Identidad a Contrapelo: Subjetividad femenina y espacios urbanos en el diario de Carolina Maria de Jesus


At twenty three years of age, Carolina Maria de Jesus leaves Franca, in the south west of Brazil, to move to São Paulo. Carolina portrays her precarious life in the favela of Canindé in this big city in Quarto de Despejo (1960). Carolina longs for a better quality of life, but instead finds herself discriminated against because of her class, race and gender, even after abandoning the favela. At the same time, in so far as she is an active subject, she builds an “identity against the grain” – of gender, class, and race challenging both hegemonic discourses of the canon and of the literary tradition. This article explores the construction of a transgressive subjectivity as an emblematic model of a woman writer portraying the act of taking up the pen against the stereotypes that mark her and confine her.

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Copyright © 2009 Lodel. This article first appeared in Nuevo Mundo/Mundos Nuevos (2009).