The City and the Home
Urban and Domestic Spaces in Maria Aurèlia Capmany, Natalia Ginzburg, Elsa Morante and Mercè Rodoreda
This research work aims at the reconstruction of literary spaces created by four great female authors of the twentieth century. Analysed individually or from a comparative perspective, the texts solicit a reflection on the representation of space in literature produced by women. The focus of the investigation is the dynamic contrast that, at the moment of perception, is established between the ‘internal’, and therefore subjective, dimension and the ‘external’ dimension, regulated by the social context in which the subject moves. The work consists of three parts: the first part establishes the parameters within which the research is organised; the second part investigates the process of reappropriation of the city – a place of almost exclusive male prerogative – by the protagonists of the proposed novels and their “walking down the street” as a device of spatial organisation. In the third and last part, the female perception of the domestic space is analysed. A place of female confinement par excellence, it shows, even in literature, an ambivalent character, as an expression of abuse and affection at the same time. From the ‘spatial’ reinterpretation of the proposed works, therefore, both the intimate representation of space and the historical-social evaluation of the context in which the protagonists, and their own authors, move, emerge.