La Malinche in Mexican Literature: From History to Myth

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bySandra Messinger Cypess

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Of all the historical characters known from the time of the Spanish conquest of the New World, none has proved more pervasive or controversial than that of the Indian interpreter, guide, mistress, and confidante of Hernán Cortés, Doña Marina—La Malinche—Malintzin. The mother of Cortés's son, she becomes not only the mother of the mestizo but also the Mexican Eve, the symbol of national betrayal.

Very little documented evidence is available about Doña Marina. This is the first serious study tracing La Malinche in texts from the conquest period to the present day. It is also the first study to delineate the transformation of this historical figure into a literary sign with multiple manifestations.

Cypess includes such seldom analyzed texts as Ireneo Paz's Amor y suplicio and Doña Marina, as well as new readings of well-known texts like Octavio Paz's El laberinto de la soledad. Using a feminist perspective, she convincingly demonstrates how the literary depiction and presentation of La Malinche is tied to the political agenda of the moment. She also shows how the symbol of La Malinche has changed over time through the impact of sociopolitical events on the literary expression.

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Of all the historical characters known from the time of the Spanish conquest of the New World, none has proved more pervasive or controversial than that of the Indian interpreter, guide, mistress, and confidante of Hernan Cortes, Dona Marina - La Malinche - Malintzin. An Amerindian woman who was given as a gift to Cortes, she bore him ...

From the Publisher

Of all the historical characters known from the time of the Spanish conquest of the New World, none has proved more pervasive or controversial than that of the Indian interpreter, guide, mistress, and confidante of Hernán Cortés, Doña Marina—La Malinche—Malintzin. The mother of Cortés's son, she becomes not only the mother of the mesti...

From the Jacket

Of all the historical characters known from the time of the Spanish conquest of the New World, none has proved more pervasive or controversial than that of the Indian interpreter, guide, mistress, and confidante of Hernan Cortes, Dona Marina - La Malinche - Malintzin. An Amerindian woman who was given as a gift to Cortes, she bore him ...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.5 inPublisher:University Of Texas Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292751346

ISBN - 13:9780292751347

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgments1. La Malinche as Palimpsest2. Aztec Society before the Conquest3. The Creation of Doña Marina in the Colonial Period4. Eve and the Serpent: The Nationalists' View5. Doña Marina Recast: From the Postintervention Period to 19506. La Malinche on Stage7. Re/visions of the Cultural Metaphor8. Re/formation of the Tradition by Chicana Writers9. The Malinche Paradigm as SubtextNotesBibliographyIndex

From Our Editors

Of all the historical characters known from the time of the Spanish conquest of the New World, none has proved more pervasive or controversial than that of the Indian interpreter, guide, mistress, and confidante of Hernan Cortes, Dona Marina - La Malinche - Malintzin. An Amerindian woman who was given as a gift to Cortes, she bore him a son whose birth symbolized the intermingling of races that would form the Mexican nation. She becomes not only the mother of the mestizo but also the Mexican Eve, the symbol of national betrayal. Very little documented evidence is available about Dona Marina. This work - the first serious study tracing La Malinche in texts from the conquest period to the present day - covers all genres: the chronicles, narratives, essays, plays, and poems. It is also the first study to delineate the transformation of this historical figure into a literary sign with multiple manifestations. Cypess treats works ranging from biographical-historical accounts of Cortes' contemporaries to modern works by Mexican and Chicana authors, including such seldom