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By René Prieto

Physique of Writing specializes in the strains that an author’s “body” leaves on a piece of fiction. Drawing at the paintings of six very important Spanish American writers of the 20th century, Ren? Prieto examines narratives that reflect—in differing but eventually complementary ways—the imprint of the author’s physique, thereby disclosing insights approximately strength, aggression, transgression, and eroticism.Healthy, invalid, lustful, and constrained bodies—as portrayed by way of Julio Cort?zar, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Gabriel Garc?a M?rquez, Severo Sarduy, Rosario Castellanos, and Tununa Mercado—become proof for Roland Barthes’s rivalry that works of fiction are “anagrams of the body.” Claiming that an author’s intentions should be exposed through interpreting “the topography of a text,” Prieto will pay specific recognition to not the activities or plots of those writers’ fiction yet quite to their settings and characterizations. within the trust that physically strains left at the web page show the motivating strength in the back of a writer’s artistic act, he explores such fictional subject matters as camouflage, deterioration, defilement, entrapment, and subordination. alongside the way in which, Prieto reaches unforeseen conclusions concerning themes that come with the connection of the feminine physique to energy, female and male transgressive impulses, and the relationship among aggression, the idealization of ladies, and anal eroticism in men.This research of ways authors’ longings and fears turn into embodied in literature will curiosity scholars and students of literary and psychoanalytic feedback, gender experiences, and twentieth-century and Latin American literature.

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It is highly significant that this story should bring together the two types of fetish animals that weave their way into Cortázar’s fiction: large carnivores and small burrowers. Otto Rank’s fascinating work on phobias sheds light on Cortázar’s choice. Because creeping creatures such as insects, rats, and frogs can disappear into small holes, they translate for the unconscious, Rank believes, ‘‘the wish to return into the maternal hiding place as completely accomplished’’ (Trauma of Birth, 14). ∏ It is this dread that explains Isabel’s otherwise unaccountable ‘‘dull fear’’ when Rema runs o√ 36 Body of writing and leaves her staring at the ‘‘once-more-clear empty glass where the galleries emptied out and twisted like twitching fingers inside the soil’’ (Relatos, 28–29).

The reader soon discovers that ‘‘it gave Isabel immense pleasure to think that the ants came and went without fear of any tiger’’ (27). Because ‘‘she liked to rehearse the real world in the one of glass,’’ moreover, the ant-farm becomes the site of all her projections (27). For example, once when she sees Rema’s apron reflected in the glass, Isabel notices that one of her raised hands looked ‘‘as if it were inside the ant-farm’’ (28). One thought leads to another, and ‘‘suddenly she thought about the same hand o√ering a cup of co√ee to the Kid but now there were ants running along her fingers, ants instead of the cup and the Kid’s hand squeezing the fingertips’’ (28).

She remembers ‘‘Rema’s soft hands,’’ and longs ‘‘to feel them on (her) head forever, a caress like death almost’’ (Relatos, 21–22). Magnetically drawn to the young woman, Isabel loses no time in detecting a puzzling tug-of-war between Rema and the Kid but her age and limited experience prevent her from fully grasping its sense. In consequence—since the narrative point of view is hers—the relation of events is often shrouded by Isabel’s seemingly meandering thoughts on subjects that appear to be unrelated to the family drama unfolding before her but are, as it turns out, dramatizations of what she is seeking to understand.

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