altrelettere <p><span id="result_box" lang="it">benvenuto/a sul sito di <strong><span style="color: #db7433;">altrelettere</span></strong>, la rivista ad accesso aperto per la letteratura italiana e&nbsp;gli&nbsp;studi di genere</span>.</p> University of Zurich it-IT altrelettere 1664-6908 <p> </p> <p> </p> «I Will Eat You and Spit You Out»: A Reading of the ‘Lesbian Machine’ in Dacia Maraini’s Lettere a Marina <p>This article analyzes the «lesbian-machine» (Grosz 1995, 184) at work in Dacia Maraini’s novel <em>Lettere a Marina</em> (1981) and collection of poems <em>Mangiami pure </em>(1978). To this purpose, I engage with two conceptions of desire within the western philosophical tradition. Firstly, examining the development of the metaphor of cannibalism or ‘eros fagico’, I argue that Maraini avoids the ontologization of the notion of desire considered as a lack and thus disengages it from its historical association with the denigration of the female other. Secondly, conceiving desire as a force of production, relational and creative, I explore a particular use of metaphors in the novel which leads to bodily transformations or metamorphosis, without, however, reaching the subject’s imperceptibility through progressive identification. The co-presence and re-elaboration of two, apparently incompatible, theories of desire underline female same-sex desire’s potential to be thought and actualized as a lack <em>and</em> a production, its tendency to annihilate and being annihilated as well as its creative impulses. As a result, Dacia Maraini’s <em>Lettere a Marina</em> and <em>Mangiami pure</em> complicate and destabilize the fixity of representational categories, expanding discourses on lesbianism and lesbian desire. Indeed, the convolution of negative and positive dilates the domain of desire and multiplies its possibilities, carving out a «narrative space in which women might desire differently» (Ross 2015, 16), beyond the heterosexual norm and in diverse ways, <em>who</em> and <em>how</em> they please.</p> Simona Casadio Copyright (c) 2020 Simona Casadio 2020-12-31 2020-12-31 78 99 10.5903/al_uzh-48 Of Mothers and Sisters: Donatella Di Pietrantonio’s L’Arminuta <p>Set in Abruzzo, an Italian region seldom represented in the work of contemporary Italian women writers, Donatella Di Pietrantonio’s <em>L’Arminuta&nbsp;</em>(2017) is a compelling novel recounting the protagonist-narrator’s difficult journey toward self-realization following a double-abandonment by both her biological and adoptive mothers. An empowering bond with her long-lost younger sister Adriana, an extraordinarily resourceful and caring ten-year old, allows the protagonist to survive her new, hostile surroundings after her adoptive mother abruptly returns her to her biological family at age thirteen. Despite having gained popular acclaim and several literary prizes, <em>L’Arminuta </em>has not yet received the critical attention it deserves. To date, no scholarly studies of this work have been produced. This article intends to bring long-overdue attention to this neglected novel. In the first part of the article, after analyzing how language and communication signify the development of the protagonist’s identity and her evolving relationships with her two mothers, I engage with philosopher Adriana Cavarero’s analysis of motherhood in her rereading of the Demeter’s myth. Here, I argue that the failed mother-daughter relationships portrayed in <em>L’Arminuta&nbsp;</em>are the result of patriarchal constructions of motherhood that, albeit in different ways, deprive both mothers of the choice not to reproduce, and preclude the formation of validating bonds with their daughter. In the second part of the article, through the lens of Cavarero’s notion of “inclination,” I show how Adriana’s crucial acts of care toward the protagonist counteract her lack of lasting, loving bonds with her mothers, and allow her to endure her double abandonment. <em>L’Arminuta&nbsp;</em>is a powerful and necessary novel that denaturalizes persisting constructions of motherhood as women’s natural fate, and proposes a non-traditional model of care and nurturing that escapes patriarchal definitions of the family.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Claudia Karagoz Copyright (c) 2020 Claudia Karagoz 2020-09-18 2020-09-18 50 77 10.5903/al_uzh-47 «Questo, io penso, e per questo sono contro il divorzio». Il dibattito sul divorzio nella rivista femminile «La Chiosa» (1919-1927) <p>All’indomani della Prima Guerra Mondiale, in un momento di forte crisi socio-politica, la classe politica italiana si pose il problema di rettificare le numerose irregolarità coniugali derivate dal conflitto. Nel maggio 1920, i socialisti Guido Marangoni e Costantino Lazzari discussero in Parlamento un progetto di legge sul divorzio, suscitando accese reazioni nell’opinione pubblica. Questo articolo, utilizzando la stampa femminile come documento delle posizioni che le donne assunsero nel dibattito, ripercorre le ragioni e le modalità di espressione dell’antidivorzismo femminile. Quello che intende verificare è come e con quali strategie le donne proposero la famiglia tradizionale come base di una ricostruzione dell’ordine nel dopoguerra. A questo scopo si sofferma sul settimanale genovese «La Chiosa. Commenti settimanali femminili di vita politica e sociale» (1919-1927), fondato dalla giornalista e scrittrice Flavia Steno. La rivista affronta il tema del divorzio promuovendo un sondaggio tra lettori e lettrici, pubblicando in appendice il romanzo <em>Gli orfani dei vivi</em> di Steno, e commentando l’<em>iter</em> della legge con articoli dedicati. Queste tre diverse modalità di elaborazione di un discorso in difesa della famiglia condividono alcuni aspetti, analizzati in modo specifico e contestualizzati nella delicata fase postbellica italiana: la riattualizzazione del nesso famiglia-nazione, la rappresentazione degli effetti collettivi del divorzio, e la visione puerocentrica del nucleo.</p> Valeria Iaconis Copyright (c) 2020 Valeria Iaconis 2020-08-17 2020-08-17 24 49 10.5903/al_uzh-46 Very Queer Friends <p>ABSTRACT:</p> <p>Elena Ferrante has long acknowledged the influence of Alba de Céspedes’ 1949 novel <em>Dalla parte di lei </em>on her writing, particularly in terms of conceiving female characters. In Ferrante’s newest novel, <em>La vita bugiarda degli adulti</em>, the prominent theme of queer friendship between young women echoes and reconfigures elements from <em>Dalla parte di lei</em>. This article delves into the capacious queer relationality depicted in both novels, tracing the presence of transmasculinity and feminist re-writing as key elements in both. Situating the two novels’ representations of women’s intimacy in their socio-literary contexts, I analyze the ways in which they utilize models like the «fiamma», romantic friendship, sisterhood, and female husbands. Neither author identifies as lesbian or queer; thus my close reading of the frankly sexual and deeply romantic scenes between female characters seeks not to assign the writers or their books to a category, but rather to elaborate the queer dimensions of relationality that they explore. Ultimately, I propose that a significant part of what makes these queer, lesbian, and transmasculine representations possible is a shared feminist project of reading, writing, and rewriting from one’s own perspective: <em>dalla parte di lei</em>. In this sense, what Ferrante’s narrator-protagonist Giovanna owes to de Céspedes’ narrator-protagonist Alessandra is not only the possibility of a queer life and a feminist voice, but the potential for narrating queer feminist experience <em>as </em>relational.</p> Selby Schwartz Copyright (c) 2020 Selby Schwartz 2020-02-25 2020-02-25 1 23 10.5903/al_uzh-45