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LA Malinche in Mexican Literature From History to Myth cover
  • ISBN: 9780292751347
  • ISBN10: 0292751346

LA Malinche in Mexican Literature from History to Myth

by Sandra Messinger Cypess

  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Univ of Texas Pr
  • Publish date: 12/01/1991
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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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