“Só para mulheres” (Just for women): Alfonsina Storni’s and Clarice Lispector’s Transgression of the Women’s Page

Mariela E. Méndez, University of Richmond
Vol. 35, No. 2 (Fall 2016), 413-437

This article considers the contributions of Argentinean poet Alfonsina Storni (1892-1938) and Brazilian novelist Clarice Lispector (1920-1977) to the women’s column of newspapers and journals in their respective countries. The women’s column or page was a section entirely dedicated to women’s concerns, addressed specifically to a female readership, and generally authored by a woman or a female persona. As such, it operated under specific parameters of form and content. This article argues that both writers’ transgression of this discursive space can be seen as resignifying gender meanings and potentially transforming readers’ perception of female subjectivity. Analyzing selected pieces from the various columns authored overtly or covertly by Storni and Lispector, the article draws on Judith Butler’s reflections on the performativity of gender and Mikhail Bakhtin’s ideas on double-voiced discourse to focus on the “acting out” of gender as a means of subverting the presuppositions underlying the rigidly codified space of the women’s page. This article explores a corpus that has gone largely unnoticed until recently and generates new understandings of both women’s works.

Mary Wollstonecraft Sojourner Truth Margaret Atwood Abigail Adams Amy Tan H.D. Simone de Beauvoir Zora Neale Hurston Frances Burney Virginia Woolf

"The white saxifrage with the indented leafe is moste commended for the breakinge of the Stone."

— Turner, Herbal, III, 68 [1568]