Original Research

Alienation in Leora Farber’s The futility of writing 24-page letters (2009)

Rita M.C. Swanepoel, Moya Goosen
Literator | Vol 33, No 1 | a28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v33i1.28 | © 2012 Rita M.C. Swanepoel, Moya Goosen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 July 2012 | Published: 13 November 2012

About the author(s)

Rita M.C. Swanepoel, School of Communication, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
Moya Goosen, School of Communication, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa


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Abstract

This article investigates the concept of alienation in Leora Farber’s The futility of writing 24-page letters(as an extension of a work titled Between Cup and Lip as part of the Dis-Location/Re-Location, 2007/2008 exhibition). This is done from a feminist-postcolonial framework in order to investigate the layered complexities surrounding alienation that arise during the oppression of the marginalised. The postcolonial theoretical discourse with its emphasis on the ’other’ and the psychic alienation of the marginalised influences the feminist discourse regarding the estrangement of the woman. In feminist discourses, ‘alienation’ refers to the estrangement women experience in a patriarchal society. We argue that these letters indicate oppressed psychic alienation and self alienation which are the result of stereotyping, cultural domination and sexual objectification. We further argue that Farber’s The futility of writing 24-page letters reveals complex layers of alienation.

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