Imaginary in the Writing of Latin American Author Amanda Labarca Hubertson (1886-1975): Supplements to a Feminist Critique

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This thematic study is the only in-depth investigation into the fictional and testimonial literature of Amanda Labarca Hubertson, Chilean educator, reformer, and promoter of women’s rights. These imaginary writings include such little-known works as her semi-autobiographical novel, En tierras extrañas (1915), the short novel, La lámpara maravillosa (1921), the collection of short stories entitled “Cuentos a mi señor,” the testimonial Meditaciones and Meditaciones breves (1928-1931), and the “marginal” journal fragments, Desvelos en el alba (1945). A preliminary chapter also addresses the controversy surrounding her published literary thesis, La novela castellana de hoi [sic, 1906]. The study corrects some interpretive errors regarding earlier scholarship on Labarca’s perceived feminist writings by examining the sexual (gendered) complexities that imprint themselves in Labarca’s fictional work and literary criticism. While she may be criticized for omitting any materialist analysis of power, in her literature Labarca attempted to effect change in the social order by pointing out its contradictions. Paradoxically, a close reading of Labarca’s dangerously contradictory and yet amorous inner landscape recovers not only her desire to feminize patriarchal culture. It also uncovers a “more true self” struggling between “dispersion and continuity,” as she claimed throughout her extensive life and career.


"Recommended. Graduate and research collections." – CHOICE

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
1. Amandita’s “Impressions of Youth” and the Erotics of Reading
2. A Stranger in Foreign Lands: Literary Longing as Epic Quest
3. Storytelling and the Fairy Tale: Unraveling Women’s Essential Predicament
4. Defenseless Meditations: Defying Patriarchal Plots
5. Pedagogical Eros: John Dewey, William James and Philosophical Inquiry
6. Unveiling the Self: Vicious Circles and Hysterical Elucidation
Drawing Conclusions

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