Body as globalized clothing: constructing body and corporeality in the novel Mango by Ljubica Arsić
The most recent novel by Serbian author Ljubica Arsić, Mango (2008), thematizes corporeality from the angle of urban life, femaleness and femininity, as well as consumerism, in the postmodern parodic key. Mango is the novel whose intertextual links go all the way to Virginia Woolf and John Updike, via Erica Jong and Margaret Atwood, including Almodovar’s movies and mass-media culture. Those links have been created by appropriation of the motifs and discourses, and are embedded in a multi-level textual construction. The result is a story that depicts the circumstances in which all the choices seem to be globalized merchandise, and emotions feel like cheap, ready-made “thoughts.” The main characters, three self-sufficient, emotional and intelligent women, have their own creative ways of dealing with the everyday life, while the story about them, by the palimpsest of the intertexts, additionally subverts the globalized consciousness of both readers and other characters.