Living on Borderlines: Natasza Goerke’s The Book of Pates Cover Image
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Living on Borderlines: Natasza Goerke’s The Book of Pates
Living on Borderlines: Natasza Goerke’s The Book of Pates

Author(s): Katarzyna Więckowska
Subject(s): Gender Studies, Polish Literature
Published by: Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti
Summary/Abstract: Since in our culture woman has been defined as the sign of difference, her presence within any narrative may function as a disruptive element, introducing a kind of (cultural) ambiguity which, as Bauman states, not only disturbs the constructed order but is an inevitable effect of the production of such an order - if not, in fact, the sine-qua-non condition of its existence (Bauman 132). In a gesture similar to that which changes the narratives of the ‘real’, the feminine voice re-writes the virginal space of blank pages, re-appropriating the pen traditionally envisaged as masculine. Yet in what ways is the woman’s voice different from a man’s one? Where does difference come through in writing? More specifically, how should we think the different ‘manner of spending, of valorizing the appropriated, of thinking what is not-the-same’ that Helene Cixous speaks of? This paper offers some answers to these questions by examining the work of a contemporary Polish woman writer, Natasza Goerke. The question that guides my exploration of her work concerns the nature of the return imagined by Cixous as ‘revenue’: if the woman’s voice stages a vocal recovery, analysis of the texts delineates some of the new tracts mapped on to the space of the homogenous (masculine?) narrative.

  • Page Range: 161-176
  • Page Count: 16
  • Publication Year: 2005
  • Language: English