Thursday, May 3, 2007
Here we have four covers of Diamela Eltit's translated novels. Eltit's impeccable trajectory begins with 'E. Luminata' a postmodern work that takes a female character watching the anachronistic lights of a city under curfew. The scenario is a public square and the writing jumps from scene to scene in a somewhat cinematic fashion, as well as theatrical. In fact, many references are made to different and diverse traditions, such as Golden Age Theater, and the Caribbean-musical novel. Eltit uses even different fonts as the novel develops.
Last year there was quite a stir in Chile with the National Award for Literature, where Eltit was shortlisted, but naturally in such a misogynistic country, little could be done... As we know, having a female President is not exactly a proof for justice. In addition Chile characterizes for its insular quality, a country that has to see the Nobel Prize awarded before the National, as is the case with poet Gabriela Mistral.
'The fourth world' is a brief but incredible novel in which the writer takes a 'twin' couple talking in the mother's womb. In this novel we trace the derogatory term 'sudaca' when the twin-girl goes to sale... I'm not telling more! "Sacred Cow" is considered a more accessible novel in Eltit's scope. Here she takes the metaphor of blood (mainly menstrual, but also as a result of violence) through the feminine experience of loss. It's quite fascinating and makes me think of the notion of abjection developed by Julia Kristeva in 'The powers of horror'. And 'Custody of the eyes' (In Spanish 'Los vigilantes') takes after William Faulkner's 'Sound and Fury', especially through the eyes of the idiot kid and his fractured language. Some approaches have focused obsessively in Foucault's panoptycon, though what amazes here is the epistolary genre taken to extremes.