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The madness of the Search: The poetics of deconstruction in Hilda Hilst's With my dog-eyes and The obscene Madame D
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Comparative Literature.
2022 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The obscene Madame D [A obscena Senhora D, 1982] and With my dog-eyes [Com os meus olhos de cão, 1986] are two short novels by the Brazilian writer Hilda Hilst (1930-2004) where the protagonists engage in a philosophical search for meaning that lead them to a state that is publicly interpreted as madness. In this analysis, they are read in light of the philosopher's Jacques Derrida theory of deconstruction. The aim is to show how their search is mediated by language, in a manner that thematizes its deconstructive character, but concretized in the materiality of their bodies, in the form of obscenity and animality. Working with the theme of madness as a mediator between language and the body's materiality, this analysis aims to show, moreover, how the strategy of deconstruction can be not only uttered, but also performed. In such a manner, it is possible to track in these novels a strategy of deconstruction on hierarchical binary oppositions such as madness/reason, human/animal, God/Evil, speech/writing, body/soul. And, being literary works that thematize a philosophical question, even the opposition philosophy/literature.

Abstract [sv]

Den obscena Fru D [A obscena Senhora D, 1982] och Med mina hundögon [Com os meus olhos de cão, 1986] är två korta romaner av den brasilianska författaren Hilda Hilst (1930-2004) där huvudpersonerna ägnar sig åt ett filosofiskt sökande efter mening som leder dem till ett tillstånd som offentligt tolkas som galenskap. I den här analysen läses de i ljuset av filosofen Jacques Derridas dekonstruktionsteori. Syftet är att visa hur deras sökande förmedlas av språket, på ett sätt som tematiserar dess dekonstruktiva karaktär, men även konkretiseras i deras kroppars materialitet, i form av obscenitet och djuriskhet. Genom att arbeta med temat galenskap som en förmedlare mellan språket och kroppens materialitet syftar denna analys dessutom till att visa hur dekonstruktionsstrategin inte bara kan uttalas utan även uppföras. På så sätt är det möjligt att i dessa romaner spåra en strategi för dekonstruktion av hierarkiska binära oppositioner som galenskap/förnuft, människa/djur, Gud/Djävul, tal/skrift, kropp/själ. Och eftersom det handlar om ett litterärt verk som behandlar en filosofisk fråga, även oppositionen filosofi/litteratur dekonstrueras.

Abstract [pt]

A obscena Senhora D (1982) e Com os meus olhos de cão (1986) são dois romances da escritora brasileira Hilda Hilst (1930-2004) nos quais os protagonistas se engajam numa busca filosófica por sentido que os leva a um estado que, publicamente, é interpretado como loucura. Nesta análise, eles são lidos à luz da teoria de desconstrução do filósofo Jacques Derrida. O objetivo é mostrar como sua busca é mediada pela linguagem de forma que tematiza seu caráter desconstrutivo, mas é concretizada na materialidade de seus corpos como obscenidade e animalidade. Trabalhando com o tema da loucura como mediador entre a linguagem e a materialidade do corpo, esta análise visa mostrar, além disso, como a estratégia de desconstrução não só é enunciada, mas também performada. Desta forma, é possível extrair destes romances uma estratégia de desconstrução de oposições binárias hierárquicas como loucura/razão, humano/animal, Deus/Mal, fala/escrita, corpo/alma. E, em se tratando de obras literárias que tematizam uma questão filosófica, mesmo a oposição filosofia/literatura é descontruída.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022. , p. 60
National Category
General Literature Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-50412OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-50412DiVA, id: diva2:1720800
Subject / course
Comparative Literature
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Available from: 2022-12-21 Created: 2022-12-20 Last updated: 2022-12-21Bibliographically approved

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