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Six— Alfonsina Storni: The Tradition of the Feminine Subject

1. For a detailed discussion of the theme of tradition and its manifestations, see Edward Shile, Tradition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981). See also San- soft

dra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, "Tradition and the Female Talent," in The Poetics of Gender , ed. Nancy Miller (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986). [BACK]

2. Roland Barthes, "The Death of the Author," in Image-Music-Text , trans. Stephen Heath (New York: Hill and Wang, 1977), 142-148. [BACK]

3. For a criticism of Barthes's position see Naomi Schor, Breaking the Chain: Women, Theory, and French Realist Fiction (New York: Columbia University Press, 1985), 187. [BACK]

4. For this theme see Abdul JanMohamed and David Lloyd, "Introduction: Minority Discourse—What Is to Be Done?" in Cultural Critique (University of Minnesota) 2, special issue, "The Nature and Context of Minority Discourse" (Fall 1987): 13. [BACK]

5. See Giles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Kafka: Toward a Minority Literature , trans. Dana Polan (Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1986), chap. 3. [BACK]

6. Barthes, "The Death of the Author," in Image-Music-Text , trans. Stephen Heath (New York: Hill and Wang, 1977): 142-148. [BACK]

7. In Ocre (1925), compiled in Alfonsina Storni, Obra poética completa (Buenos Aires: Editorial Meridion, 1961). All references are to this edition. [BACK]

8. We are familiar with an unpublished study by Gwen Kirkpatrick on the theme: "Alfonsina Storni: A Return to History" (Paper delivered at the Iberoamerican Congress of Literature, Stanford University, July 1985). [BACK]

9. Her first book, La inquietud del rosal , appeared in 1916. [BACK]

10. In 1914 she participated in a homage to Belgium, on the occasion of the German invasion. [BACK]

11. Worthy of mention are the armistice signed in Compiegne in 1918, "the tragic week" ("la semana trágica") of the workers' strike and the ensuing repression at the Vasena Ironworks in Buenos Aires in 1919, the First Congress in Geneva (1920), which brought together workers and management, the Third International in Moscow in 1921, Mussolini's march on Rome in 1922, and the regulation of working conditions for women and children in Argentina in 1923. [BACK]

12. Gwen Kirkpatrick, "Alfonsina Storni." Kirkpatrick also quotes an illuminating commentary on Storni by Gabriela Mistral: "knowledgeable about life as few are, offering the most apt comments on the most diverse subjects, a very cosmopolitan woman who has been in touch with everything and has integrated all of it." [BACK]

13. Alfonsina Storni, El dulce daño (Buenos Aires: Sociedad Cooperativa Editorial, 1918). [BACK]

14. Alfonsina Storni, Irremediablemente (Buenos Aires: Cooperativa Editorial, 1919). For a complete bibliography see Marta Baralis, Contribución a la bibliografía de Alfonsina Storni (Buenos Aires: Fondo Nacional de las Artes, 1964). [BACK]

15. It is interesting to see a poet receiving and reformulating the very tradition with which she is identified, while not having contributed more extensively to its elaboration. The semantic reformulation of these concepts is what strikes us as most significant about this poem. On first reading it appears to be enunciated within traditional boundaries, and perhaps that is why it has not received much attention. [BACK]

16. We are thinking here of the manner in which Foucault indicates how difference is enunciated from the sphere of power, in such a way that what is enunciated produces the limits within which difference can be transformed into discursive material. With regard to this see Michel Foucault, El discurso del poder , ed. Oscar Terán break [BACK]

17. Quotations of this poem are from Alfonsina Storni, Obra poética completa (Buenos Aires: Ediciones Meridion, 1961), 11-2. [BACK]

18. Northrop Frye, Anatomy of Criticism (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1957). [BACK]

19. Jurij Tynjanov, "On Literary Evolution," in Readings in Russian Poetics , ed. Ladislav Matejka and Krystna Pomorska (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1971). [BACK]

20. Here we are employing the concept elaborated by Susan Gubar in " 'The Blank Page' and the Issues of Female Creativity," in Writing and Sexual Difference , ed. Elizabeth Abel (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), 73-94. [BACK]

21. Jacques Lacan, Feminine Sexuality: J. Lacan and the "École Freudienne ," ed. and trans. Juliet Mitchell and Jacqueline Rose (New York: W. W. Norton, 1983). [BACK]

22. We have in mind the conventions of amour courtois as exemplified in the poetry of Petrarch and Provençal poets, as well as Renaissance developments as seen in the work of Shakespeare, Sidney, and Spenser. [BACK]

23. We are employing here a concept adapted from Teresa de Lauretis's proposal in Alice Doesn't: Feminism, Semiotics, Cinema (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1984), 5. In this work the author distinguishes between the concept "woman"—a fictive product shaped by congruent and dominant discourses in Western culture and construed as "different from man"—"women" as real, historical beings, who have not yet been defined outside of the discourses mentioned, yet whose material existence is undeniable. break [BACK]

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