Title

Portraying Women Under Dictatorship: Cola de lagartija, by Luisa Valenzuela

Subject Area

Hispanic Women Writers

Abstract

Portraying Women Under Dictatorship: Cola de lagartija, by Luisa Valenzuela

I would like to present a paper regarding Luisa Valenzuela’s consideration within Cola de lagartija (1983) of women’s relationship to power during Argentina’s Dirty War, as manifested through the novel’s female characters, some of whom are victims of the oppressive military regimes, while others successfully challenge oppression.

I will begin by examining a pattern of repression, encoded below the plot’s surface, that allows the fantastic allegory to reveal how oppressive systems built on alienation and dehumanization manage to proceed relatively unimpeded. First, I will focus on Valenzuela’s technique of dividing the main characters into two camps, each of which represents a key aspect of the oppressor-oppressed dichotomy present in the work. Next, I will focus on the two principle strands of episodes within the novel’s plurilinear plot: 1) episodes reporting El Brujo’s rise to power, his fall, his plans to return to power, and his death, and 2) episodes portraying the struggle to counter the protagonist’s force. The analyses of narrative technique with respect to character presentation and arrangement of episodes intends to reveal that Valenzuela has carefully tailored her strategies to the work’s plot so to shed light on the cruel realities faced by women during the years of the military dictatorships, as well as women’s determining roles in resistance struggles.

I will close with a consideration of Valenzuela’s use of humor within Cola de lagartija. Importantly, humor has been strategic to the work’s reception.

Brief Bio Note

Alyce Cook is an Associate Professor of Spanish at Columbus State University. Her research centers on Post-Boom Argentine women’s narrative and the work of Luisa Valenzuela.

Keywords

Luisa Valenzuela, Cola de lagartija, Argentine Dirty War, Latin American Women's Narrative, Allegory

Location

Coastal Georgia Center

Presentation Year

2016

Start Date

4-7-2016 3:50 PM

End Date

4-7-2016 4:30 PM

Embargo

11-8-2015

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Apr 7th, 3:50 PM Apr 7th, 4:30 PM

Portraying Women Under Dictatorship: Cola de lagartija, by Luisa Valenzuela

Coastal Georgia Center

Portraying Women Under Dictatorship: Cola de lagartija, by Luisa Valenzuela

I would like to present a paper regarding Luisa Valenzuela’s consideration within Cola de lagartija (1983) of women’s relationship to power during Argentina’s Dirty War, as manifested through the novel’s female characters, some of whom are victims of the oppressive military regimes, while others successfully challenge oppression.

I will begin by examining a pattern of repression, encoded below the plot’s surface, that allows the fantastic allegory to reveal how oppressive systems built on alienation and dehumanization manage to proceed relatively unimpeded. First, I will focus on Valenzuela’s technique of dividing the main characters into two camps, each of which represents a key aspect of the oppressor-oppressed dichotomy present in the work. Next, I will focus on the two principle strands of episodes within the novel’s plurilinear plot: 1) episodes reporting El Brujo’s rise to power, his fall, his plans to return to power, and his death, and 2) episodes portraying the struggle to counter the protagonist’s force. The analyses of narrative technique with respect to character presentation and arrangement of episodes intends to reveal that Valenzuela has carefully tailored her strategies to the work’s plot so to shed light on the cruel realities faced by women during the years of the military dictatorships, as well as women’s determining roles in resistance struggles.

I will close with a consideration of Valenzuela’s use of humor within Cola de lagartija. Importantly, humor has been strategic to the work’s reception.