This essay discusses Ana Castillo's relevance as a Chicano novelist and poet, concerned with complex theoretical inquiries into questions of women's oppression, gender politics, colonial and religious heritage, racism, social exclusion and marginalization. Ana Castillo's writing, as the essay points out, is constantly concerned with what she calls 'conscientizacion', that is, an awareness of the identity issues shared by those of 'mixed blood', especially when confronted with the sexist politics that shape the lives of women. Central in the essay is Castillo's 1986 novel The Mixquiahuala Letters, which consists of a series of letters that two young Chicana women, Alicia and Teresa, exchange after a journey toward emancipation, self-awareness, and female friendship, from the United States to Mexico. The essay interprets this journey as a sort of psychic journey, on which two young women project their dreams of a new model of life and independent femininity in the Seventies. Indeed, Castillo's letters stage the difficult way to emancipation for women, given that long-lasting tradition of female submission to patriarchal patterns of socio-cultural control which can be best termed 'machismo' (a term that Castillo has largely explored in her compelling theoretical volume 'Massacre of the Dreamers', 1994). The essay offers new and original critical insights in showing how Castillo's theoretical and narrative proposals may offer an intriguing and fruitful recognition of the transnational osmosis and connection among cultures from distant shores: Mediterranean, North African, and American shores, as renowned 'postcolonial' scholars, such as Edward Said, Edouard Glissant, Iain Chambers, Martin Bernal, just to mention few names, have recently proposed in their critical works.

“Letters from distant shores: Ana Castillo”

DE CHIARA, Marina
2012

Abstract

This essay discusses Ana Castillo's relevance as a Chicano novelist and poet, concerned with complex theoretical inquiries into questions of women's oppression, gender politics, colonial and religious heritage, racism, social exclusion and marginalization. Ana Castillo's writing, as the essay points out, is constantly concerned with what she calls 'conscientizacion', that is, an awareness of the identity issues shared by those of 'mixed blood', especially when confronted with the sexist politics that shape the lives of women. Central in the essay is Castillo's 1986 novel The Mixquiahuala Letters, which consists of a series of letters that two young Chicana women, Alicia and Teresa, exchange after a journey toward emancipation, self-awareness, and female friendship, from the United States to Mexico. The essay interprets this journey as a sort of psychic journey, on which two young women project their dreams of a new model of life and independent femininity in the Seventies. Indeed, Castillo's letters stage the difficult way to emancipation for women, given that long-lasting tradition of female submission to patriarchal patterns of socio-cultural control which can be best termed 'machismo' (a term that Castillo has largely explored in her compelling theoretical volume 'Massacre of the Dreamers', 1994). The essay offers new and original critical insights in showing how Castillo's theoretical and narrative proposals may offer an intriguing and fruitful recognition of the transnational osmosis and connection among cultures from distant shores: Mediterranean, North African, and American shores, as renowned 'postcolonial' scholars, such as Edward Said, Edouard Glissant, Iain Chambers, Martin Bernal, just to mention few names, have recently proposed in their critical works.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11574/33797
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