ТHIRD SEX AND OLD ANIMALS IN LETTERS FROM NORWAY BY ISIDORA SEKULIĆ
Text topic: Human
Text author: Искра Вуксановић
In Letters from Norway, one of Isidora Sekulić’s greatest works, the author deliberates on the topic of old age in women. In Serbian literary criticism, only Bojana Stojanović Pantović and Kristina Stevanović perceived the gender aspect of the old age topic in Sekulić’s work. In this paper, the issue of old age of predominantly unmarried women is interpreted, by reading the second edition of Letters (published in 1951, whilst the first one was published in 1914). As a theoretical background I used Simone de Beauvoir’s The Coming of Age, I &II (published in 1970 and translated in 1986 into Serbo-Croatian). I also relied on gender-aware historians in reference to the position of women in the early twentieth century. Isidora Sekulić’s particular approach to the old age of women is deliberated: she focused on elderly unmarried women in Norway, pointing it out as a role-model, at the same time criticizing gender roles in Norwegian society and implicitly the status of the old unmarried woman within Serbian society. Sekulić introduced the term “third sex” in order to indicate the number and power of elderly unmarried women. The author also wrote about the old age of a dog, thus approaching the topic of ageing in a non-anthropocentric manner. Isidora Sekulić appealed for a more compassionate approach towards elderly women.