|Abstract (english)|| |
This complex interdisciplinary doctoral dissertation examines the reciprocal relationships between sex, gender and language, the influence of female sex and gender on language and the particular characteristics of female and feminine speech (le parler femme), female and feminine writing (l'écriture féminine), as well as their presence in the work of Oriana Fallaci. Theoretical investigation of the specific characteristics of female writing began in the second half of the previous century, based on the influence of Freudian psychoanalysis, which helped to define, for the first time, some basic characteristics of female personality and character (Freud, 2006). Freud relates the female and the feminine to elements of the Oedipal and pre-Oedipal paradigm (p. 412), as well as to the structuring, i.e. the lacking compactness of the psychic Super-structure (p. 415). On this, partly by nature determined, passive femaleness and femininity society and social order, emphasizes Freud, superimpose additional conventions and norms (p. 405). Jacques Lacan confirms Freud's thesis about female nature and locates the female and the feminine outside the language area, beyond the symbolic and emblematic area, identifying them as „non-phallic“, therefore „incomplete“ (Lacan, 2017). Insisting on the supremacy of the Phallus, Lacan leaves the woman marked as „a space of sexual breakthrough“ (Lacan 1983, p. 255-257). Post-Freudian psychoanalysis tries to move the Freudian concept of the Oedipus complex backwards, emphasizing the pre-Oedipal stage as a key stage for sexual maturing and identity formation, annulling, in that way, female and feminine marginalization (Laplanche and Pontalis 2010, p. 433-434). The final move from androcentric theories of sexuality is notable in Jung's texts, which see the female psychological structure and personality as different, dominantly intuitive, sensorial and emotional (Jung 1977, p. 225-226) with the presence of the innate picture of the other sex, the so-called animus (p. 206-208), a theory that later helped to define terms like subpersonality, contrasexuality and bisexuality inside the textual space (Young-Eisendrath, 2004). Beauvoir rejects all psychoanalytic interpretations of the female and the feminine, claiming that they understand sexuality and existence as one (Beauvoir, 2016, p. 58), and emphasizes that female and feminine characteristics are not innate (p. 287). Also, she explains that women's artistic creations are influenced by experiences, as well as by women's marginalized social position, and the feeling of psychological and emotional inhibition. Therefore, she reflects upon the following question: speaking of female creativity, can we distinguish between sex and gender? (Beauvoir, 2001). Ellmann (1968) explains how femininity is a socially constructed term, which in no way describes real nature and is also impossible to fix textually because it is in a constant process of linguistic deconstruction. Therefore, Ellmann concludes that it is impossible to define a female text or a female sentence (p. 172). Gilbert and Gubar (1979), examining the nature and the dynamic of female artistic creativity, propose a new theoretical model in order to understand female textual strategies, pointing out the ways they differ from strategies of male authors, especially when it comes to syntactic constructions and deconstructions, syntagmatic and paradigmatic fragmentation, as well as the presence of the author's voice. Also, they claim that every text written by a woman hides the real presence of a woman, and if the text is not the author itself, then at least it is an extension of her subconscious mechanisms (p. 85-90). Kolodny (1975) deals with the exploration of female textual strategy as a separate category, explaining, more carefully, how by emphasising the specificity of female writing, we necessarily define the qualitative portion of gender and sex (p. 76-78), while Showalter (1981) focuses on the importance of a systematic extra-textual gynocentric approach to women's texts, rejecting conventional and formal theoretical research approaches, sympathising with those researches that have, in the most obvious way, contributed to a large understanding of the female subculture, such as anthropology, psychoanalysis, linguistics, as well as cultural theories. Further, Jehlen (1981) remarks that female texts are indeed codified messages of the author's voice. Also, Irigaray (1974) believes that Western philosophic discourse sees woman as „a mirror reflection of the male subject“ and femininity as „a negative of the masculine reflection“ (p. 20). In that way, the female and the feminine become secondary products, always influenced primarily by passing through the male imagination. Irigaray sees a significant analogy between female morphology and female psychology. Both are plural, inclusive and fluid, always privileging contiguity (Irigaray 1977, p. 24-25), nevertheless, womanspeak (le parler femme) is characterized by a strong intimate connection to the woman's own body, as well as the resistance to denotability and the final meaning (p. 76). Cixous (1977) reflects on the female and the feminine inside the textual, claiming that a feminine text „works on différance“ (p. 480), on breaking up the binary opposition system. Also, female writing would be a pleasure area (jouissance), an area of continuous exchange with the other (Autre), a libidinous act that denotes „the articulation of desire in language“ (Moi 2007, p. 176), through it the sexual penetrates the textual, merging together and becoming one. Cixous emphasizes that female writing (l'écriture féminine) is indeed a speech act, so femininity in writing can actually be discovered as privileging the speaking voice, because the woman who speaks „physically materializes her thoughts“, designates them with her own body (Cixous 1975a, p. 251; 1975b, p. 170). On the other hand, Kristeva (1974) refuses to define the female and the feminine, arguing that such a terminology closes up the varying area of meaning and determines the mentioned characteristics as unchangeable ontological essences. Questioning the possibility of defining female identity (Kristeva 1981, p. 36), she also questions the possibility of defining female writing. Denying every form of biologism and essentialism, she rejects the metaphysic dichotomy of the feminine and the masculine, considering the female and the feminine only as marginalized positions in opposition to centralized structures of power. Cavarero (2002) rejects almost everything that was written until now, claiming that a particular female language does not exist, because women always interpret reality through the language of the Father, translating and learning it, truly believing that it belongs to them. During this appropriation process, she concludes, some cracks and gaps are developed, as well as silence and misunderstanding. The research continues with a critical commentary of the terms female identity, nomadic subject and female identity as a metaphysic construct, also confirmed by comparative analysis of Braidotti's (2002) work, mostly based on Deleuze and Guattari's philosophic research on nomadism, which offers a theory of female identity as a floating term, Butler's work (1990), which examines Foucault's thesis on corporality and identity, and Battersby's work (1998), which completely twists the Western metaphysical concept of female identity around, claiming how female and feminine are not permanent and final forms. Finally, this theoretical research is employed in a detailed analysis of Oriana Fallaci's work, specifically focusing on the author's voice, mostly inseparable from Fallaci herself as an extra-textual, real person. Fallaci's earlier works, Il sesso inutile (1961) and Penelope alla guerra (1962), show the author's negation of the binary and bipolar structuralist phallogocratic system (Derrida, 2007), in other words, they demonstrate the recognition of the post-structuralist concept of heterogeneous diversity, différance (Cixous 1977a, p. 180), which gives particular fluctuating and mobile characteristics to the written word, setting it free from limitations of final closure and definitive designation. Achieving temporal and spatial openness of the text, in other words, the open system of designation, signifiance (Kristeva 1980, p. 27), the author enters the space of continuous shaping and „heterogeneous destructive causality“ (p. 27), annulling the archaic understanding of language as a stable, monolithic, compact and complete system of signs. Leaving behind the standard Saussurean concept of language, defining the female subject position, i.e. her object choice, both closely related to woman's physiological, sociological and psychological status (Fallaci 1961, p. 254), as marginal and subversive (p. 9) in opposition to the centralized and institutionalized patriarchal structures of power, pouring out sex and gender ambivalence, i.e. the subversion of the body and identity (Fallaci, 1962), into the heterogeneous area of linguistic semiosis, Fallaci thoroughly deconstructs basic installations of the symbolic order, unconsciously confirming her female and feminine writing as marginal, heterogeneous and subversive (Kristeva 1977b, p. 3-8). Fallaci's bisexual textual strategy (Fallaci, 1962), which points to the author's firm bond with both the erotic and the emotional half of the unconscious (Cixous, 1975b), dissolving and decanting the Western paradigm of phallic monosexuality and the Oedipal context, denotes textual space as a space of libidinal freedom and complete relaxation of libidinal impulses (Bonfante 1975, p. 72), a place of marked affinity for writing as a process of the carnal materialization of the voice (Cixous, 1975c). Moving away from conventional morphosyntactic laws and turning back to writing as voice, a speech act that materializes sexuality, leads Fallaci's textuality in a bodily, female and feminine, direction. With her own voice, the ultimate incarnation of desire inside language (Lacan, 1992), which emerges from the most inaccessible layers of the psyche, the author masters and surpasses the space of the symbolic, bringing writing back to the body, to a place beyond the signified. Fallaci's fluid and viscous writing (Gatt-Rutter 1996, p. 72) is situated in the space outside the Law. Its mobile, manifold and variable characteristics enable the constitution of the infinite process of linguistic semiosis. The qualitative and quantitative distribution of prosodemic and punctuation elements, as well as phonetical and morphological interventions, turn the physical into metaphysical, the body into text. The unconventional and informal, extremely phonic and tactile (Irigaray 1977, p. 76), rhetoric deletes the boundaries between the physical and the psychological, reality and fiction, text and context. Fallaci's pre-Oedipal rhetoric, especially present in Lettera a un bambino mai nato (1975), denotes a firm connection between the author's material body (female) and the physical materialization of her voice (feminine) with the infinite imaginary textual space (Cixous 1975c, p. 170). Analysing the very intimate communication between a woman and the child in her womb, in other words, the author and her unborn text (Fallaci, 1975), Gatt-Rutter (1996, p. 63) posits his thesis on the female body that talks, on tissues that emanate thought and language, on the so-called placental rhetoric with pronounced phonic amplitudes that travel through biological tissues and bodily fluids. This imaginary cosmic watery space of heterogeneousness (Cixous 1975b, p. 260), dominated by sound, fluid and touch, acts as a symbol of an absolute rhetoric of freedom, a complete absence of all symbolic authorities, but also as a symbol of femininity, of the natural and direct connection with one's own femaleness. Fallaci's refusal of all forms of Oedipal totalitarianism and hegemony, as well as moving away from already established generic conventions, will result in atypical generic entities bearing a pronounced psychological stamp of the author (Porzio, 1965). These formally undefined texts will follow the program of the so-called non-Oedipal aesthetics (Irigaray, 1974), within which predictability and completeness, integrity and totality, order and system give up their places to spontaneity and fragmentariness, variability and heterogeneousness, overlapping and interweaving. Aricò (1998, p. 167) emphasizes how in Fallaci's case this resulted in a formal creative mess, an almost complete fusion of reality and fiction, a blurred transition from the written to the spoken word, an overlapping of extradiegetic and intradiegetic levels, i.e. in the constitution of a firm semantic and syntactic connection between the author and the narrator (Fallaci 1990, p. 596). This incongruous and asymmetrical textual structure is a result of the complete absence of the universal, omniscient and superior author's self existing outside the textual borders. Fallaci's female and feminine linguistic creativity opposes the phallic hierarchic system, which includes an already constructed author's identity. Inclined towards poststructuralist methodology, which sees the author and the narrator as results of rhetorical strategies, i.e. sees the text as a superior and privileged term (Cavarero, 1977), as well as rejecting the conventional methodological approach (Aricò 1998, p. 171-173), pronouncing but at the same time overhearing the text (Derrida 1988, p. 13), the author turns the subject into an object, the text into a „verbal projection of her own self“ (Aricò 1986, p. 587). Fallaci's subversion of the author and the narrator, more obvious in novels Niente e così sia (1969) and Un uomo (1979), turns the textual into vocal (Spinazzola, 1979), biography into autobiography (Rosa 1982, p. 77-80), reality into fiction (Aricò 1998, p. 172). In line with French poststructuralism, Fallaci gives up the affirmation of the authorial subject as an omniscient extradiegetic identity, distanced from his/her own text. In her opinion (p. 172), the authorial subject is a rhetorical construct, constituted by interpretative procedures, moments in which the subject of the text and the subject of reading exchange their places. Giving up an already constructed authorial personality reveals the process of writing as a process of reconstruction of one's own being (Gusdorf 1991, p. 10). Through writing, and injecting of pieces and fragments of linguistic reality, a (re)construction of the authorial subject is enabled, as well as his/her positioning related to the reality that he/she describes (Cavarero, 1997; Battersby, 1989). Such discursive methods, in Cavarero's opinion (1997, p. 100-101), reflect the influence of the female and the feminine, and will result in a neverending process of linguistic semiosis. Fallaci's texts, charged with a strong feminine „vocal imprinting“ (Milani 1971, p. 30), become, in this way, a mirror space in which the author's self, by a mise an abîme effect (Fallaci 1990, p. 157), reflects and multiplies, a space of performative linguistic strategies (Finci 2011, p. 119). The countercultural revolution and the sexual liberation movement of the 1960's and 1970's brought change to language, media and the field of interpersonal communication, as well as the journalism sector. New unconventional discursive methods were developed and replaced old fashioned and rigid formal criteria with alternative contextual and extra-textual methods of analysis. The text is no longer a closed space of signs and designation (Showalter, 1979), but an open space of interpretative cooperation, a space where the author's experiences, his/her subjective perspective and intellectual judgement are prominent. Subjectivity, polymorphism and linguistic subversion of new journalistic forms, such as New Journalism, especially attracted Oriana Fallaci, mostly in the years when her interest in liberal socialism and women's liberation was at the highest level (De Stefano 2015, pp. 179; 188-189). Her desire for liberation, formally and linguistically, from patriarchal phallocentric political oppression is far more obvious in her, at that time, most successful texts, gathered and published in four extensive collections: Gli antipatici (1963), Se il sole muore (1965), Quel giorno sulla luna (1970), and Intervista con la storia (1974). Her non-Oedipal, subversive and subjective writing, marginal to established linguistic structures of power, demonstrates her linguistic dissident position (Kristeva 1977b, p. 3-8), i.e. her marginalized subject position. By rejecting the formal canon, embracing new analytical and critical methods of thinking, as well as engraving her personal political and psychological imprint, the author portrays and projects her own, female and feminine, voice. David Sanford (1975) ascribes the success of these Fallaci's texts to the author's awareness of the comparative advantages of her own sex, mainly intuition and empathy (Jung, 1971), which enable her extremely precise and clearly directed process of psycholinguistic autopsy, so-called surgical journalism (Sanford 1975, p. 102), the penetration and section of thought and language. By breaking the contract with phallogocratic linguistic authorities, giving up norms, the binary and bipolar hierarchic organization of language and cultural symbols, the author clearly establishes connections to the so-called nomadic aesthetic (Braidotti, 2002), one of the postmodern interpretations of anthropological, cultural and linguistic phenomena in which tradition and territorial stability give way to cultural transition and linguistic deterritorialization (Deleuze and Guattari, 1986). Fallaci's nomadic writing, first of all defined by her transitional and floating nomadic subject position (Braidotti 2002, p. 13), is a non-Oedipal answer directed to the firm and stable „authoritative régime of tyrannical fathers“ (p. 37). Through it, the author shows her disobedience to the symbolic order, patriarchal dogmas and to centralized Western systemic institutions. Deconstructing the phallogocratic hierarchic system of binary and bipolar oppositions (Derrida 2007, p. 298), going back to the position of cultural and linguistic relativism (Said, 1978), she opposes the Saussurean concept of the transcendental signified, the privileged and closed linguistic system (Derrida 2007, p. 299). Fallaci's female and feminine nomadic style, aiming for the deconstruction of the superior hierarchic standard linguistic system, as well as the demystification of Western political enclaves, is an open inter and transdisciplinary linguistic bricolage. Through putting in and pouring out of different concepts, linguistic variants and registers, sociolects and dialects, the author replaces the symbolic area of the Law, dominated by sexual and linguistic puritanism (Braidotti 2002, p. 29), with an imaginary area of linguistic democracy, a space where all kinds of linguistic substrata, heterogeneous lines of linguistic transition and transgression shift racial, class, ethnical, sexual and gender boundaries (Fallaci, 1990), questioning the term identity. Fallaci's affinity for exotic nomadic landscapes at the boundaries of heterogeneous cultures and linguistic substrata, such as Beirut's „no man's land“ (Lyotard 1997, p. 116) described in the war triptych Insciallah (1990), parallels the author's affinity for the process of linguistic deterritorialization (Braidotti 2002, p. 36-37), a process of continuous linguistic, temporal and spatial dislocation. Mostly through the use of imperfective verbs, translinguistic and transcultural transpositions (Fallaci 1990, pp. 20; 30; 33; 35; 58; 68-69; 74), Fallaci surpasses the symbolic field of linguistic law and enters into the imaginary space of multipliable heterogeneous diversity, temporal and spatial semantic openness (Derrida 2007, p. 298-299). Fallaci's highly critical conscience and her perspective grounded in the present strongly oppose the cult of remembrance, divinization and assimilation (Foucault, 1994), as well as any form of linguistic totalitarianism, domination and political violence.