Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Rhetorical Monstrosity and Female Agency in Adelaida García Morales’s El Sur

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2019), 96, (7), 731–745.

Abstract

This article examines the role of Gothic monstrosity in the establishment of female agency in Adelaida García Morales’s 1985 novella El Sur, drawing connections between the post-Civil War setting of the text and García Morales’s perspective as a Transition-era author. Throughout the novella, the mother character uses rhetoric as a powerful tool to create and manipulate the monster image that she projects onto her husband, Rafael. El Sur ultimately speaks to feminist concerns of a loss of power in Franco’s patriarchal dictatorship: by allowing her protagonist and the other female characters to regain control through the use of the monstrous (and, in the protagonist’s case, through the acceptance of her own inner monster), García Morales represents the surge in feminism in Spain during the post-Franco period, at the same time expressing a certain amount of anxiety over the possibility of losing this newly found political voice.

Este trabajo examina el papel de la monstruosidad gótica en la creación de la agencia femenina en El Sur de Adelaida García Morales (1985), estableciendo conexiones entre el ambiente de la post-guerra y la perspectiva de García Morales como autora de la Transición española. Por toda la novela, el personaje de la madre utiliza la retórica como una herramienta poderosa para crear y manipular la imagen del monstruo que le asigna a su esposo, Rafael. El Sur destaca las preocupaciones feministas de la pérdida de poder en la dictadura patriarcal de Franco: al dejar que su protagonista y otros personajes femeninos recuperen el control por el uso de lo monstruoso (y, en el caso de la protagonista, por aceptar su propia monstruosidad interior), García Morales representa el feminismo creciente en España durante el período post-Franco mientras que también expresa cierta ansiedad por la posibilidad de perder esta nueva voz política.

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Works cited

Alborg, Concha, 1997. ‘El Sur, novela y película: dos versions de un mismo conflicto’, Anuario de Cine y Literatura en Español: An International Journal on Film and Literature, 3: 15–24. Google Scholar

Díaz, Epicteto José, 2008. ‘Imágenes de la soledad en El Sur y Bene de Adelaida García Morales’, Revista de Literatura, 70.139: 223–37. Google Scholar

García Morales, Adelaida, 1996. El Sur seguido de Bene (Barcelona: Anagrama). Google Scholar

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Haggerty, George E., 1989. Gothic Fiction/Gothic Form (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press). Google Scholar

Howard, Jacqueline, 1994. Reading Gothic Fiction: A Bakhtinian Approach (New York: Oxford University Press). Google Scholar

Labanyi, Jo, 1999. ‘Narrative in Culture: 1936–1975’, in The Cambridge Companion to Modern Spanish Culture, ed. David T. Gies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 147–62. Google Scholar

Lee Six, Abigail, 2010. Gothic Terrors: Incarceration, Duplication, and Bloodlust in Spanish Narrative (Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press). Google Scholar

Martínez-Carazo, Cristina, 1997. ‘El Sur: de la palabra a la imagen’, BHS, 74.2: 187–96. Google Scholar

Monleón, José B., 1990. A Specter is Haunting Europe: A Sociohistorical Approach to the Fantastic (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press). Google Scholar

Morris, Barbara, 1989. ‘Father Death and the Feminine: The Writer’s “Subject” in Adelaida García Morales’ El Sur’, RLA, I: 559–64. Google Scholar

Mulvey-Roberts, Marie (ed.), 2009. The Handbook of the Gothic. 2nd ed. (New York: New York University Press). Google Scholar

Nimmo, Clare, 1995. ‘García Morales’s and Erice’s El Sur: Viewpoint and Closure’, Romance Studies, 26 (Fall): 41–49. Google Scholar

Ordóñez, Elizabeth J., 1991. ‘Beyond the Father: Desire, Ambiguity, and Transgression in the Narrative of Adelaida García Morales’, in Voices of Their Own: Contemporary Spanish Narrative By Women (Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Press). Google Scholar

Punter, David, and Glennis Byron, 2004. The Gothic (Malden, UK: Blackwell). Google Scholar

Richter, David H., 1996. The Progress of Romance: Literary Historiography and the Gothic Novel (Columbus: Ohio State University Press). Google Scholar

El Sur. 1983, dir. Victor Erice (Chloë Productions; Elías Querejeta Producciones; TVE). Google Scholar

Alborg, Concha, 1997. ‘El Sur, novela y película: dos versions de un mismo conflicto’, Anuario de Cine y Literatura en Español: An International Journal on Film and Literature, 3: 15–24. Google Scholar

Díaz, Epicteto José, 2008. ‘Imágenes de la soledad en El Sur y Bene de Adelaida García Morales’, Revista de Literatura, 70.139: 223–37. Google Scholar

García Morales, Adelaida, 1996. El Sur seguido de Bene (Barcelona: Anagrama). Google Scholar

Garrett, Peter K., 2003. Gothic Reflections: Narrative Force in Nineteenth-Century Fiction (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press). Google Scholar

Haggerty, George E., 1989. Gothic Fiction/Gothic Form (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press). Google Scholar

Howard, Jacqueline, 1994. Reading Gothic Fiction: A Bakhtinian Approach (New York: Oxford University Press). Google Scholar

Labanyi, Jo, 1999. ‘Narrative in Culture: 1936–1975’, in The Cambridge Companion to Modern Spanish Culture, ed. David T. Gies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 147–62. Google Scholar

Lee Six, Abigail, 2010. Gothic Terrors: Incarceration, Duplication, and Bloodlust in Spanish Narrative (Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press). Google Scholar

Martínez-Carazo, Cristina, 1997. ‘El Sur: de la palabra a la imagen’, BHS, 74.2: 187–96. Google Scholar

Monleón, José B., 1990. A Specter is Haunting Europe: A Sociohistorical Approach to the Fantastic (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press). Google Scholar

Morris, Barbara, 1989. ‘Father Death and the Feminine: The Writer’s “Subject” in Adelaida García Morales’ El Sur’, RLA, I: 559–64. Google Scholar

Mulvey-Roberts, Marie (ed.), 2009. The Handbook of the Gothic. 2nd ed. (New York: New York University Press). Google Scholar

Nimmo, Clare, 1995. ‘García Morales’s and Erice’s El Sur: Viewpoint and Closure’, Romance Studies, 26 (Fall): 41–49. Google Scholar

Ordóñez, Elizabeth J., 1991. ‘Beyond the Father: Desire, Ambiguity, and Transgression in the Narrative of Adelaida García Morales’, in Voices of Their Own: Contemporary Spanish Narrative By Women (Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Press). Google Scholar

Punter, David, and Glennis Byron, 2004. The Gothic (Malden, UK: Blackwell). Google Scholar

Richter, David H., 1996. The Progress of Romance: Literary Historiography and the Gothic Novel (Columbus: Ohio State University Press). Google Scholar

El Sur. 1983, dir. Victor Erice (Chloë Productions; Elías Querejeta Producciones; TVE). Google Scholar

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Details

Author details

BACKES, HEIDI