women in literature
Identity (Psychology) in literature
Associated Publications