The novel theme is based on how a young woman with the name of Maite undertook a journey in search of the key to obtaining well-being. It develops in different places where she meets important people, some in search of the same key and others that contribute information and suggestions of procedures of how to manage to find it. Her anxiety about finding a simple way of obtaining well-being was the motive that prompted her to examine, to read, and to consult with learned ones on the matter. She realized that the key is composed of various fragments that are interrelated, and that to decipher them it was necessary to be able to find all the pieces that comprise it.
Me gustaba mucho ojearla. A veces me muestran el material y yo lo ordeno de manera que siga un hilo narrativo. XXXV 97 momento preciso. Me parece que tengo proyecto para rato con las instrucciones de Yoko Ono. Women Writers and Subjectivity in Spain, , Romantic literature, such as Rimas, "encourages the reader to confuse the writer as a person with the text-centered subject of writing or fiction — the lyrical T or the protagonist" The Romantic lyrical voice, therefore, becomes conflated with the voice of the author as an individual; thereby allowing for an interpretation that stems from the personal, and not the literary, elements of the text.
In his essay "Poesia. XXXV the creation and maintenance of a patriarchal ideological system.
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While women are represented in a variety of ways throughout Rimas, I will focus on what I see as the dehumanization of the female figure in several of the poems. As Luce Irigarary states in The Sex Which Is Not One, the cre- ation of feminine imagery within literature has been the result of a univocally masculine voice: An examination of the masculine imaginary found in Rimas uncovers a series of depictions of women as inhuman characters.
Such a portrayal reflects the cultural and politicai realities of nineteenth-century Spain in which women were classified as inferior subjects who lacked qualities ascribed to the male gender. Rimas, published as a book for the first time in , was written during a historical moment in Spain when women had no politicai or social power. It classifies women as lesser beings, that is, beings not qualified to hold the same rights as men because they do not possess equal intellectual capacities.
Politically, the subordina- tion of women did not allow for them to be classified as citizens in nineteenth-century Spain, and with the exception of the years of the Second Republic , women were not considered formal citizens of Spain until , after the end of the Franco dictatorship.
This politicai classification authorized gender stratification: Therefore, under law, women were not only denied many of the rights given to men, they were not recognized as being citizens. Women were not considered among the humans that constituted the nation under Spanish law. The politics of the epoch point directly to the ideology of the masculine hegemony which understood and defined women as beings that were not only inferior to men, but a deficient form of a human being.
It highlights the dominant mentality regarding gender during the nineteenth century: XXXV less than human and inherently inferior together with the glorification of the mascuUne intellect justified the social and politicai stratification of the genders within nineteenth-century Spain. Neither the liberais nor the Romantics included in their program of cultural change a questioning of gender inequality; rather, as Kirkpatrick has suggested, "they preserved traditional gender hierarchy as carefully as they did the hierarchy of class" According to her, within this hierarchy, women were considered both mentally and physically deficient; the belief that women were intellectually inferior translated to the depre- ciation of their physical form: The fact that women were not considered independent subjects, but rather a degraded form of the male subject, created a space within Spanish culture in which the literary imagery of women included the depiction of women as less than, or something other than, human.
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Por eso la escribe. On the other hand, ideas and intelligence are exclusively part of the masculine realm, they are an inherent part of the masculine nature, and they reside in the souls of men. Such a gender based dis- tinction reduces women to their physicality, their bodies, and denles them the role of an active, creative, subject.
It also reinforces the notion of the incompleteness of the female form; they possess a natural beauty that may be pleasing to men, but they are not equal to men: In an analysis of nineteenth-century poetry, it is therefore important to consider how the literary ideal of women as the inspiration for poetry is part of an ideology that subordinares women and labels them as incomplete human beings. In "Rima XI," the realistic images of women that possess human characteristics are contrasted with the image of the ideal woman as created by the masculine poetic voice: He, in turn, creares his own image of a woman who lacks all essential human characteristics, but who is presented as the expression of ideal femininity.
The idealized muse is devoid of any humanizing qualities; she lacks physicai form and emotion and appeals to the poetic voice by the very impossibility of her existence. He defines femininity as something that exists exclusively within the male mind and imagination. The implications of the creator-created dichotomy reject the possibility of autonomous feminine figure and reinforce the idea of inherent male dominance. Irigaray points to how the common utilization of this metaphor throughout Western literature and thought has served to negate the possibility of an independem feminine identity: More often than not, these women, or rather this female identity, still apparently originates in man.
As our tradition dictates, man originates from God, and woman from man. As long as the female generic- woman- is not determined as such, this will be true.imskysmondknowal.ga/mobile-devices/
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Women wiil remain men's or Man's creatures. The dehumanized figure is indeed the most attrac- tive to the mascuHne voice because it expficitly marks the difference between men and women: The woman created by the writer is superior to any human woman in that she is worthy of the man she loves. Women of the "earth" are degradations of the ideahzed feminine form; beings who are incapable of pleasing the masculine figure. As in "Rima XI" and "Los ojos verdes," the image of the woman in "Rima XV" that drives the love of the masculine voice is transparent, fleeting, mysterious, and intangible: She is described through the use of metaphors of nature; while she is not an earthly woman, she possesses the qualities of the elements of nature that are impossible to capture by humans.
Although it is clearly possible that personal events affected his literary creation, his personal experience should not overshadow how his portrayal of women is implicated in the hegemonic system of gender relations. While in the first set of Rimas the female figure is dehuman- ized by the image of a woman as a creation of the male mind, in the third and fourth series, she is depicted as a body without a conscience.
The women of these poems are composed of their exteriors; while the idealized woman from "Rima XI" is incorporeal and devoid of form, the women in the later poems are bodies without intelligence, emotion, or spirit. The woman has been reduced to a shell, an exterior, whose function Ues solely in creat- ing pleasure for men.
She is categorized as an aesthetically pleasing object; she is beauty and nothing more. The image of the heart, the part of the body most closely related to Ufe, which has been grotesquely degenerated, is the central metaphor used in creating a woman who is physically and emotionally deficient.
The female figure that results is a Hterary exaggeration of the cuhural understanding of women as inferior forms of the male model of humanity. According to Irigaray, a patriarchal society in which women are "equated with something other than human and spfit between the human and the inhuman half- woman, half animal " denles women an autonomous identity and reinforces their oppression Sexes The metaphor of the degraded heart that appears in the previous poem, as well as several others, defines the woman as a being that holds a human form, but that cannot function as a complete human being.
The feminine figure depicted here is defined by her lack of humanity; she is so degraded that she is biologically incapable of feeling emotion. XXXV The degradation of the feminine figure is extended to the point where the feminine body is described as a machine; her body is not described solely by the lack of human functionality; rather, she is something else that is in no way human. The woman presented mimics the human form, but is not a complete human being. Contrary to the idealized muses that promise to bring the mascu- hne figure closer to the divine, the degraded forms of the later poems threaten to cause suffering and pain for the mascuHne voice.
Mandrell discusses the impHcations of the creation of the anti-muse: As for the portrait of woman that emerges, ali of the nega- tive attributes associated with women in the nineteenth century come to mind: Sexist literary tropes are therefore translated into traits that are placed upon human women. As Mandrell proposes, I believe that the discussions regarding the texts must also be analyzed as perpetuators of a patri- archal and sexist ideology.
I believe that Woolsey 's closing paragraph exempli- fies the way in which criticism of the work that does not take into HALEYO'NEIL account the ideologies it represents, in turn, becomes a part of them. For Woolsey, there is a universal desire among men for a woman, a desire that comes from the depths of a man, from his soul. The woman that is the universal object of desire creates pain for ali men in that she can never be.
For Woolsey, men are the group, the power, and women are the other.
As in the poem, this analysis assumes that true femininity is possible only within the realm of the collective mascuiine imagination. Within this framework the only woman that is worthy of praise and desire is the one that is created by the male mind and the suffering that her impossibility brings becomes the inspiration for artistic creation. Eso era lo que Gustavo Adolfo esperaba encontrar en el amor de su esposa. Cubero Sanz explicitly translates this degradation as part of the inability of women to be truly feminine and please men in the correct way.
In both cases, women are culpable of disappointing the man and causing his suf- fering because they are unable to possess the qualities that define femininity within the masculine imaginary. During the nineteenth century, women were seen as biologically inferior to men, leading to their oppression in ali aspects of life. The belief system in which women are understood as degraded forms of men creates a space in the masculine imaginary where the image of women is equated with an incomplete human form.
Representations such as these constitute a system of oppression in that they justify the notion of male superiority and dominance over the inferior form that is the woman. Although Rimas was published over a century ago, the assumptions regarding gender in the text are still a part of our cultural knowledge. In order to break down the sexist ideologies that these assumptions consti- tute, we must analyze the implications of the representations of women within literary texts.
Cartas literarias a una mujer. Rimas, leyendas y narraciones. State U of New York P, Enders and Radcliff Women Writers and Subjectivity in Spain, U of California P, Desnudos, sin canoas ni hamacas, el problema central de la vida nambiquara era el alimento. El aeronauta Alberto Santos-Dumont fue inicialmente un defensor apasionado del internacionalismo del aeroplano. Mejoran los aparatos, que aumentan en dimensiones y algunos son hechos de acero. Santos-Dumont se enorgullece que un aeroplano alcance la altura de 26, pies y se mantenga en el aire durante 24 horas y 12 minutos.
Es el instrumento privilegiado de la movilidad: XXXV 1 13 Por meio do aeroplano, estamos hoje habilitados a viajar com velocidade superior a milhas por hora. Montanhas, florestas, rios e mares entravam o seu progresso. Sus previsiones fueron acertadas: En tales historias, los nombres tienden a ser de aviadores norteamericanos y europeos. En las diferentes escalas, se repite la escena de la bienvenida: Quiere festejar, ser parte y testigo de la historia.
Franco describe la entrada en Montevideo de "apoteosis monumental" En palabras de Franco y Ruiz de Alda: En Hanoi tuvo problemas: El ejemplo de Uruguay sigue el de Argentina, siempre a menor escala. Meregalli Eran 52, kms.
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El relato de los tres tripulantes resume el dramatismo: XXXV a gritar. El ejemplo de Bonilla es ilustrativo al respecto. Viviendo en Monte- video, se inspira en los vuelos parisinos de Santos Dumont y nortea- mericanos de los hermanos Wright. El primer aparato que construye y prueba se llama "Uruguay I". Bonilla aprovechaba todos los momentos libres para reunir los accesorios necesarios: Lleva a cabo el primer vuelo nocturno en Uruguay y Enrique Delfino compone el tango-milonga "Bonilla" en su homenaje. Era una figura localmente muy conocida cuando en se accidenta y abandona los vuelos.
De Palos al Plata. Jorge Newbery, el conquistador del espado. Sacadura Cabral, homem e aviador. O que eu vi. Tribunal de Contas do Estado da Guanabara, La victoria de las alas: First, it recapitulates and borrows from nearly all literatures of its own time. Second, it reworks these literatures into something entirely new that strikes even contemporary readers as remarkably modern.
Third, the resulting novel is a nearly omnipresent subtext in the canon of Spanish if not world literature from on. In each novel, literature allows for the protagonist's posterity, offers him or her a necessary escape from "real" life, provides a model for behavior, and inspires serious discussions of literary theory and criticism. Before embarking upon this argument, a few caveats and clari- fications may be necessary.
XXXV far-reaching influence, uses the figure of Don Quixote as a springboard for the development of her own character. The telephone rings and a man's voice informs her that she has scheduled an interview at that time. Throughout, the narrator simply calis this man "el hombre de negro" or "el hombre vestido de negro.
All the while a storm rages outside. In fact, at various moments through the night, the narra- tor mentions several works by Cervantes including La Gitanilla 37, , , the Entremeses [66 , and the Quixote itself Among the many works that interest her, Martin Gaite professes a great admiration for the Quixote. XXXV olvidar" "Charlar" As we will see, her metaphor between listening and reading is particularly poignant because of the strong association in El cuarto between speaking and writing.
Don Quixote considers participating in the literature of chivalry as an author before he changes his mind and sets out to live the life of a character instead. I, 2, 42 His thoughts tell us that Don Quixote, having only recently assumed such a moniker, is already quite conscious of the importance of his lasting reputation. He knows that the way in which he will be remem- bered depends on how a narrator tells his story.
Of course, the irony lies in that the tone the real-world narrator of Don Quixote employs is far from the respectful and admiring one that Don Quixote imagines Johnson Their conversation further clarifies the importance that Don Quixote attributes to literature in creating his legacy, as the protagonist expresses deep concern about his reputa- tion. II, 3, Don Quixote's reputation as a knight is of supreme importance to him. In these concerns, as in his fan- tasized narration of his first sally, Don Quixote shows himself to be extremely conscious of the weight of the written word.
As we readers can see, literature does in fact solidify the character's reputation as it has for the fictional and historical knights he admires. Don Quixote would likely be dismayed to know that his reputation as a madman, though it endears him to fictional and real readers alike, supersedes his legacy as a valiant knight. She must write these memories down in order to preserve them XXXV word carries the weight not just of her reputation, but of her own life experience. That is, she worries that if she does not both speak about her memories and turn that conversation into hterature, she will lose the experiences themselves.
Of the conversations with the man in black, Stephanie Sieburth notes, "C. Therefore, writing is the only way to save these memories from a death simultaneous to that of the author. As her visitor notes, "la conozco por lo que escribe. In fact, he knows her well enough from reading her publications to have become her ideal reader. He seems to intuit her need to commit her memories to paper, which, in the case of this particular magicai night, happens naturally as the two characters converse. The danger of this phenomenon, of course, is that C.
How exactly this process works is unclear. This phenomenon, difficult as it may be to explain rationally, also finds resonance in another Cervantine work: The second novella is the transcript of the conversation, which regards the life stories of the animais and a debate of theoretical literary questions. What we do know is that C.
These memories depict C. She is yet another example of characters for whom, in the words of CarroU B. She and Don Quixote both use literature as an escape from their real lives. In examining this phenomenon it is necessary to ask 1 from what does the protagonist need an outlet? Throughout nearly all of Don Quixote, the protagonist confronts the material world around him in terms of escapist literary models. He seems to use diversionary literature to distract bis attention from his biand day-to-day existence, if not for a deeper darker reason.
The narrator is able to sum up Don Quixote's pre-sally life in just a few Unes. In short, "His lifestyle, described on the memorable opening page, conforms to that of a familiar type, associated with threadbare frugality, hunting, the relies of honour- able ancestry, parochial seclusion" Glose 1. Due to his overwhelming interest in books, Don Quixote buys "todos cuantos pudo haber dellos" I, 1, Don Quixote 's relationship with literature diverges, for example, from that of Don Diego de Miranda, who exhibits a life in perfect accord with the established norms of his social class and position II, Don Diego has a wife and children and spends the bulk of his time hunting and fishing, not reading.
He also has a library, but he keeps his books strictly arranged according to language and theme, and doesn't spend excessive amounts of time or money on them. Of particular note, the books of chivalry that so occupy Don Quixote's time and mind have not yet, Don Diego states, "entrado por los umbrales de mis puertas" II, 16, In stark contrast to Don Diego 's mesura, Don Quixote is so taken by his books of chivalry that he sells off most of his possessions in order to feed his addiction, and ultimately decides to imitate their model.
Several hundred years later, C. Her social deviancy lies in her rejection of the image of the orderly and restrained woman prometed by the official doctrine. Reading or re-reading Don Quixote in light of the politicai and cultural climate of El cuarto illuminates possible reasons behind Don Quixote's literary obsession. These assertions all hold up well when we examine the text of El cuarto. Of all that C. From her delight in disorder, we gather that C. However, because she lives within the dictatorship for the majority of her life, her rebellion must be within closed doors.
Due to her surroundings, C. She thinks about her potential escape only "a solas y a escondidas," and explains to her visitor that books are akin to traveling because they allow her to lea ve the unwanted and uninteresting behind Thus, she manages to set US a dual existence, secretly maintaining what Sieburth calis the "reading, escape, madness" of the Republic within Franco's imposed "activity, sanity" In fact, like Don Quixote, C.
XXXV refugio," like the back room itself, protection from such unpleasant- ness as "el frio" and "los bombardeos" At various moments in her life, C. Her friend needed literature more than she, because "lo pasaba peor" , an observation that demonstrates that literature was indeed a response to and salve for suffering.
In him, her secret and imaginary love life seems to be taking on a solid form, perhaps suggesting that with the transition to democracy in full swing, she can finally begin to live an enjoyable and fulfilling life. Alternatively, perhaps he is simply another imaginary lover like those of her girlhood. He is simultaneously a role model for escapism and a national symbol: They have fulfilled Cs fantasy, have escaped their reali- ties according to their "alto ideal" and because of "locura noble.
The figures whose paths she does follow come from a variety of other genres. This trait has been well documented with regards to Don Quixote. In short, he builds his entire plan upon the scaffolding established by chivalric literature. Don Quixote also resists doing anything that he has not already read about in his books.
During the famous incident with the windmills, Don Quixote tells Sancho that he does not complain about his pain because "no es dado a los caballeros andantes quejarse de herida alguna, aunque se le salgan las tripas por ella," a rule that Sancho hopes does not apply to squires as well I, 8, These few examples are representative of the constant effort by Don Quixote to keep his behavior in line with that of the fictional knights after whom his entire plan is modeled.
When her visitor hands C. As noted by Sieburth, the novelas rosa are the most present of named intertexts. This genre is effective in C. The novelas rosa also provide particularly effective literary models because they follow set patterns. On the night nar- rated in El cuarto, the bet C. If chivalric literature is all about fighting and romance, novelas rosa are all about passion and physical attraction.
For instance, shortly after the man in black arrives, he asks whether C. Suddenly, the narrator jumps to the text of a romance novel: Unlike Don Quixote, C. Further, not only does C. The literature that inhabits C. She also decorares her room based on what she sees in the same magazine.
As an adult, C. Along with magazines, films present paradigms of behavior for C. In fact, the young C. In another cinematic imitation, C. First, having seen the films as a child she chooses to copy their slapstick humor. Then, having imitated Buster Keaton's movements consciously, years later she relates an accidental fall to her own imitations of the film star's planned but fictional falls. In a third example of the influence of film, C.
As Don Quixote 's interest in popular chivalric literature aligns him with characters in the novel, such as those in Palomeque's Inn I, 32 , as well as to contemporary readers of the Quixote, the mention of collecting movie stars' chromes builds a bridge between C. As a consequence, three "people" in El cuarto are placed on a similar playing field: Here she sees not herself, but the space around her in terms of movies.
Meanwhile, other characters in El cuarto accept the imitation of literary figures, but opine that C. For instance, Cs mother would also have liked to be allowed to "leer y jugar a juegos de chicos" and even "estudiar una carrera, como sus dos hermanos varones" Despite these dreams, however, Cs mother directs her daughter away from a literary or other Professional careen Her mother presents C.
This book tells the story of a girl who makes a mistake in studying for a Professional careen She chooses the right path in the end, though, falling in love with her professor and marrying him instead of pursu- ing her own careen Ultimately her story is meant to model for C. The Byzantine romances of the Early Modern era presented alternative, more productive and contem- porary models that Don Quixote could follow rather than aspiring to be an outdated knight errant.
In practice, much of the novel's discussion about pastoral, Byzan- tine, and chivalric literature has less to do with madness and more to do with pressing themes of literary theory. Throughout both volumes of Don Quixote, the play on autho- rial voices allows the narrator to criticize or praise what the various "authors" and "translator" have included or omitted. In a final example of the blurred line between Poetry and History, because of her belief in the importance of complexity, C.
In a final literary critique, when C. Que no sepa si lo que cuenta lo ha vivido o no, que no lo sepa usted misma. The theoreti- cal discussion that ensues about the importance of a title reads much like a conversation Don Quixote and Sancho could have had along the road. Of course, all of C. In the end, although C. Whereas Don Quixote hopes to return to a social order based on chivalry, C. Unfortunately, in the end Don Quixote's defeat and death signal the impossibility of his dream, the victory of social pressure to conform over individual creativity and quirkiness.
Perhaps in protest, she writes quite a different end for C, who awakes in her apartment and maintains her belief that fantasy and chaos are superior to order and reality. XXXV Notes 1. Incidentally, Don Quixote himself is not the only character to do so. In the end, the protagonist decides to follow the life of a literary pastor, and finally, an exemplary Christian perhaps equally fictionalized.
Don Quixote recreates other literary models as well, including pastoral, picaresque, and Byzantine romance See Johnson, Chapter 6. Of course, we should also remember that there are critics who argue that C. Works Cited Baker, Edward. Don Quixote's Entertaining Books. Bulletin of the Cervantes Society of America Brown, Joan Lipman and Elaine M.
Metafic- tion and the Actualization of Literary Theory. Revista de estudios literarios. Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de.
Don Quixote de la Mancha. Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes. Cam- bridge UP, The Quest for Modem Fiction.
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Inventing High and Low: Duke University Press, During this visit, Mester had the pleasure to interview the pioneer and the leading figure in the study of cultural studies in a Spanish context. She specializes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Spanish culture with a particular interest in popular culture and gender studies. Her recent publications include ed. Constructing Identity in Contem- porary Spain: The Struggle for Moder- nity. In this interview, she discusses her career trajectory, her current and future research projects, as well as some of her insights on Span- ish Cultural History.
We are interested in learning more about your profes- sional trajectory. You started by focusing on the nineteenth-, later moving to twentieth-century Spanish literature, where you began studying the post-Franco era, and then went back to the s and '50s.
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What specifically influenced these choices? I don't think that my trajectory was so tidy, actu- ally. The first work I published was about fiction of the late Franco period. At the time I started in the academy in the VOs, that was contemporary. I've been around for some time. Actually, I have always taught both the twentieth and nineteenth century. It's a bit hard to say why my research moved from the late Franco period to the nineteenth century. I think it was probably because of some wonderful work written on the nineteenth century by feminist critics in the States, Britain, and also Latin America, starting in the VOs and '80s.
I found this work very interesting and kept thinking about these ideas in relation to the Spanish novel. Perhaps it was unconscious but I think this is how I became interested in the nineteenth century. I was lucky enough to get a really nice research fellowship, which paid for me to be free from teaching for two years. I was able to conduct historical research, doing archival work in Spain that I could have not done without having that amount of time.
I think that this is what got me away from just doing textual studies. The minute that you get into archives, you get hooked and you realize that your material relates to ali the pubiic debates of the time and you start to understand its significance for contempo- rary readers. You need to be familiar with the pubiic debates going on at the time in the press, and the kind of books that were coming out; also, what kind of intellectual figures were read and the politi- cai theorists, for example, that were circulating in Spain at that time.
Then you notice a common fund of images that keeps surfacing in ali these different texts. It was a luxury to have two years off, which changed the way I was working. This time off was, in fact, to do a book on s cinema, which I haven't yet finished because I have obtained other awards for sub- sequent projects. Now I have a big backlog, which I have to clear. Although I had the fellowship to write the book on s cinema, I spent most of the time researching and writing the book that became Gender and Modernization in the Spanish Realist Novel ' because I found such interesting stuff in the archives.
The funding body, the Brit- ish Academy, was actually very nice when I confessed at the end, when I had to write my report, that I had used the time not only to research s cinema but also to complete the nineteenth-century book; they said they were delighted to have funded two books instead of one. XXXV Tve always been interested in the early Franco period, particularly the '40s — less so the '50s. But we chose for the oral history project to look at the '50s too because we thought it would be good to have two decades during which there was massive change: So just doing the '40s was going to be less interesting.
But I still feel incredibly moved by the politicai and economic hardship that people had to deal with in the s. Also, I feel that the way that early Francoism has been talked about in Spain often produces a simplified picture — although there has been some wonderful work done here by historians. There tends to be a belief that there was a monolithic thing called Francoism which dominated ali culture produced at the time.
I was interested in trying to pull out some of the cultural complexity and get away from the idea that a particular regime, no matter how brutal it is, can control everything that is going on. Fm convinced that Spanish readers and spectators — Fm sure that was the case too in Latin America under dictatorship — were incredibly sophisticated because they had to learn to decode everything since they knew it was censored.
Even if they were not sure that it was censored, they would often decode and read things into the text that perhaps were not there. Whereas in a democratic country, people tend to take everything at face value and not question what they read and see. Also, there seems to be a shift in your work from a more gen- der-driven study to the recent focus on identity politics. Could you comment more about this? Gender carne into my work with the Gender and Modernization book, which I was researching in the mid '90s, and that was published in the year It's interesting now to think about how it happened that Gender Studies started off within a psychoanalytic framework, and I don't have an answer to that; it seems that it reflected what was going on at the time.
I found that I was getting less interested in the psychoanalytically- oriented criticism because it often operated in a historical vacuum, which really worries me. In this context, I should say that I am not too keen on the phrase "Cultural Studies" but I have become associ- ated with it because of the Cultural Studies book that I did with Helen Graham- — and I could have not done it without her as a historian.
I prefer the term "Cultural History" because I believe historical context is really important and I feel that archival research, even when work- ing on the contemporary period, is hugely enriching though of course not ali projects need it. It was looking at historical debates outside of the texts I was studying, and that also took me outside of the psycho- analytically-driven Feminist Criticism of the time.
I came to feel that gender was part of a whole lot of other things that were going on. This was at least partly recognized when Feminist Studies broadened to become Gender Studies. But it was necessary to start by looking at women because they had been ignored; it was only after having filled that gap that we could go back and look at the bigger picture. The essentialism involved here is problematic, though there is such a thing as a strategic use of essentialism, which can be valuable, as has been argued in the Social Sciences.
That is, it can be strategically useful to argue that you are part of a bigger group, which has some kind of monolithic or tidy identity, because that allows you to put your claims forward in the politicai arena. However, it needs recognizing that this is a strategic move, and it is not a move that I am personally interested in mak- ing.
I am much more interested in a fluid concept of identity that is unstable and in every respect strategic, because in everyday life you adapt according to the particular circumstances and choose from the available repertoire of ways of behaving, depending on what posi- tion you are in at any given time. In this respect it is interesting to recount something that happened during the European-wide project "Europe: XXXV months into the project, the research team decided to abandon the word "identity" and to replace it with the word "identification.
I really like that term and it aiso helps to use it in the plural: I am interested in inter-subjectivity and how that operates at the levei of everyday life. I think this is a much broader arena than an originally psychoanalyticaliy-oriented feminist frame.
You not only have a great time work- ing together as part of a research team, but it's intellectually very stimulating working with people coming from different countries. So the moral of the story is that networking leads to ali sorts of opportunities, which are unpredict- able, and one's work develops in unanticipated ways if one says "yes" to the opportunities that come from making new contacts. Given that you are the pioneer of Spanish Cultural Studies, we are curious to know the direction of your current research in the field?
But if you say you do Cultural History, people often think that you are a historian working for a History Department and that you are doing empirical work finding facts, rather than doing cultural readings. Whereas I would define Cultural Studies as being the analysis of culture as a system or process. I don't think Cultural Stud- ies is defined by one's object of study, but by using a certain kind of methodology that sets particular cultural products in a wider cultural system. The central subject is based on like a young called woman Maite, undertook a journey in search of the key to reach well-being.
It is developed in different places in which she meets important personages that were in search of the same clue and others that contributed with information and suggestions, on ways to find it. Her restlessness to find a simple formula to obtain well-being was the main reason that prompted her to research, to read, and to consult with well-read beings in the matter.
Related La Ley Universal de La Atracción Y La Travesía de Maite (Spanish Edition)
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