Catalan Review

AQUÍ PARLEM ANGLÈS: PARODYING PARANOIA IN CARME RIERA’S L’ESTIU DE L’ANGLÈS

Catalan Review (2018), 32, (1), 101–116.

Abstract

While generally dismissed as light-hearted, Carme Riera’s L’estiu de l’anglès not only functions as satire to cross-dressing thrillers but also updates the thriller tropes with twenty-first-century ideology, consequently carrying more symbolic weight than was previously assigned to it. Noting the novel’s uncanny allusions to psychoanalytical paranoia, this article reads the protagonist’s deposition of the killing of her allegedly psychotic English tutor as a potentially paranoid delusion. Laura constructs the possible hallucination to reveal her original anxiety, her inability to master the English language and therefore climb the corporate ladder. Underlying the absurd nature of commodifying one’s humanity in an attempt to participate in the neoliberal market, L’estiu functions as a parody that simultaneously teeters on the verge of poking fun at the dire necessity for English, as well as justifying it.

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METHVIN, CAITLIN McCLELLAND