A cleaner in a gallery pursues her passion for art in a deceptively slim novel about the act of looking and being looked at
“I wanted to write about paintings, but I wasn’t seen as someone who could say something interesting about art” – thus we are introduced to the ambitions of Vitória, a poor cleaning woman at an art museum. Indelicacy is the story of her desire for subjectivity in a world that has only offered her subjection.
Indelicacy takes place in an unnamed city, in an unknown time; though we hear mention of candles and carriages, the novella’s events could be unfolding in the here and now. It has been called a work of feminist existentialism, but it also has an allegorical, fairytale quality. I found myself thinking of Angela Carter – not in form, but in feel.