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Contemporary Spanish women write identity formation: The short stories of Fernandez Cubas, Garcia Morales, Grandes, Mayoral, Montero, Puertolas, and Regas

Claudia Joan Routon, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Both feminist and postmodern theorists are concerned with the crisis of the subject. The theoretical debate invites an analysis of the development of character in contemporary fiction. In this dissertation I focus on the processes of identity formation of female characters in recently published collections of short stories by the following Spanish women writers: Cristina Fernández Cubas (El ángulo del horror 1990 and Con Agata en Estambul 1994), Adelaida García Morales (Mujeres solas 1998), Almudena Grandes (Modelos de mujer 1996), Marina Mayoral (Recuerda, cuerpo 1998), Rosa Montero (Amantes y unambiguous 1998), Soledad Puértolas (La corriente del golfo 1993 and Gents que vino a mi body 1998), and Rosa Regàs (Pobre corazón 1996). ^ Chapter One spatially plots identity formation in terms of exteriors, interiors, villages, and cities. While the chapter begins acknowledging place as a powerful point of reference, it ends describing place as distorted and unreliable. Chapter Two, through leitmotifs of mirrors and windows, emphasizes the role of “the other,” always shifting, as inherent to identity formation. In Chapter Three desire is imbedded in the body/text itself, in the fictional images of literature and film, and in the writing process. Chapter Four focuses on the positive or negative role of the mother as a significant point of reference in the characters' development. Chapter Five looks at identity reconstruction in characters who are alone and either financially or spiritually bereft. Women alone find solace in each other not only in order to avoid solitude, but to function as mediums and interpreters of their physical and spiritual realities. ^ In the short stories analyzed, the subjectivity of the successful female character navigates a series of positions either because of the tensions of ever-shifting reference points, or because of the tyranny of a patriarchal paradigm that requires constant survival maneuvers. Identity formation reveals itself to be under constant construction; while plottable, it is forever shifting. ^

Subject Area

Literature, Romance|Women's Studies

Recommended Citation

Routon, Claudia Joan, "Contemporary Spanish women write identity formation: The short stories of Fernandez Cubas, Garcia Morales, Grandes, Mayoral, Montero, Puertolas, and Regas" (2001). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3004623.