Iphigenia: (The diary of a young lady who wrote because she was bored) by Teresa De la ParraIphigenia: (The diary of a young lady who wrote because she was bored) by Teresa De la Parra

Iphigenia: (The diary of a young lady who wrote because she was bored)

byTeresa De la ParraTranslated byBertie Acker

Paperback | January 1, 1993

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Winner, Harvey L. Johnson Award, Southwest Council on Latin American Studies, 1994

"...I didn't want to tell you the truth for anything in the world, because it seemed very humiliating to me..." The truth is that Iphigenia is bored and, more than bored, buried alive in her grandmother's house in Caracas, Venezuela. After the excitement of being a beautiful, unchaperoned young woman in Paris, her father's death has sent her back to a forgotten homeland, where rigid decorum governs. Two men—the married man she adores and the wealthy fiancé she abhors—offer her escape from her prison. Which of these impossible suitors will she choose?

Iphigenia was first published in 1924 in Venezuela, where it hit patriarchal society like a bomb. Teresa de la Parra was accused of undermining the morals of young women with this tale of a passionate woman who lacks the money to establish herself in the liberated, bohemian society she craves. Yet readers have kept the novel alive for decades, and this first English translation now introduces its heroine to a wider audience.

Teresa de la Parra was also the author of Las memorias de Mamá Blanca (Mama Blanca's Souvenirs). Translator Bertie Acker is a professor emerita of Spanish at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Title:Iphigenia: (The diary of a young lady who wrote because she was bored)Format:PaperbackDimensions:372 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:January 1, 1993Publisher:University Of Texas Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292715714

ISBN - 13:9780292715714


Table of Contents

  • Introduction by Naomi Lindstrom
  • Translator's Note
  • Iphigenia
  • First Part: A Very Long Letter Wherein Things Are Told As They Are in Novels
  • Second Part: Juliet's Balcony
    • Chapter I: Having now sent the interminable letter to her friend Cristina, Maria Eugenia Alonso resolves to write her diary. As will be seen, in this first chapter, the genteel Mercedes Galindo appears at last.
    • Chapter II: Wherein Maria Eugenia Alonso describes the quiet times spent in the corral at her house and wherein Gabriel Olmedo also appears.
    • Chapter III: How a wandering attention unleashes a dreadful storm, which in turn precipitates great events.
    • Chapter IV: In which she waits, and she waits, conversing with an acacia branch and a few flowering vines of bougainvillaea.
    • Chapter V: Here, Maria Eugenia Alonso, sitting on a large rock, confesses to the river; the river gives her advice, and she, obediently and piously, decides to follow the advice exactly.
    • Chapter VI: Rain, a letter, and an afternoon that, like a road, glides, winds, and is lost in the past.
    • Chapter VII: Supremum Vale!
  • Third Part: Toward the Port of Aulis
    • Chapter I: After long months of deep sleep, one morning, from the depths of a wardrobe, lying among ribbons, lace, and old fabric, Maria Eugenia Alonso's literary verbosity has suddenly awakened. Here it is still rubbing its eyes.
    • Chapter II: After sailing for three days in the caravel of her own experience, Maria Eugenia Alonso has just made a very important discovery.
  • Fourth Part: Iphigenia
    • Chapter I: In the early hours of a Monday
    • Chapter II: Early Tuesday morning
    • Chapter III: Wednesday noon
    • Chapter IV: From Wednesday night to Thursday
    • Chapter V: Thursday night to Friday
    • Chapter VI: Early Saturday morning
    • Chapter VII: The same Saturday at midnight
    • Chapter VIII: Gabriel's letter
    • Chapter IX: The following Monday at nightfall

Editorial Reviews

"...de la Parra conveys the intensity of Iphigenia's rebellious voice, the range of her intelligence and the degree of her sexual obsessiveness. But [she] also anticipates Simone de Beauvoir's warning that brains and sexual liberation don't matter at all without a firm economic base." - Nation