The pursuit of feminist language in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet
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The issue of women’s relationship to language is at the heart of Elena Ferrante’s thought and fiction. This article examines the Neapolitan tetralogy’s pursuit of a feminist tongue that would enable women to flee the ‘cage’ of the patriarchal symbolic order. First, the exchange of the dolls for Little Women will be interpreted as a transaction that taints literary language as ‘the master’s tool’. Then, focusing on the relationship between the narrator and Lila, the article will trace Ferrante’s reflection on the inevitability of the phallogocentric poetic voice attained at the expense of a subaltern muse. Lila’s disappearance emerges as the only strategy of resistance, but this gesture leads to an outcome akin to the silencing that has excluded women from the canon. Ferrante suggests that women are rendered mute in the patriarchal symbolic order: their voices are unheard, ignored, misinterpreted, or suppressed, or become material for their manufacturing.
Moro , C 2023 , ' The pursuit of feminist language in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet ' , The Italianist , vol. Latest Articles . https://doi.org/10.1080/02614340.2023.2254125
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