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“…my insides were like a house…”: A Study of Body and Space in Mercè Rodoreda’s La Plaça del Diamant 
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The present thesis is a study of how body and space interrelate in the novel La Plaça del Diamant (1962) by the Catalan writer Mercè Rodoreda (1908-1983). I will in the following argue that these relations are important effects of the literary form of the novel and study how they produce a certain form of subjectivity. The analysis is generated by the following questions: how are the textual differences, translations, transitions and cancellations between the domains of body and space made readable by La Plaça del Diamant

Centering on these questions, what will be studied more specifically in the novel is:

  • The practice of naming (and re-naming) and its implications for subject formation
  • The construction of bodily perception through spatial signs
  • The aesthetic strategies used for the inscription of a female experience and corporeality
  • Stylistic aspects of fragmentation  
  • The Diamond Square as threshold chronotope and producer of a subject in crisis

The analysis is underpinned by a materialistic, feminist and critical theory, in which the literary text is seen as a discursive act that generates certain conditions for a subject to take form. The method of study consists in a deconstructive and performative reading of La Plaça del Diamant, based on the view on the literary text as an event between aesthetic and socio-historical elements that materialize (and question) the conditions of subject formation. Previous research has argued that the main character of the novel undergoes a progressive development during the course of the story – that she in the beginning is naïve and passive to then become a free and active subject in the end. I will however try to formulate an alternative reading of Rodoreda’s novel; a reading that will question Western-liberal accounts of subjects as freely choosing, autonomous agents and instead search for the formal and discursive conditions of La Plaça del Diamant that render certain subjects legible.

The emphasis is to study how the novel deconstructs and challenges a homogeneous notion of the subject – through its use of various stylistic, narrative and symbolic devices – and how it thus problematizes the very concept of identity. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 70 p.
Keyword [en]
Mercè Rodoreda, body, space, subject
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-129757OAI: diva2:924647
Available from: 2016-04-29 Created: 2016-04-28 Last updated: 2016-04-29Bibliographically approved

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