By Leila Lehnen (auth.)
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Extra info for Citizenship and Crisis in Contemporary Brazilian Literature
A self-fashioned “musician,” he leads a suffocating life restricted by his work and by his (prospective) family. Vanim is an anonymous (and easily replaceable) part in the mechanism of production. He embodies capitalist production’s effects upon the individual psyche. According to Marx, the mechanization of capitalist production represents, in effect, the laborer’s enslavement. This occurs, first, because of augmented control over production that capitalist use of machinery provides. Second, mechanization also creates disengagement between the laborer’s mind and body during the production process (Marx, Results).
Male privilege is naturalized. In this frame of reference, men possess material and symbolic power within the private sphere of their house. It is within the house that aggressive modes of male domination are generally perpetrated. Argentine sociologist Elizabeth Jelin maintains that the unconditional separation between the private and the public domains contributes to the incidence of domestic violence and, as such, to the erosion of women’s citizenship (179). 41 “Aquário” highlights the separation between the public domain, subject to social management, and the private sphere, controlled solely by patriarchal law.
Instead, the volumes intersperse different narratives with diverse historical time frames. Mamma, son tanto felice’s first story, ““Uma fábula” (A fable), takes place around the mid-1950s. However, the volume’s second and third stories, “Sulfato de Morfina” and “Aquário,” occur in the present. Their contemporaneousness is indicated by present-day slang expressions such as galera a (clique, posse). All three stories are connected by the shared themes of difficult familial relations and abandonment.
Citizenship and Crisis in Contemporary Brazilian Literature by Leila Lehnen (auth.)