Hibernation
in The medium of Leonora Carrington
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While the prevailing trend in Carrington studies is around the dialogic and the collaborative, this chapter presents a case for creative solitude. It argues for nuance in the use of Carrington by focusing on two novelists. This chapter also takes a practical approach to the notion of fieldwork and eco-feminist research. Indeed, Carrington has much to offer current debates around the politics of balancing a creative practice with parenthood. The Canadian-Ukrainian writer and fashion designer, Heidi Sopinka (b.1971), recently published The Dictionary of Animal Languages (2018), a novel based on the Leonora Carrington narrative. Here, Carrington is reimagined as Ivory Frame, an animal painter turned biologist, now aged 92 and researching communication and ecology. Notions of creative solitude abound in this novel and chime with the Mexican, London-based writer Chloe Aridjis (b.1971), who similarly self-presents the benefits of introversion in her film with Josh Appignanesi, Female Human Animal (2018), as well as in her novelistic writing (2009, 2013, 2019). Carrington’s own notion of a “female human animal” (1970) is crucial to both writers, as such hybridity queries binary thinking.

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The medium of Leonora Carrington

A feminist haunting in the contemporary arts

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