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  • Print publication year: 2015
  • Online publication date: November 2015

14 - The Women of the Avant-Gardes

from Part III - Women Writers In-Between: Socialist, Modern, Developmentalists, and Liberal Democratic Ideals


This chapter focuses on major nineteenth-century women novelists and on the extent of their participation in the project of writing nationhood, despite their supposedly limited experience. It addresses questions such as how their novels interrogate the social arrangements and the aesthetic ideology of romantic fictions of identity and how they appropriated a masculine genre to delineate a tradition of resistance to the confluence of gender and genre. The chapter begins with three pioneer women writers, Cecilia Meireles, Rachel de Queiroz and Clarice Lispector, who produced pieces of imaginative prose as examples that combine the employment of gender-conscious authorship with a desire to represent woman as a political gesture. Finally, the chapter examines a selected body of writers and works that stand as a literary subculture that evolved under the emergence of a new Brazilian woman and the woman of letters particularly in the cultures of historiography and of literary criticism.

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