Luisa Valenzuela has become the darling of feminist critics, making a place for herself as a female writer who has exposed and challenged the Hispanic sexist world, which has historically discriminated against women; typically she relates domestic sexual domination and abuse alongside political repression and torture. The fact that Valenzuela was highly influenced by the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan during her period of schooling in France has also provided critics with a ready-made set of critical terms with which to approach her fiction.
In many ways Valenzuela’s work is a conventional extension of the Magical Realism that characterized writers of the so-called Latin American boom, such as Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, and Gabriel García Márquez. Making using of folklore from South America, as well as modern anthropology and psychoanalysis, Valenzuela creates hallucinatory worlds of sadistic men and repressed and autistic women. However, Valenzuela is more a stylist than a political philosopher, focusing on how the story is told rather than what it says. It is in “the articulation between the narrated anecdote and the style of narration” that the secret of the text resides, says Valenzuela.
“I’m Your Horse in the Night”
“De noche soy tu caballo” (“I’m Your Horse in the Night”) opens mysteriously with the young female protagonist being awakened by her doorbell, concerned it might be some...
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