La Condesa Sangrienta

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La Condesa Sangrienta uses convulsive beauty to convey the themes that run throughout Pizarnik’s work such as childhood and double identity. In using the very words in the fourth sentence of the work, Pizarnik challenges the reader to undermine and ultimately subvert the homogeneity of bourgeois culture. In La Condesa Sangrienta Pizarnik’s convulsive beauty is shown both in an aesthetic and sexual sense, whilst being inherently linked to politics and society through challenging traditional values. André Breton believed through convulsion one could unlock the ‘rich repertoire of imagery’ that can be found in the depths of a person’s unconscious. This is achieved through the form and content of La Condesa Sangrienta. Using lists and repetition…show more content…
Through her language and style she creates a piece that forces the reader into a state of extreme subjectivity, making them appreciate the beauty in something that society tells us is horrific. Throughout the piece Pizarnik uses lists and repetition, accumulating nouns, adjectives and condensed verbal phrases (Nicholson, 1999, 18). The repetition of instruments, ‘fuego, cuchillos, agujas atizadores’, ‘tijeras’, ‘cizallas’ and ‘navajas’, makes the menacing unfamiliar familiar and normalises. Similarly the same happens in when the narrator explains the torture methods. This constant repetition and quality of litany desensitises the reader, allowing them to entertain the idea that killing could become monotonous. The reader is able to look beyond the initial gruesome story line to find the beauty behind or within it. This use of repetition suggests limits of morality and ethics, suggesting that there is no right or wrong, but only desires. Although we do not necessarily understand the Countess’ desires, we begin to understand that desires cannot always be controlled and that we do not necessarily seek to control them. There is considerable repetition of ‘cadáver’ (Pizarnik, LCS, 3,7,8) is repeated considerably, creating a process of familiarisation and desensitisation allowing us to see the…show more content…
As the narrator begins to review Penrose’s book we are explicitly told that Penrose had successfully found the convulsive beauty in Erzebet. Although mentioning Bathory’s sexual perversion- “la pervesión sexual y la demencia” (Pizarnik, LCS, 2)-, the narrator does not pass judgement nor give us a definition of good and evil, beautiful and ugly (Nicholas, 1999, 7-8). “Penrose se desentiende de ellas” (Pizarnik, LCS, 2) emphasises that Penrose ignored these facts, inviting the reader to do the same. It does not seem necessary to define these words, as it is assumed that being part of our ‘enlightened’ society one knows the meanings of these words. This combined with the mention of convulsive beauty at the start challenges the reader to re-define these words themselves, pushing one into extreme subjectivity. This highlights the fact that La Condesa Sangrienta is very much a process, for the narrator as much as for the reader. One begins with society’s definition of good and evil, and ends questioning it and possibly even forming their own, or even questioning the notion of good and bad. The closing affirmation, “ninguna compasión por ella. Sólo un quedar en suspenso en el exceso del horror […] en donde todo es la imagen de una belleza inaceptable. […] ella es una prueba más de que la libertad absoluta de la criatura humana es horrible” (Pizarnik, LCS,

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