Home > About > Conferences > Mexico 2009 > Abstract: García Rodriguez

Heroes, victims or villains? Irish Presentations and Representations in Latin America and the Caribbean

Morelia, Mexico, 15-18 July 2009

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Authority and Transgender Bodies in Miguel Ángel Asturias's Hombres de maíz and James Joyce's Ulysses

Garcia Rodriguez, Analia (National University of Ireland Galway, Irlanda)

In Joyce's novel first published in 1922 one can appreciate a redefinition of contemporary gender roles through his portrayal of a new womanly man. Joyce's refusal to accept any form of authority that could limit the individual's experience of freedom led him to present his male protagonist Leopold Bloom as an ambiguous character who enjoys the feminine side of his masculinity. In his 1949 novel Hombres de maíz, Miguel Ángel Asturias also emphasised the impact of hegemonic structures on the gender identity of his main protagonists. The Indian Goyo Yic transgresses his masculine nature in order to become a mother for María Tecún. While the feminization of male characters takes place in both novels, I will argue that the ideological motivation behind both authors' transgression of gender boundaries reflects their different and ambivalent struggle against the authority of hegemonic social structures. Thus, I will illustrate in this paper how transgender bodies in Ulysses are a means to liberate the individual from the contemporary patriarchal division of sexes, while in Hombres de maíz they constitute a bi-product of the social unbalance caused by colonial hegemonies. 


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