Representations of Woman’s Body in Prose by Latvian Women Writers

Zita Kārkla


Feminism has been deeply concerned with female body either as something to be rejected in the pursuit of intellectual equality or as something to be reclaimed as the very essence of women. Another alternative, associated with feminist postmodernism, seeks to emphasize the importance and inescapability of embodiment rather as a differential and fluid construct than as a fixed given. Different female body representations are inscribed in Latvian women’s prose from 1960s to 2010. As it was common for Soviet literature, also in prose of Latvian women writers of the period body and sexuality, especially the female one, was left beyond the discussion, mostly figuring as the unspoken. If woman’s body was inscribed in texts by Latvian women writers of the Soviet period, then either as an object of man’s desire or in connection with woman’s reproductive function as mother’s body. However, in the end of 1980s with the disappearance of the censorship and the changes in the general cultural atmosphere, in prose of Latvian women writers previously repressed issues of women’s lives started to appear and woman’s body was recovered; a different women’s history was told through inscriptions on female bodies. In contemporary Latvian women’s prose woman’s body appears as essential part of female identity, emphasizing inseparability of body and mind and acknowledging that woman experiences the world also with her body.

DOI: 10.5901/ajis.2013.v2n8p397

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Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies ISSN 2281 3993(Print) ISSN 2281-4612(Online)

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