On the communicative nature of «female prose»

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №3 - 2011

Author: Abdullina Lutsia, East Kazakhstan State University in honor of S. Amanzholov, Kazakhstan

“Female prose” is a socio-cultural phenomenon, which appears in the process of women mastering the public space, and as such it has a communicative nature. Appearance of literary texts which describe the global and social experience of women, from their point of view, is nothing else but an attempt to join the dialogue. In their works the authoresses propose to society not only new themes, but also new models of behavior, defending the right of women to have independent choices and an independent fate.

One of the productive schemes of studying “female literature” is the analysis of the literary authorship of a woman-writer in the aspect of “author-work” relations. The biographical personality of the authoress, her psychological appearance are correlated with a social status, position of women in society. The specific character of female creative works is caused by special features of a female world-view, female type of consciousness, by its social and psychophysical parameters. The uniqueness of appearance of the author with a female face is manifested in the frankly personal tone of works. In this case the one of a kind woman’s world is represented as an art object. The first professional Russian writers of Pushkin's time declared about their right to creation as the possibility of a valuable dialogue “on equal terms” with the male writers.

In the 19th century a woman used to be the mistress of the fashionable literary salon, who wrote poems for her own home album. That is why it was very difficult for a woman to become a professional authoress. The problem of literary fortune was directly connected with women’s self-affirmation because of their long social isolation in Russia. The works of the first authoresses such as Durova N., Gan E., Rostopchina E. touched their contemporaries on the raw first of all because they portrayed a woman.

Biography, autobiography sometimes self-portrait in the narratives of the literary women reproduced the specificity of women’s thinking and psyche without reference to her social status. Authoresses studied the nature of inward life of their heroines and through the specific author’s position. “Poetics of woman mind”, concentration on personal experience, compassion, family life – all this helped the authoresses to elaborate a new type of a heroine.

N.A. Durova took part in the Patriotic war of 1812 and she ruled the destiny in her life and literature. The figure of a woman citizen in the memoirs of Durova became a literary prototype for the subsequent prose of Turgenev, Tolstoy.

Works of E.A. Gan correspond to the “anthology” of a woman mind, woman heart. In the story “Ideal” the heroine stand against the public, shows her own will and derives her strength from “the inner sources”. Confession of the heroine and a psychological description of her image make the portrait of the contemporary look quite true.

The novel “A Happy Woman” by E.P. Rostopchina – a poetess with an outstanding manner of writing – is in many respects autobiographical. In the form of prose she wrote about a woman who had self-realized against the background of high life.

The image of a woman in the works of the first Russian authoresses takes on a “double effect”: this is both a heroine and an author. So we may conclude that a professional literary woman is of great interest as an exponent of literary heritage.

Female belles-lettres of the 19th century did not pretend to the global artistic comprehension of reality. The center of attention was the unknown sphere of this reality – “dual existence of a woman”. A woman in Russia was “condemned” by secular conditionalities to the silence, perceived the sharp need to be expressed on paper, she stated about her independent right to be an authoress. In the prose of women the very carrier of the text, the method of narration and the manner of contact with the reader became the main motive power of the subject. Russian woman-writers were looking for specific ways of drawing their author's line.

Communicative chain “author-narrator-listener-reader” is represented in the female prose in different modifications. The image of a reader is divided into component parts, and these parts interact with each other in a specific way in accordance with the individual stylistic manner of each writer.

“Female prose” as an archetype, its communicative nature is manifested with the analysis of the literary creation of the contemporary Kazakhstan woman- prosaists at the turn of the twentieth century. Contemporary Kazakhstan female literature is at the stage of formation and active development. Archetype as “through model” [2] passes from generation to generation, in the new temporary paradigm on the material of another national cultural tradition.

The works of three Kazakhstan women-writers – Umit Tazhikenova, Svetlana Nazarova and Liliya Kalaus – in our opinion help to draw preliminary conclusions in the comprehension of typology and poetics of the female prose of Kazakhstan [3,4,5]. The works of the writers, from our point of view, present the contemporary Kazakhstan female prose of the period of independence. The personal everyday experience of the woman- author appears as a material for the artistic creation of writers. Author's ideological concept reflects a specific character of the female type of consciousness.

Woman-writers of the twenty first century, each in a recognizable artistic manner, as before , defend the existence of a special woman space, which absorbs into itself the entire multifaceted, deeply heart-felt and experienced reality. Thus, for instance, the subject of the Umit Tazhikenova’s novel “Rod of tamarisk” is based on the writer’s experience of establishing a business, and in the work “On the Ararat mountain” Svetlana Nazarova’s experience in Armenia is reflected.

N. Fateyeva notes the “increased dialoguing” of female literature, “there is always a dialogue in it, either in the form of direct or indirect speech” [6].

The communicative message in the works of U. Tazhikenova is frequently declared at the level of titles. For example: “The word, which is the one of the Creator’s names”, “And here is the end of the wandering… it was short, too short”, “Women’s thoughts and men’s rules of the game”, “Eternally young Muse of a mature woman”, “Day like any other, one after another”. The grammatical structure of such titles in the form of a remark or a thought aloud transfers the intonation of a conversation or a fragment of a conversation. This construction fulfills the function of invitation to the dialogue, or even more – invitation “to touch upon” the unique artistic world of the author.

U. Tazhikenova brings into the literature her experience of a woman with man’s nature and man’s profession. She is forced to make vital decisions on her own. In the female images of U. Tazhikenova the different sides of the manifestation of a female archetype are represented, through the understanding of her inner self she goes into the internal space of her heroines – women of different age and different vital power. And vice versa: trying to understand her contemporaries, the authoress discovers yet unknown facets of herself. The story “Diluting of the image” is quite representative: “In the morning – inquisitive view, directed toward the mirror. Counter sullen and lost . A tired face – as if it’s not mine… the home mirror, which stands in the customary and smoothing out perspective, it spares. But you randomly shoot a glance at the unknown public mirror, br-r- r – is this really my unique “inner self”? [3, 41].

The dialogue with herself is doubled and multiplied, it is superimposed on other dialogues, participants of which are her different heroines. Thus, in the stories “Women of the city” and “Dignity of sameness” the author artistically convincingly expresses the female protest against the Soviet stereotype of a “woman-toiler”.

The motive of genetic memory is presented in the stories “The Radiant”, “The prayer”, “About the female soul”. The feminine archetype shows itself in the non-interrupted contacts with the departed close ones, and also with fauna and flora. Indeed a woman – the keeper of ancestral memory – is capable of joining this type of a dialogue, timeless and intercultural.

In the prose of U. Tazhikenova there are many acknowledgements and statements in the address of trees, plants, heavenly bodies, wind, sand and other phenomena of nature. Through this contact with the prehuman world the author appeals to the reader (stories “The miracle”, “A small bouquet”, “Each to his own”).

The author's position and the author's presence in the artistic prose of U. Tazhikenova can be seen in too conversational intonation and stylistics of the narration. Stories, travelling notes in the first person, on behalf of a woman-narrator or a teller – these are the complex, hybrid varieties of the genre of the story: story-parable, story-miniature, sketch, philosophical story, story- description, diary records. The author speaks toh someone, shares thoughts with someone –vital topics and life problems of a woman in a modern developing city of Kazakhstan being revealed in the dialogue.

The stylistic manner of U. Tazhikenova’s prose is characterized by the inclusion in the Russian stories of the set of Kazakh words and expressions, which impart to works quite realistic authenticity and national coloring. The use of specific expressions emphasizes the connection and relationship of the author with people, life and history of her nation. Addressing to the reader the typical etiquette phrases of the Kazakh language are often used: «айналайын», «уважаемые кудалар», «торде».

In the prose of S. Nazarova the female characters personify in themselves the different phases of a woman archetype. The writer combines the subjective emotionally agitated enthusiasm of the author's narration with the moral analysis of the modern world. The main heroines of S. Nazarova’s stories “Green-eyed Aruakh” and “A free bird – the woman Arisha” are women at the old age, who have rich life experience [4]. They are the embodiment of two different traditions, two different nationalities and different cultures. In spite of such differences, these two characters must be viewed together, because of the unifying common ground – the archetype of the Mother-Earth.

In the narrative of L. Kalaus “Dark sail” the elements of dramatic, tragicomic and ironic discourse are combined [5]. Individual characteristics of the author as the speaking subject and the engaging in a dialogue about their own life present the aspects of female existence and the way of life in the urban world. L. Kalaus describes her heroine as an unhappy woman, an abandoned wife, an unmarried woman, a drinking woman, a lonely mother etc. Under the most humiliating circumstances the woman in the prose of L. Kalaus in no way looks small, oppressed or humbled. The passive position of the author-chronicler, who only transfers events, dialogues, visual pictures makes it possible for the writer not to judge, not to evaluate her heroes, but to represent a woman as the entire peace, to which a man relates as a part to the whole.

The contemporary “female prose” reveals the woman “strangeness” as “the special feature of her own model of the world – different from the man’s, but equally significant”. Through the heroines the authoress established herself. First of all, the writer's inner “Me”, that enters in the relations with her own (in the “female prose”, naturally, female) ego [7, 152].

At the archetypal level of cultural, aesthetical unconscious the nerve of the contemporary female prose is manifested: it tends to identify itself with the world. T. Rovenskaya, in our opinion, is right to consider that in the “female prose” there is the phenomenon of a speaking, or, a “talking out” woman [8,]. The female author in the formation of a communicative strategy of writing sees the method of self-identification.

The creative biography of the woman-writer composes the internal autobiography of the plot lines: her life, designed as work, becomes the literary reality. In the image of the authoress the concept, the final idea of the work is personified. In her text the woman-writer composes a dialogue as she needs. The system of the characters’ speech, their relationship with the author-narrator or alter-ego – all this is a deliberate communicative act.

The study of typology and poetics of the female prose in the contemporary literature of Kazakhstan is at the stage of initiation. The represented material is an attempt of conceptualization of the specific character of the Kazakhstan female literary works in the communicative aspect.


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Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №3 - 2011

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