Placental Rhetoric – Narrative Avant-Garde in Oriana Fallaci’s Letter to a Child Never Born

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The article examines the possibility of a new, interdisciplinary, neo-poststructuralist, interpretation of Oriana Fallaci’s novel Letter to a Child Never Born, based on the postulates of poststructuralist text theory and psychoanalytic feminism, expanded by the results of research in stylistics and metrics. The presence of a specific, metaphorically presented, so-called placental rhetoric, a pronounced phonic and tactile rhetoric through which the author erases the boundaries of the physical and psychological, reality and fiction, text and context, will be described following a critical reading of theoretical literature and a linguistic analysis of selected fragments of the novel. This unusual pre-Oedipal rhetoric, immersed in biological tissues and body fluids, presents itself as a heterogeneus cosmic water space, a space within which the female body speaks. The intimate communication between the mother and her unborn child, that is, the author and her unborn text, conveyed through an unusual quantitative and qualitative distribution of punctuation and prosodic elements, phonetic and morphological variation, and subversive narrative bricolage techniques, presents itself as a symbol of rhetorical freedom, a space freed from patriarchal authority, a space of plural, inclusive, and fluid, female and feminine, textuality within which the physical becomes metaphysical, corporality becomes graphology, and writing becomes the carnal materialization of the human voice.

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KOVAČEVIĆ, A. . (2023). Placental Rhetoric – Narrative Avant-Garde in Oriana Fallaci’s Letter to a Child Never Born. Anafora, 9(2), 333–347. Retrieved from