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Alternative Paradoxes in Heartless

Alternative Paradoxes in Heartless

The Bound and Transcultural Catwoman in Nina Bunjevac’s “Bitter Tears of Zorka Petrovic”

(p.224) 15 Alternative Paradoxes in Heartless
The Canadian Alternative
Laura A. Pearson
University Press of Mississippi

At the heart of Nina Bunjevac’s 2012 comics collection Heartless is the catwoman Zorka, eponymous protagonist of the five-story sequence “Bitter Tears of Zorka Petrovic.” Reading “Bitter Tears” as tragicomic satire—poised between a comedy of errors and a tragedy of ideologically grounded ideals—this chapter looks to explore some of the “alternative tensions” that arise from Bunjevac’s humanimal enunciations, and to account for the powerful feelings of abjection that emerge from the text’s orientation in the grotesque. Zorka’s “catness” is both cage and key, drawing readers to her and inviting both counter- and transcultural readings that radiate outwards into the text.

Keywords:   Abjection, Biopolitics, Humanimal, Transcultural, Trauma

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