Searching for orgasms in the dictionary: language literature and emotion in Lultim patriarca by Najat El Hachmi

Crameri, K. (2017) Searching for orgasms in the dictionary: language literature and emotion in Lultim patriarca by Najat El Hachmi. Hispanic Research Journal, 18(6), pp. 507-519. (doi: 10.1080/14682737.2017.1391544)

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L’últim patriarca by Najat El Hachmi (2008) has been critically acclaimed for its portrayal of the difficulties faced by a young Moroccan girl struggling to reconcile her past and present identities under the authoritarian yet unpredictable control of her father. This article focuses on the triangular relationship between language, literature, and emotion that underpins the protagonist’s quest for independence, self-esteem, and emotional maturity. Drawing on research on bilingualism and emotion, literature and emotion, and emotions and moral judgement, the article examines how these interconnecting themes are explored in the novel and their importance for our understanding of the protagonist’s journey towards personal autonomy. Two classic Catalan novels, Solitud by Victor Català and La plaça del Diamant by Mercè Rodoreda, provide the protagonist both with an insight into her own situation and a way to become the narrator of her own life story, thus (it appears) taking control of her own destiny. The article argues that this is only possible thanks to her ability to express her story in a new language, to rediscover the connection between bodily sensation and emotion, and to forge a new moral identity that is no longer conditioned by that of her hypocritical father.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Crameri, Professor Kathryn
Authors: Crameri, K.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > Hispanic Studies
Journal Name:Hispanic Research Journal
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1745-820X
Published Online:30 November 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
First Published:First published in Hispanic Research Journal 18(6):507-519
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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