Comparacion y contraste del erotismo en la ficcion breve de Maria de Zayas y Sotomayor y Carmen Riera



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Texas Tech University


Hístorically, female writers in Spaín have been ígnored. Until recently, canonical history treating women's líterature included Santa Teresa in the sixteenth century, Emilia Pardo Bazán ín the níneteenth century, and few others. Spanish líterature textbooks stíll omit most female writers, yet Spaín has produced many good women writers through the centuries. Diego Ignacio Parada y Barreto, in Escritoras y eruditas españolas (1881), and Juan Pedro Criado y Domínguez in Literaturas españolas de siglo XIX: Apuntes bibliográficos (1889) present hundreds of Spanish female writers. Although the latter only covers the níneteenth century, he lísts more than 390 women.

Recently, more attention has been given to female writers but still it falls short of emphasis granted to the males. In recent years, however, many critics have studied the seventeenth-century wríter María de Zayas y Sotomayor. Her clever attacks on the male gender have interested many, especially the femínist critics.

Thís dissertation analyzes the erotic episodes in María de Zayas's Novelas amorosas y eiemplares (1637) and Desengaños amorosos (1647). Such episodes are compared and contrasted with erotic sections ín the short novel Cuestión de amor propio and collections of short stories. Te deio, amor, en prenda el mar and Contra el amor en compañía, of the twentieth-century Catalán writer Carmen Riera. The majority of Riera's stories are confessions of love affairs which society considers inappropiate.

Eroticism has been rare in the work of women writers since the tendency was to think that a writer was describing his or her personal life. Thus many women avoided the presentation of seductíon in theír wríting. Today women are writing with fewer constraints, making it less uncommon to find seductíon ín their works. Maria de Zayas's work was criticized by many people of her century because a woman was not allowed to write, read ñor seduce. Carmen Riera openly includes heterosexual as well as homosexual seductíve episodes ín her narratives. Similar to Zayas, Riera includes undeceiving experiences suffered by female characters. Despíte being so many centuries apart, similar encounters appear in both women's work.