Recurring Themes and Techniques in Adelaida Garcia Morales' Narrative. - Hispanofila

Recurring Themes and Techniques in Adelaida Garcia Morales' Narrative.

By Hispanofila

  • Release Date - Published: 2007-09-01
  • Book Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
  • Author: Hispanofila
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Recurring Themes and Techniques in Adelaida Garcia Morales' Narrative. Hispanofila read online review & book description:

ADELAIDA Garcia Morales published her first short novels, El Sur and Bene, in 1985. Because Victor Erice's acclaimed film El Sur, based on Garcia Morales' novel, predated the novel's publication, the novel enjoyed almost an immediate success, and many critics turned their attention not only to El Sur and Bene, but also to Morales' next publication, El silencio de las sirenas, which also appeared in 1985, and which earned the author the prestigious Premio Herralde de novela. (1) As many flaps of Morales' books repeat, she is "una de las novelistas espanolas mas reconocidas, tanto en Espana como en el plano internacional, gracias a las muchas traducciones que se han hecho de sus obras." (2) In spite of her popularity both in Spain and abroad, and in spite of the numerous articles that her early works inspired, her later narrative has not yet launched much (needed) critical response. With their "natural" yet lyric style, their short length, and their Gothic suspense, Morales' works appeal to any reader; however, most include an exceptional array of elements stemming from different traditions and carefully interwoven so as to create a postmodern work. El silencio de las sirenas is a perfect example of such an interpenetration of elements: in it, the past intersects with the present, the oneiric-hypnotic with the daily, fiction with metafiction; a supernatural world coexists with the natural world.3 The Chinese box that Elsa leaves Maria, in itself a symbol of self-reflexivity, echoes the similarities between the two women and their complementary character since, as Mercedes Mazquiran notes, Elsa is in fact Maria's alter ego (478). This complemental function is as well stressed by Coro Malaxecheverria, who sees in the female threesome formed by Maria, Elsa, and the elderly Matilde a representation of "los tres elementos o cabezas que forman el monstruo (i.e. the siren)" (44). Birute Ciplijauskaite sees some striking parallels between Elsa's love story with Agustin Valdes and those love stories encountered in Early Spanish sentimental romance and in German nineteenth-century Liebestod, traditions which Morales subverts and mirrors. As the novel nears and distances from these and other traditions, it nears and distances from itself, achieving a self-parodying effect, (4) which is characteristic of postmodern fiction. It is precisely this overlapping of elements found in Morales' novels that has led different scholars to label her narrative in disparate ways or to underscore several aspects. Thus, in her La novela femenina contemporanea Ciplijauskaite considers Morales' three inaugural works as part of a lyric modality of feminine first-person narrative which she calls "escritura rebelde" (165-166, 195-199), while Elizabeth Ordonez highlights their debt to fantastic literature as described by Tzvetan Todorov (Writing Ambiguity 259), and Mazquiran believes they conform to Patricia Waugh's definition of "metafictional novels" (478). Likewise, many of Morales' works neatly fit into what Ricardo Gullon calls "novela lirica." (5)

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