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By René Prieto

Physique of Writing specializes in the lines that an author’s “body” leaves on a piece of fiction. Drawing at the paintings of six vital Spanish American writers of the 20th century, Ren? Prieto examines narratives that reflect—in differing but finally complementary ways—the imprint of the author’s physique, thereby disclosing insights approximately energy, aggression, transgression, and eroticism.Healthy, invalid, lustful, and constrained bodies—as portrayed through Julio Cort?zar, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Gabriel Garc?a M?rquez, Severo Sarduy, Rosario Castellanos, and Tununa Mercado—become facts for Roland Barthes’s rivalry that works of fiction are “anagrams of the body.” Claiming that an author’s intentions might be exposed by way of interpreting “the topography of a text,” Prieto will pay specific recognition to not the activities or plots of those writers’ fiction yet really to their settings and characterizations. within the trust that physically lines left at the web page display the motivating strength in the back of a writer’s inventive act, he explores such fictional subject matters as camouflage, deterioration, defilement, entrapment, and subordination. alongside the best way, Prieto reaches unforeseen conclusions concerning subject matters that come with the connection of the feminine physique to energy, female and male transgressive impulses, and the relationship among aggression, the idealization of ladies, and anal eroticism in men.This research of the way authors’ longings and fears turn into embodied in literature will curiosity scholars and students of literary and psychoanalytic feedback, gender reports, and twentieth-century and Latin American literature.

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Extra resources for Body of Writing: Figuring Desire in Spanish American Literature

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The ending of this story is perplexing and hypnotic at the same time. Cortázar induces a state of high anxiety in his readers without clarifying a single thing about his hero’s behavior. For a start, what brings on the man’s stifling anguish? Is it being engulfed by the sweater, or being forced to leave behind its tightening grip? If getting out of the su√ocating embrace is the man’s goal, why does he return to the very space he struggled to leave behind? By attacking him and pulling the sweater over Cortázar’s perpetual exile 21 his neck, doesn’t it seem as if his own hand were compelling him to return?

By that I mean that if, by his own avowal, his writing was made up of obsessions stemming from within, the essence of Cortázar’s art was, plain and simple, personal experience transformed into fiction. This is far from apparent because the biographical elements that inform his work are not at all transcriptions of daily events (as they are for, let us say, the Mario Vargas Llosa who writes Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter), but are drawn from a part of himself that was well cloistered. The concealed elements were then recast into cunning scenarios that screened the sources that inspired them.

The same ambivalent longing for confining spaces and stifling darkness we find in ‘‘Don’t Blame Anyone’’ resurfaces in his masterful ‘‘Cuello de gatito negro’’ (‘‘Throat of a Black Kitten’’) eighteen years later. As Lucho—the hero of this story—makes love to a woman he has just met in the Paris Metro, the lighted bedside lamp falls to the floor with a thundering crash; the crash causes the woman to sit ‘‘bolt upright, terrified, refusing to succumb to darkness’’ (Octaedro, 159). After making love, however, the couple’s terror is temporarily abated as they lay within the ‘‘great womb of night’’ (161).

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