Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

The Restoration of the Maternal Order. A Circle of Infinite? The Mother-Daughter Relationship in Carmen Martín Gaite's Lo raro es vivir

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2012), 89, (7), 711–720.

Abstract

This article sets out from a quotation from Luce Irigaray relating to the circularity and potentially infinite nature of the relationship between mother and daughter. Using the thinking of sexual difference as developed by the Milan Women's Bookstore about the maternal symbolic order as its framework, it looks at Carmen Martín Gaite's 1996 novel Lo raro es vivir. It argues that in this novel, as never before in her work, there is an in-depth portrayal, sometimes implicit, sometimes explicit, of the mother/daughter relationship and its significance. As the very name of the main protagonist, Águeda, implies, we are shown the effects of the rupture, or estrangement, from that connection, and we are taken on a journey through to a reconciliation with the primary need, following Irigaray and Luisa Muraro, to be rooted in that relationship, whatever its quality, as a setting-out point that can generate order, both within and without.

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Author details

Wilson, Caroline