The gaze in reflection : a pilgrimage towards biography
The writing of a biography on the life of the cabaret artiste, who was also the wife of a celebrated caricaturist and artist, a socialite, devoted daughter and eventually a mother herself: Hilde Czapski, Hilde Gert, Hilde Simmel and Hilde Mecl, is the subject of this dissertation. A woman born in a country whose androcentric, racist and genocidal tendencies denied her not only a voice as a woman, dignity as a human being, but her very existence. Chapter 1 deals with aspects of truth and fiction and the position of the narrator within the genre of biography. Chapter 2 illustrates the reflective path followed by the writer to conceive a biography on her mother. Chapter 3 looks at the female gaze - upon herself, her world and those closest to her. Chapter 4 examines humour and its use as a defence mechanism. Chapter 5 describes the subject's life in her adoptive country, her untimely death, and the emergence of her vindication and immortalisation through biography that will celebrate her life.
- Humanities