La Malinche in Mexican Literature

La Malinche in Mexican Literature : From History to Myth

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Description

Of all the historical characters known from the time of the Spanish conquest of the New World, none has proved more pervasive or controversial than that of the Indian interpreter, guide, mistress, and confidante of Hernan Cortes, Dona Marina-La Malinche-Malintzin. The mother of Cortes's son, she becomes not only the mother of the mestizo but also the Mexican Eve, the symbol of national betrayal.



Very little documented evidence is available about Dona Marina. This is the first serious study tracing La Malinche in texts from the conquest period to the present day. It is also the first study to delineate the transformation of this historical figure into a literary sign with multiple manifestations.



Cypess includes such seldom analyzed texts as Ireneo Paz's Amor y suplicio and Dona Marina, as well as new readings of well-known texts like Octavio Paz's El laberinto de la soledad. Using a feminist perspective, she convincingly demonstrates how the literary depiction and presentation of La Malinche is tied to the political agenda of the moment. She also shows how the symbol of La Malinche has changed over time through the impact of sociopolitical events on the literary expression.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 14.73mm | 635g
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • English
  • 4 b&w illus.
  • 0292751346
  • 9780292751347
  • 1,521,907

Back cover copy

Of all the historical characters known from the time of the Spanish conquest of the New World, none has proved more pervasive or controversial than that of the Indian interpreter, guide, mistress, and confidante of Hernan Cortes, Dona Marina - La Malinche - Malintzin. An Amerindian woman who was given as a gift to Cortes, she bore him a son whose birth symbolized the intermingling of races that would form the Mexican nation. She becomes not only the mother of the mestizo but also the Mexican Eve, the symbol of national betrayal. Very little documented evidence is available about Dona Marina. This work - the first serious study tracing La Malinche in texts from the conquest period to the present day - covers all genres: the chronicles, narratives, essays, plays, and poems. It is also the first study to delineate the transformation of this historical figure into a literary sign with multiple manifestations. Cypess treats works ranging from biographical-historical accounts of Cortes' contemporaries to modern works by Mexican and Chicana authors, including such seldom analyzed texts as Ireneo Paz's Amor y suplicio and Dona Marina, as well as new readings of well-known texts like Octavio Paz's El laberinto de la soledad. Using a feminist perspective, the author convincingly demonstrates how the literary depiction and presentation of La Malinche is tied to the political agenda of the moment. She also shows how the symbol of La Malinche has changed over time through the impact of sociopolitical events on the literary expression.
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Table of contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1. La Malinche as Palimpsest
2. Aztec Society before the Conquest
3. The Creation of Dona Marina in the Colonial Period
4. Eve and the Serpent: The Nationalists' View
5. Dona Marina Recast: From the Postintervention Period to 1950
6. La Malinche on Stage
7. Re/visions of the Cultural Metaphor
8. Re/formation of the Tradition by Chicana Writers
9. The Malinche Paradigm as Subtext
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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About Sandra Messinger Cypess

Sandra Messinger Cypess is a professor of Latin American literature at the University of Maryland, College Park.
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Rating details

32 ratings
4.09 out of 5 stars
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3 16% (5)
2 6% (2)
1 0% (0)
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