Embodiment: Fragments of Pregnancy
Original title: In carna. Fragments de grossesse
This is a book about the singular experience of pregnancy (an embodiment in multiple senses of the word), its ambivalences, and the various phases of the transformation, from the early days of silence and secrets to the climax of giving birth. A time when the body is both singular and plural. It is also the object of countless attempts at appropriation, whether cultural, social, religious, or political.
Few authors, male or female, have addressed this experience, despite it lying at the core of the existence of millions of human beings. It is hardly surprising that women, historically hindered in their access to writing and the status of writer, have had few opportunities to express themselves in literary form on this subject. And among men, it is only the realist or naturalist authors who have depicted the vicissitudes of pregnancy and childbirth.
Adopting a resolutely feminist approach, Caroline Hinault bears witness to one of the most universally shared experiences, which has paradoxically remained one of literature’s blind spots. She also describes the ongoing struggle for equal parenting and explores how women can conceptualize and reappropriate their biological singularity in order to better combat the exploitation and essentialization to which they are still so often subjected.
These emotional, sensitive, and very moving tales of pregnancy remind us that the body which we inhabit and through which we experience the world is a place that is as political as it is poetic, and that the mutations which it undergoes (not least pregnancy) deserve to be captured both in their singularity and collectively as a cultural reality at the intersection of many a power relation.