By René Prieto

Physique of Writing makes a speciality of the strains that an author’s “body” leaves on a piece of fiction. Drawing at the paintings of six very important Spanish American writers of the 20 th century, Ren? Prieto examines narratives that reflect—in differing but finally complementary ways—the imprint of the author’s physique, thereby disclosing insights approximately strength, aggression, transgression, and eroticism.Healthy, invalid, lustful, and restrained bodies—as portrayed via 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 via interpreting “the topography of a text,” Prieto can pay specific recognition to not the activities or plots of those writers’ fiction yet quite to their settings and characterizations. within the trust that physically lines left at the web page demonstrate the motivating strength in the back of a writer’s inventive act, he explores such fictional issues as camouflage, deterioration, defilement, entrapment, and subordination. alongside the way in which, 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 girls, and anal eroticism in men.This research of ways authors’ longings and fears turn into embodied in literature will curiosity scholars and students of literary and psychoanalytic feedback, gender reviews, and twentieth-century and Latin American literature.

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

Sample text

Julio Cortázar, quoted by Fernando Ainsa What makes Julio Cortázar’s short stories perplexing and disturbing at the same time? Why is it we grasp the gist of his plots but feel befuddled by the outcome of his stories, as if taking the train but letting slip its destination? Bewildered by characters who vomit rabbits, and tigers that prowl around country estates, are we conscious, when reading ‘‘Letter to a Young Lady in Paris’’ or ‘‘Bestiario,’’ of not getting to the heart of the dramas this resourceful author portrayed throughout his life?

At the conclusion of both stories, after long delaying their respective dislodgement, the heroes exit to their deaths, denying with their emergence, it would seem, everything I have been suggesting about the nature of their wishes. After all, am I not arguing that these stories dramatize a longing to stay safely within? Then, why isn’t this longing fulfilled in the fiction? Why do ‘‘Don’t Blame Anyone,’’ and ‘‘The Night Face Up’’ culminate with dying? What, in short, was Cortázar saying about spaces that are protective in all appearances, but threatening at the same time?

The repressed nature of this association allows us to glean how, for Cortázar, the level of the histoire is only an excuse to divert the expression of instinctual desires from their primitive form. The seedbed 28 Body of writing of his design is actually found at the level of the récit, and the stories we have studied take on their full meaning only when viewed from the perspective of primal trauma. It is from this perspective—and this perspective alone—that the significance of key motifs in his stories becomes clear.

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