The Naked Woman by Armonía Somers was originally published in Spanish in 1950. The translation was made by Kit Maude and the book is published by The Feminist Press. On her thirtieth birthday, the main character, Rebeca Linke undergoes a violent physical and mental transformation. She leaves her home in only an overcoat and wanders through the local forests and fields. When she is spotted in broad daylight, divested of her clothes, the event sends tremors through the rural village, penetrating the hearts, bodies and minds of its inhabitants. Some view her as the return of Eve, some as a malignant curse. In either case, the village must confront this happening, and undergo its own transformation.
Over the course of the episode, we discuss the author’s violent expression of feminine autonomy, consider it in the context of the gothic, and examine the response of a staid patriarchal society to the concept of feminine desire.
The readings in this episode are by Gaja Hajdarowicz.
‘Armonía Somers’ Permeable Boundaries’ by Alexandra Fitts in Hispanófila, No. 137 (2003), pp. 101-114
‘Gótico y género: El viaje decapitado de "La mujer desnuda”’ by Nadina Olmedo in Letras Femeninas Vol. 36, No. 2 (I2010), pp. 215-227
Women's Voices from Latin America: Interviews with Six Contemporary Authors (Wayne State University Press, 1987) ed. Evelyn Picon Garfield