Revista Estudos Feministas
Print version ISSN 0104-026X
IONTA, Marilda. Self writing as minor literature: the letters of Anita Malfatti to Mário de Andrade. Rev. Estud. Fem. [online]. 2011, vol.19, n.1, pp. 91-102. ISSN 0104-026X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-026X2011000100007.
In a falogocentric culture letter writing has been considered by literary critics as a minor form of literature. Historians, on their part, have considered personal letters as an inadequate source of historical knowledge. In this text I seek to give positive value to the epistolary literature originating from a private exchange of letters, stressing that this kind of literary production can be as transgressive as the so-called "great literature", i.e. that literature that seeks to transpose the limits of language, since in this specific case we recreate ourselves, transgressing the limits of what we are in the intersubjective space of letter exchange and of friendship. Thus, I interpret the personal letters of the São Paulo plastic artist Anita Malfatti (1889), addressed to the modernist writer Mário de Andrade (1893-1945), as a form of "minor literature", in the sense given by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. This private kind of writing is connected to the construction of a self-sculpture, an "art of oneself", in the words of Michel Foucault. I therefore read the self writing in the letters of Malfatti as a counter hegemonic and political writing, for in the plot developed in her letters she produces an autonomous feminine subjectivity which resists subjectivities connected to the family, to the state, and to the church.
Keywords : Epistolary Writing; Feminine Subjectivity; Friendship; Gender.