By Paula Fox
Luisa de l. a. Cueva was once born at the Caribbean island of Malagita, of a plantation owner's son and a local lady, a servant within the kitchen. Her years on Malagita have been candy with the wonderful thing about bamboo, banana, and mango bushes with flocks of silver-feathered guinea hens beneath, the magic of a victrola, and the caramel flan that Mama sneaked domestic from the plantation kitchen. Luisa's father, fearing revolution, takes his kinfolk to ny. within the barrio his once-powerful identify skill not anything, and the relations establishes itself in a basement tenement. For Luisa, Malagita turns into a dream. Luisa doesn't dream of going to varsity, as her pal Ellen does, or of profitable the lottery, as her father does. She takes a role as a servant and, ironically, grows extra self sustaining. She marries and later increases a son on my own. She works as a servant all her lifestyles. A Servant's Tale is the tale of a existence that's easy at the floor yet jam-packed with intensity and richness as we come to understand it, a narrative informed with consummate grace and compassion by way of Paula Fox.
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Extra info for A Servant's Tale: A Novel
While the work refuses the language of adults (since its predominant lexicon avoids abstract terminology and consists of words that express the direct, concrete experiences of children), it does not yet declare war on the words/worlds of the Page 27 opponent as does, for example, Les Guérillères. As a matter of fact, the pronouncements of the adults are incorporated into the text on a number of occasions. However, because Wittig (perhaps affected by the work of Nathalie Sarraute) has eliminated the use of quotation marks or any other markers that differentiate what is said from what is told or that indicate a change in speaker (such as the dash in French), even the pronouncements of the adults can be considered to be filtered through the language of the children, and thus appropriated by the children.
However, her treatment of the question of language has the merit of simplicity and absence of jargon that characterizes her entire communication, and she appeals, once more, to the imaginative potential of her public. To begin with, language is defined as the primary ingredient of the writer's craft (that is, his/her "raw material"), and as such, it is comparable to the sculptor's clay, the painter's colors, or the musician's sounds. In order to differentiate words from these other raw materials though, Wittig again uses the key image of her text: Words are, each one of them, like the Trojan Horse.
Although some critics attribute Wittig's treatment of fictional time primarily to a refusal of "phallocentric" linear concepts,13 it seems more appropriate here to consider her obvious preference for a use of temporal notions that characterize childhood and are in contrast to those of adults. The latter, it has been pointed out, are inevitably associated with loss, degeneration, decrepitude, death, or what has been Page 14 described as the "fall into time, 14 while the child's experience emphasizes duration, continuity, endlessness, and an eternal present.
A Servant's Tale: A Novel by Paula Fox