SCANDR5B PAPER 3.docx - Kafil 1 Usama Kafil Scandinavian R5B02 Radiation and Amputation in The Book About Blanche and Marie As the title of the novel so

SCANDR5B PAPER 3.docx - Kafil 1 Usama Kafil Scandinavian...

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Kafil Usama Kafil Scandinavian R5B02 April 26 2016 Radiation and Amputation in The Book About Blanche and Marie As the title of the novel so clearly states, Per Olov Enquist’s The Book About Blanche and Marie explores the relationship between two women. It focuses on the mysterious love between the two women and tells their stories as a novel would. However, this book is classified as a documentary novel, so where is the documentary aspect? That can be seen in the underlying message of feminism that is found in two of its most prevalent themes. The Book about Blanche and Marie utilizes the stories of these two women to document the state of self improvement through feminism at the time. Instead of focusing on the obvious aspect of love between two women to document feminism, I would like to focus attention on two other themes in the novel. The recurring themes of radiation and amputation in the lives of the two women are literally and symbolically represented to document the struggles of female achievement in society caused and a potential solution to these struggles, respectively. Through this documentation, Enquist makes it clear how far feminism has come and far it has yet to go. In order to understand Enquist’s documentation of the state of feminist self improvement we must understand that the documentary novel is a merger of fact and fiction and that this documentation isn’t straightforward, but implied through its themes and their applications. The novel as whole’s classification as nonfiction or fiction does not alter the message it hopes to document through its themes. Leonora Flis writes “the traditional viewing of the fictional and factual as two antithetical narrative poles must be reconsidered and reevaluated in order to 1
Kafil properly elucidate the documentary novel” 1 by reconsidered, Flis means that the differences of the two need to be put aside in order for the documentary novel to be explained and understood. Instead of focusing on whether the work is fictional or non fictional, we should accept that there is a merger in order to truly understand the work. I believe that when analyzing the themes and their message, the classification of fiction vs nonfiction is not as important as the truth behind the message. If a real world problem is brought to light through fictional means, does that negate its existence as a real issue? It should not, as a documentary novel is not obligated to be factual. Barbara Foley argues that “any element in a narrative . . . must be scanned and interpreted as either factual or fictive in order to be read and understood.” 2 This approach is not necessarily true. The argument of fact vs fiction should be disregarded as either classification does not alter the existence of the messages symbolized and documented in the novel. The documentary novel intends to document its subjects through the story in the novel rather than through conventional documentary method of presenting facts. The subject of feminism is documented in The Book

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