chapter  1
23 Pages

Fleeting Photographs and Vanishing Rebels in Melania Mazzucco’s Fiction

This chapter discusses through Adriana Cavarero narration and its engagement with visual means, in particular photography, Melania Mazzucco questions the accessibility of life, and difficulty of grasping a reality that is always mobile and fleeting. Photography occupies an unconventional space between presence and absence, loss and return, seen and unseen, as well as life and death. Because it is only a trace of the real, it is characterized by a sort of ghostliness and provides its subjects with a vanishing, shadowy nature. On a more general level the visual enters Melania Mazzucco's fictional stories to reveal the fragmentary, intermittent process of narrating the world. The coming and going of Mazzucco's heroines, as intermittent, vanishing and ghostly presences, place them in a position of resistance and agency against control and limitations. Besides, their stories of rebellion and nomadism are narrated through a perpetual crossing of borders. The transitional, evanescent nature of visual images reflects and supports female characters' mobile, vanishing disposition.