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The Flânerie of an Urban Walker

Daniela Schrickte Stoll About the author

Abstract

This article analyzes the interaction between Alice, from Quarenta dias - a novel by Maria Valéria Rezende (2014b) -, and the city of Porto Alegre, in which she wanders like a contemporary flâneuse. The character, in fact, calls herself an urban walker, since she gradually becomes an inhabitant of the streets. The viability of a character such as a female flâneuse is discussed based on the writings of Janet Wolff (1985), Griselda Pollock (1988) and Lauren Elkin (2016). According to Elkin (2016), invisibility is a fundamental characteristic for someone to perform the flânerie, which would be unfeasible for a woman, who is always the object of male gaze on the streets. Alice, however, realizes she is invisible to others, due to her age, her origins and the fact that she becomes a homeless person for forty days. The novel also calls for a series of reflections about contemporary cities and the ways minorities occupy the urban spaces.

Keywords:
Literary feminist criticism; Flâneuse; Invisibility; Brasilian contemporary literature; Maria Valéria Rezende

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