Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Sub-Department

Spanish

First Advisor

Isis Sadek

Second Advisor

Jorge Camacho

Abstract

Postmodern writing opens up a unique textual space that allows for the revision of socio-political truths imposed by authoritarian regimes. In this thesis I discuss the instability of the spatialized dichotomies between history and fiction that are found both in certain historical figures in Argentina and in the provocative fiction of Manuel Puig's Boquitas pintadas (1969) and El beso de la mujer araña (1976). ). In doing so, I elucidate specific inversions of truth that explore and challenge the ill-effects in Argentine society produced by a long standing restrictive tradition of authoritarianism. I introduce the concept of truth in Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1974) and The History of Sexuality Volume 1: The Will to Knowledge (1976) in order to explain the way that power, centered around the body, dictates the production of truth. This definition of power as the underlying force that produces discourse supports my postcolonial argument that Puig's fiction opens a discussion that allows for the emergence of an interpretation of the historical reality of Argentina that revisits the truths produced by authoritarian regimes in relation to space. In this way, my analysis takes into account aspects that have been marginalized from other critical analyses of Manuel Puig's works.

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