Type of Document Dissertation Author Colon, Jennifer A. URN etd-11172003-045012 Title Mothers and Sons in Hispanic Short Fiction by Women: A Quarter Century of Erotic, Destructive Maternal Love Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Modern Languages, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Brenda L. Cappuccio Committee Chair Aimee Boutin Committee Member Barry S. Sapolsky Committee Member Delia Poey Committee Member Ernest Rehder Committee Member William Cloonan Committee Member Keywords
- Matricidal Mandate
Date of Defense 2003-08-18 Availability unrestricted AbstractMOTHERS AND SONS IN HISPANIC SHORT FICTION BY WOMEN:
A QUARTER CENTURY OF EROTIC, DESTRUCTIVE MATERNAL LOVE
Name: Jennifer A. Colón
Department: Modern Languages and Linguistics
Major Professor: Brenda Cappuccio
Term Degree Awarded: Fall, 2003
During the last quarter century, the traditional division of works in Spanish into Peninsular versus Latin American has become obsolete. In a global literary market, increasing attention should be paid to themes or tendencies within genres. These short stories - “Omar, amor” by Cristina Fernández Cubas, “Viaje” by Luisa Valenzuela, “Ayer” by Herminia Paz, “Historia de amor” by Cristina Peri Rossi, “Piel adentro” by Griselda de López, “Yokasta” by Liliana Heker, “Yocasta” by Alejandra Basualto, and “Yocasta confiesa” by Ángelina Muńiz-Huberman - are published between 1982 and 2000 and address the mother-son relationship in mythical contexts from the unique perspective of the mother, thus reversing the tendency to view them from the perspective of the emerging masculine identities.
Drawing on the feminist and psychoanalytic theories of Julia Kristeva, Adrienne Rich, Nancy Chodorow, Melanie Klein, and Donald Winnicott, this eclectic approach shows the role of the mother as it relates to rearing a son. It recognizes that the female’s development as an individual continues to unfold as she experiences the stages of motherhood which culminate not in the physical separation at birth, but in the emotional separation of the child as he enters adulthood and is reborn as a separate and distinct entity from the mother. Her role as the mirror has ended. The mother desires to maintain her mirror status with her son and struggles with the greatest incest taboo: that between mother and son. If he fails to comply with his innate matricidal drive, described by Kristeva, the dutiful mother kills him so that he may be reborn as an individual. Thus the mother witnesses and even provokes a cycle of birth-death-rebirth in her son.
This study explores the mother-son theme as written by both well-known and lesser-known women authors from a variety of countries. In fact, the chapters are organized by mythical theme rather than geographical origins of the authors. Chapter One is “Kali, the Mother Goddess,” Chapter Two is “Echo, Voice of Narcissus,” and Chapter Three is “Yocasta, Mother of Oedipus.” The chapters expose the previously ignored mother’s perspective of the son
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