The mother-daughter relationship is a popular theme in contemporary Italian writing but has never before been analysed in a comprehensive book-length study. In Corporeal Bonds, Patrizia Sambuco analyses novels by authors such as Elsa Morante, Francesca Sanvitale, Mariateresa Di Lascia, and Elena Ferrante, each of which is narrated from the daughter's point of view and depicts the daughter's bond with the mother. Highlighting the recurrent images throughout these works, Sambuco traces these back to alternative forms of communication between mother and daughter, as well as to the female body. Sambuco also explores the attempts of the daughter-narrators to define a female self that is outside the constrictions of patriarchal society. Through these investigations, Corporeal Bonds identifies a strong connection between the ideas of post-Lacanian critical theorists, Italian feminist thinkers, and the stories within the novels.
Acknowledgments Introduction 1 Psychoanalytic Accounts of Sexual Difference: Luce Irigaray and Italian Feminism The Denial of the Mother The Mother Figure and the Maternal Irigaray: Subjectivity and the Mother-Daughter Corporeal Bond From Mothers to Daughters: The Italian Scene Diotima and Luisa Muraro Adriana Cavarero 2 Elsa Morante's Menzogna e sortilegio: The Incorporeal Bond Menzogna e sortilegio and the Critics Motherhood and the Mother-Daughter Relationship: Cesira and Anna Maternal Love: Rosaria and Alessandra Elisa 3 Francesca Sanvitale's Madre e figlia: Bodies of Pain and Imagination Body as Object of Desire The Male Hero Medical Establishment: The Attack on the Body Critique and Re-imagining Writing, Imagination, and Language Narrator, Character, and Author in Search of Identity 4 Mariateresa Di Lascia's Passaggio in ombra: The Maternal as Expression of Desire and Corporeality Desire Chiara The Daughter within the Heterosexual Economy Body and Knowledge 5 Elena Ferrante's L'amore molesto: The Renegotiation of the Mother's Body Delia: The Love and Hatred of a Selfless Subject Reconstructing the Past The Language of Dresses 6 Elena Stancanelli's Benzina: The Surreal Mother-Daughter Relationship and New Possibilities Elena Stancanelli and the Literary Scene, 1995-2000 Benzina 154 Mother and Daughter: Different Bodies, Different Personalities A Relationship of Fusion and Independence Oppressed Bodies in the Family Home Looking, and Looking at Each Other Conclusion Notes Bibliography Index