Mystical Queerings: Ecstasy And Transcendence In Latin American Texts
Although a mystic aesthetic abounds in contemporary and twentieth century Latin American texts, few scholars have published on this topic. This dissertation establishes that mystic themes are far more prevalent in Latin American texts than the scarce scholarship on the topic would suggest. The authors and filmmaker studied in this dissertation reappropriate the structuring metaphors of early modern mysticism: illumination/darkness, ascent/descent, boundaries, spiritual union and active/passive roles. We will note how the stages of the mystic path serve to explore theories on transcendence. A particularly queer way of knowing-mostly through the sense of touch-links itself to affective noetic understanding via ecstasy and transcendence. However, the authors of the primary texts analyzed in this dissertation no longer preserve the concepts of God, sin, or redemption in the traditional sense. While other projects on mysticism in Latin America attempt to exhibit the European influence on Latin American texts, this study endeavors to show that the Latin American texts speak back to the European ones. This investigation places George Bataille and Julia Kristeva's theories on non-religious mysticism into dialogue with novels and films by Carmen Boullosa, Jaime Saenz, Virgilio Piñera, and Carlos Bolado. The true revolution of the non-religious mystical genre that emerges from these Latin American texts comes about through breaking with the gender pairings/power dynamic in bridal mysticism and through not relegating the affective solely to the feminine.
mysticism; queer studies; Mexican film; Cuban narrative
Castillo, Debra Ann
Howie, Cary S; Paz-Soldan, Jose Edmundo
Ph. D., Romance Studies
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis