Humoring Resistance: Laughter and the Excessive Body in by Dianna C Niebylski

By Dianna C Niebylski

Contextualizing theoretical debates concerning the political makes use of of gendered humor and feminine extra, this ebook explores daring new ways that a couple of modern Latin American ladies authors technique questions of identification and group. the writer examines the connections between strategic makes use of of humor, women’s our bodies, and resistance in works of fiction by way of Laura Esquivel, Ana Lydia Vega, Luisa Valenzuela, Armon?a Somers, and Alicia Borinsky. She exhibits how the interarticulation of the comedian and comic-grotesque imaginative and prescient with kinds of over the top lady our bodies can lead to new configurations of lady subjectivity.

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Additional info for Humoring Resistance: Laughter and the Excessive Body in Latin American Women’s Fiction

Sample text

Yet even a reading that finds the parodic potential of the novel unconvincing, uneven, or ineptly handled cannot fail to take into account the change in tone that takes place as a result of the novel’s parade of boundless female bodies, or the fact that the mere presence of volatile bodies in the novel has the frequent effect of bringing the narrative perilously close to a rhetoric of excess. Even though momentary, the images of carnivalesque rowdiness or eroticism unsettle and sometimes undermine the narrative’s congenial and compromising tone.

The first of these is Fernández de Lizardi’s La educación de las mujeres o La Quixotita y su prima [The Education of Women, or Quixotita and Her Cousin] (1818–1819), a novel that incorporates many of the ethical tensions and moral agendas of the late colonial and early republican period. La educación de las mujeres, a late picaresque novel, is intended as a lesson and a warning for women who would be pícaras. The eponymous Quixotita is neither quixotic nor celestinesque. Instead, she is a mostly naive blunderer whose simple dream is to marry into the nobility.

It is not Esquivel’s imagination that is lacking. As made evident in the suggestiveness of Gertrudis’s body exuding fiery desire, the novel’s most carnivalesque images are potent enough. The problem is that, as noted earlier, the narrative swerves away from these images by detouring all excess back into instructions for a recipe or to the disciplined patience needed for completing its preparation. Moreover, even the most exciting or excessive events are narrated in the same monotonal style, a style that is entirely too moderate in its adverbial and adjectival choices to be a convincing exaggeration of an exaggeration.

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