Significant Violence: Oppression and Resistance in the Narratives of Juan Goytisolo, 197-199

Significant Violence: Oppression and Resistance in the Narratives of Juan Goytisolo, 197-199

Significant Violence: Oppression and Resistance in the Narratives of Juan Goytisolo, 197-199

Significant Violence: Oppression and Resistance in the Narratives of Juan Goytisolo, 197-199

Synopsis

In this book, Epps focuses on five novels by the leading Spanish writer, Juan Goytisolo. Swinging between nihilism and utopianism, Goytisolo's writing has been characterized as incendiary, even revolutionary. Epps, drawing on a range of critical material, examines these complicated turns in Goytisolo's writing. He gives special attention to the crisis of representational language; sexual politics; terrorism and anarchy; race, religion, and nationalism; and the ties between aesthetics, ethics, and politics.

Excerpt

Ya dende Cádiz llama el injuriado Conde, a la venganza atento, y no a la fama, en quien pare tu dafio no hay tardanza.

(Fray Luis de León)

If metaphor can be misconstrued, history can also lead to misconstrual when it obliterates acts of resistance or rebellion. (Adrienne Rich)

Il est très doux de scandaliser.

(Sade)

The politics of VENTRILOQUISM: cava, revolution, and sexual discourse

Reivindicacián del Conde don Julián is a vicious, vindictive book. Uncompromising in its contempt for official Western tradition, unremitting in its disdain for law and order, it traces a circle of pain that is both a trap and a space of liberational struggle, 'subject to constantly changing, contradictory influences' and yet 'ever the same' (11; 3). Fraught with contradiction, it presents crime as redemption, agony as ecstasy, and destruction as creation. Obsessively Spanish, it seeks the annihilation of Spain; virulently erotic, it dreams the mutilation of the body; and deliriously iconoclastic, it revitalizes literary practice. Torn between myth and history, Conde Julián explores the politics of writing by grafting the stories of rape, betrayal, and revenge that surround the Moorish invasion of Spain in 711 onto a critique of Francoist Spain, depicted throughout the text as stagnant, hypocritical, and repressively chaste. Long vilified as a traitor, Julián redivivus becomes the agent of libidinal liberation . . .

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