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Novas Cartas Portuguesas: Mariana Alcoforado and her hysterical, lesbian and nymphomaniac avatars
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Portuguese. (LIT)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7975-8898
2019 (English)In: Beyond Binaries: Sex, Sexualities, and Gender in the Lusophone World / [ed] Paulo Pepe and Ana Raquel Lourenço Fernandes, Oxford: Peter Lang Publishing Group, 2019, p. 39-51Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In 1972 the publication of Novas Cartas Portuguesas [New Portuguese Letters] by the Three Marias set off a genuine ‘shock wave’ in Salazar’s Portugal, due to the leimotif running throughout the book: the ‘intimate (sexual life) of women’. The most scandalous and controversial aspect of the work lies in the particular focus on women’s most intimate experiences, breaking with the ‘great myths of the misogynist tradition’. To this end, the Three Marias draw their inspiration from, then rework the letters of Mariana Alcoforado, a cloistered nun in a Beja convent. Mariana’s mad passion for the Chevalier de Chantilly unfolds and is commented on through the medium of other letters, invented by the three authors, in which a long succession of Mariana, Anas and Ana Marias proclaim an ‘exercício de paixão-corpo’(NCP, 36) [exercise of bodily passion (NPL, 59)] freed from the yoke of male domination, and begin the ‘reivindicação obsessiva do corpo como primeiro campo de batalha onde a revolta se manifesta’ [‘obsessive reclaiming of the body as the first field of battle or revolution’] (NCP, xxviii). In these texts, body and excess are the watchwords that make it possible to inscribe auto-erotic, hysterial, lesbian or nymphomaniac female bodies, overwhelmed by the violence of desire, or sexual pleasure or, more precisely, touched by a kind of disorder of the senses, in this way spilling over what Michel Foucault (1975) describes as the ‘les disciplines’ [the disciplines], in other words, the methods that allow the production of ‘corps dociles’ [docile bodies].

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Peter Lang Publishing Group, 2019. p. 39-51
Series
Reconfiguring identities in the Portuguese-speaking world ; 11
Keywords [en]
Novas Cartas Portuguesas, hysteria, body, love, female sexuality, auto-eroticism/eroticism.
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Intercultural Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-30101ISBN: 978-1-78707-615-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-30101DiVA, id: diva2:1318111
Available from: 2019-05-26 Created: 2019-05-26 Last updated: 2019-05-27Bibliographically approved

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Lentina, Alda Maria

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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