Read Marble Skin by Slavenka Drakulić Online


A sculptor carves a statue out of ice-cold, smooth, glittering marble and calls it "My Mother's Body." Her mother sees the sculpture, recognizes in it all the pain and frustration of their relationship over the years, and tries to take her own life. Forced together by this near tragedy, the daughter sits at her mother's bedside and relives her childhood years, confrontingA sculptor carves a statue out of ice-cold, smooth, glittering marble and calls it "My Mother's Body." Her mother sees the sculpture, recognizes in it all the pain and frustration of their relationship over the years, and tries to take her own life. Forced together by this near tragedy, the daughter sits at her mother's bedside and relives her childhood years, confronting the specter of sexual conflict that haunts their pasts. Remembering this remote and beautiful woman, she must also remember the man who invaded their lives long ago, who insinuated and seduced his way first into her mother's affections and then, unforgiveably, into her own.... Creating a scandal when it was first published in the former Yugoslavia, this provocative and immensely readable novel explodes one of the last taboos in our western culture - the image of the sexual mother. Marble Skin explores the darkest recesses of the female psyche and exposes the destructive power of sexual desire when forced to compete with the bonds of maternal love. A worthy successor to her previous novel Holograms of Fear, Marble Skin should guarantee Slavenka Drakulic her position as one of the most influential women writing in Europe today....

Title : Marble Skin
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780060976538
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 188 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Marble Skin Reviews

  • Lisa
    2019-01-21 08:19

    Sometimes I come home from work tense and worried, pick up a book, start reading, and it fills me with calm, joy, relaxation - escape.Sometimes, I sit down on a Saturday morning and start reading calmly and happily, only to be catapulted into an emotional storm that makes my heart pound and my hands shake while I keep reading on frenetically, compulsively, just to get over the dramatic feeling. "Marble skin", needless to say, is of the second category. To have a cathartic climax, I must write this book out of my head now, while it is still actively working on my mind. I might change my mind about it later.Like so many other books, I picked this one in a thrift store. And like others, it has left traces, or stains, of other readers. Just like when I read Sexing the Cherry, I share the copy of the novel with another, unknown person. But this one has not left annoying, distracting notes in the margins. This previous reader has put a fragile, old newspaper article with information on the author into the book, carefully attached with a paper clip. The yellowed page with a young Slavenka Drakulic on the cover dates from 5th September 1995 - it was a Tuesday! The book was a birthday gift from Pär for Kerstin - it was her 80th birthday. She will now be 101 years old, if she is still alive. The thought that an old man (the handwriting of the dedication tells me!) gave a female friend, turning 80, THIS novel, this intense, passionate, under-the-marble-skin-going story makes me shiver! That I can trace this book to a birthday 21 years ago - to a time when I still lived with my parents, but was about leave, to embark on adulthood - is thrilling and scary. For the book is all about travelling back in time, remembering the complex feelings between parent and child, mother and daughter, when the relationship slowly changes to become one between two grown-ups, who awkwardly remember the time when everything was still natural.This is one of the few books I actually read in my MOTHER tongue, as opposed to the English I use for work, or the German that has dominated in my everyday life since childhood. Out of all books I could choose to read in Swedish, I picked this one, fittingly concerned with questions of how mothers and daughters act towards each other. Reading in my mother tongue moves it closer to myself and my old memories!The main character is a sculptress, and she creates a cold marble sculpture of her estranged mother. This causes the mother to attempt suicide after seeing a newspaper article with a picture of the daughter's artwork (another reason why the newspaper clip inside my copy touched me!). Following this event, the ancient history between mother and daughter unfolds in flashbacks, revealing the pain of growing up with a mother who tries to clean herself and her daughter from the stain she considers womanhood to be. In an environment of guilt, pain, and shame, the daughter is sexually abused by her stepfather, and her mother refuses to acknowledge it. At one point, the detergent in a bucket is described in a hyper-realistic, yet symbolic way: the stains and traces of womanhood must be erased. But they stay, and are transformed into cold, hard stone: marble skin. In one scene, the daughter sees her mother's face, surrounded by snakes: this is a silent reference to Medusa, and the solution is clear: the Medusa-Mother figure has to look into a mirror (her lookalike daughter), to be banned into harmless stone!While turning the pages faster and faster, to get through the emotional reading experience, I thought of Jeanette Winterson's Written on the Body, which describes a similar idea of passion leaving traces on the body. It also closely relates to The Passion by the same author, describing passion as a place between fear and sex. When I reviewed As If I Am Not There, I thought I would not be able to feel more pain reading another of Drakulic' books, and calmly expected something between the horrifying war experience and the irony of Communist rule as experienced in A Guided Tour Through the Museum of Communism. To read a private story, of a mother and her daughter, and to fall so deeply into inner turmoil and pain, was beyond my imagination. Maybe it was partly because of the visual, tactile elements of the story, touching me because of my background in art history? Or because nobody is completely detached from childhood memories and the confusing ideas they conjure? Or because I was complacent and thought I could not be surprised, because I EXPECTED to be?In any case, this is a marble rock of a short novel, hard and polished, shiny and sharp. And I am happy to have been able to write it out of my body before dinner. A dark, red wine is called for, one that leaves stains on a white table cloth!

  • Orsodimondo
    2019-02-10 07:15

    I CINQUE SENSI DEL DOLORELa madre, la figlia, l’uomo che potrebbe essere compagno, e padre. Ma nessuno dei tre riesce a rispettare l’archetipo, a essere all’altezza del suo ruolo. La famiglia diventa un triangolo: lei, ancora lei, e lui; per poi diventare lei, lui e l’altra - ma anche madre, figlia, l’altro. A turno, c’è uno di troppo: ma poi si capisce, che ciascuno è di eccesso alla vita dell’altro/a.Il silenzio, di Ingmar Bergman, 1963Romanzo che esalta i cinque sensi: la vista attraverso la bellezza delle sculture e dei corpi, la sensualità delle curve - attraverso le porte semiaperte o semichiuse, attraverso le crepe dei muri, attraverso sguardi fissi, insistiti; il tatto attraverso il materiale delle sculture, legno, marmo, pietra - gesso e calce che si sgretolano - le mani che sfiorano, toccano, stringono; il gusto attraverso il sapore del sangue, della pelle, del sudore; l’udito attraverso il silenzio che esalta il fragore dei pensieri e del sangue che pulsa; e l’olfatto, perché l’odore della pelle, del sesso, del sangue, i profumi dei fiori, dei saponi, delle creme attraversano tutta l’opera.Il silenzio, di Ingmar Bergman, 1963Drakulić racconta una storia semplice e lineare, e al contempo molto complessa. Sembra prendere ispirazione dalla tragedia greca e riesce a essere perfettamente attuale. Il passato attraverso i flash back è concatenato al presente, sembra assente il filtro della memoria. Drakulić ci porta oltre: oltre i corpi, oltre le porte, attraverso gli specchi.Persona, di Ingmar Bergman, 1966Romanzo che esplora il rapporto madre-figlia in chiave erotica, romanzo molto bergmaniano, come si fa notare giustamentente nella prefazione, di bisbigli e gemiti, più che sussurri e grida, un dialogo a base di silenzio, basato sull’incomunicabilitàRomanzo molto femminile che mi ha profondamente emozionato.Giuseppe Penone: PM 13- Pelle di marmo-cervello, 2007PSIl romanzo si suppone sia stato scritto in croato, o serbo; ma questa traduzione viene dal francese. Tutti quelli che dicono che non si può giudicare una traduzione se non dopo aver letto l'originale, (e mi chiedo se abbiano mai tradotto veramente), mi raccomando, vadano prima a leggerselo in croato, o serbo.

  • Sandra Bašić
    2019-02-14 04:16

    To može samo Slavenka... iskazati emociju koja te preplavi i ne pušta... a tek ono što ne kaže - jednostavno savršeno!

  • Tonkica
    2019-01-23 06:08

    Stil pisanja mi je bio zamoran te mi je "ubilo" samu pricu. Zato niska ocjena. Tema je neiscrpna i dalo bi se o ovoj knjizi lijepo "posvadjati"! ;)

  • Ida Thomasdotter
    2019-01-29 05:53

    This is not a book, it's a stream of consciousness that envelops you, even after you've put it down it haunts you, and it should because it's a haunting, beautiful, terrible tale, told not so much in words but images that bleed together, there is no obvious structure, no square frame to keep the story in place, to keep you in place, in the story, there's just you and the pages and these two women, and they're not characters for you to observe, they're flesh and blood (under the marble skin) and you are one with both of them and they are one, and there's also the man somewhere in your peripheral, just a by-stander, this is not about the man although he plays an important part, he's just someone to see and touch and thus bring out the body, your body, so that you can understand it, and then he's gone, he's served his purpose, and all that's left is you, and the silence and the memories, and whatever comes next.

  • Praj
    2019-02-05 07:59

    Abused at the tender age of 14, by her stepfather the raconteur escapes her childhood home only to return when compelled by her mother’s attempted suicide over a marble statute; carved by the narrator herself. "Suddenly it happened. I thought I had already forgiven my mother for everything. I was at a private view when a woman friend asked me why all my sculptures of the female body seemed eaten away inside. Although the hollowness can't be seen, you feel it, somewhere, just beneath the marble skin. Yes, that's what she called it, the 'marble skin'."A compelling claustrophobic, uncanny tale of a young woman resisting her inner vulnerabilities while coming in terms with her abused past, sexuality and a deteriorated mother-daughter relationship. Drakulic’s extreme psychodrama weaves a web of sexual jealousy and complicated domestic relationships induced by incest.

  • Karenina
    2019-01-21 05:05

    In questo breve ma intenso romanzo viene sviscerato il difficile rapporto di una figlia con la propria madre, donna bellissima e dalla sensualità dirompente. Dall’infanzia trascorsa a sbirciare nella vita della madre senza mai riuscire a stabilire un vero contatto, orfana di padre, la protagonista del racconto percorre la vita cercando il mezzo per riuscire a toccare la pelle di marmo, l’impossibile confronto nell’assenza totale di dialogo. Nell’intreccio a tratti morboso la figura del compagno apparentemente conteso è in realtà funzionale alla presa di coscienza della propria individualità da contrapporre ad una figura ingombrante, che scatena sentimenti contrastanti. Un racconto di donne, di incomunicabilità, di amore malato.

  • Nance
    2019-01-28 03:02

    Pain seeps into every page of this wrenching story of childhood sexual abuse and a mother's blind self involvement.

  • Dixie
    2019-02-06 07:56

    A sculptor carves a statue out of ice-cold, marble calling it "My Mother's Body." Her mother tries to commit suicide after seeing it. The daughter / mother brought together due to this - of course daughter remembers childhood w/ beautiful, distance mom - the man who raped the daughter / mom refusing to listen and choosing him over the daughter. A lot of sexual references to the daughter and mom - ok read. The book caused a big uproar when written in former Yugoslavia (Author from).

  • Elizabetharonson
    2019-02-14 01:11


  • Meaghan
    2019-01-21 04:12

    i loved this's very oddly written and sometimes hard to keep in order when reading but i really liked the story and perspective

  • Josip Kovačić
    2019-02-03 08:05

    "uzbuđenje nije u gledanju, nego u odluci: kao da donijevši odluku, počinjem povezivati niti nekog novog, još nepoznatog života materije..."