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Authorship and Authority in the Novels of Rosario Castellanos

Grant, Catherine Ann (1991) Authorship and Authority in the Novels of Rosario Castellanos. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.


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The two Indigenlsta novels, Balun-Can&n (1957) and Oficio de tinieblas (1962), written by the Mexican author, Rosario Castellanos <1925-1974), deal in a unique way with the problems of gender, class and race in modern Mexico. It will be shown, in this thesis, that what some previous critics have considered to be the solidly 'progressive message' of Castellanos' novels - that women and indigenous communities might break down centuries- old patterns of oppression by gaining lasting access to authority and a sense of self-identity through writing - is undermined by the very discourses of authorship and authority which form her texts. In proposing to examine what these novels say about the concepts of authorship and authority and, more importantly, how they say it, the stage that has been reached by previous criticism of Castellanos' novels must first be addressed. Thus, Chapter 1 provides a review of such scholarship. This is followed by an outline of a new critical basis for the study of these texts which will be informed by ideas from contemporary literary theory. Chapter 2 examines some of Castellanos' non-fiction writing on the issues of language, authorship and identity, and its historical context, in order to establish the discourses which were available at the time. Chapters 3 and 4 consist of a sustained 'close reading' of the novels, analyzing their narrative structures, use of traditional novelistic devices, and how they are formed by prior discourses, such as state ideologies, class and race ideologies, and discourses of feminism and egalitarian politics. The purpose here is to discover how these novels are related to the culture within which they were written, by reading them as 'sites' where discursively-produced meanings from that culture, and beyond, converge and compete.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds) > Spanish & Portuguese (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.557320
Depositing User: Digitisation Studio Leeds
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2012 08:35
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 11:21
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2650

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