Hétérotopies du féminin

Hétérotopies domestiques : cadres et points de fuite féminins (XIXe-XXIe s.)

Nella Arambašin

Research Article
Accepted: Oct 23 2021


In applying the notion of heterotopia to domesticity this paper aims to historicize, from the 19th century to today, the vanishing points imagined by those who maintain the interiors where they are assigned to those “good to do everything,” such as nannies and housewives. The inner frame then opens like an Alberti’s window to narrative perspectives which, according to historical configurations, articulate private and public spaces, as well as urban and rural, bourgeois and popular, and national and foreign, to designate counter-spaces of domesticity: the café, ball, square, multimedia installation, beach, and flight. To access the paradoxical nature of these “located utopias,” both hindered and half-open to freedom, it is necessary to use the writers (Octave Mirbeau, Marguerite Duras, Léïla Slimani, Aldous Huxley), artists (Edouard Manet, Lucien Simon, Richard Hamilton, Birgit Jürgenssen), as well as filmmakers (Benoît Jacquot, Alfonso Cuarón). They lay the groundwork for a deconstruction of the matrimonial norm, from which feminine vanishing points radiate, produced by the stereotypes of the servant-whore, the good Bécassine or the housewife, in order to try to thwart them and free themselves from them.

heterotopia, domestic, subalternity, (Alberti’s) window, square.