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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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Gender and representation : the writings of Puerto Rican authors in the late nineteenth century (1870-1900) Saldivia-Berglund, Marcela 2005

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GENDER AND REPRESENTATION: THE WRITINGS OF PUERTO RICAN AUTHORS IN THE LATE NINETEENTH CENTURY (1870-1900) By MARCELA SALDIVIA-BERGLUND Licenciado en Letras y Filosofia, Universidad Rafael Landivar, Guatemala, 1989 M.A.T., Southwest Texas State University, 1996 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Hispanic Studies) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA January 2005 © Marcela Saldivia-Berglund, 2005 A B S T R A C T This dissertation examines literary strategies for the representation of gender and its intersections with class and race in selected writings by four Puerto Rican authors, namely, Alejandro Tapia, Salvador Brau, Manuel Zeno Gandia, and Ana Roque. It focuses on the period between the 1870s and 1890s—before the 1898 United States military occupation— because of the crucial socio-political and economic changes that marked the threshold of a distinct Hispanic Creole literary tradition. I propose an interdisciplinary approach that combines social history, cultural studies, social feminism, and literary theory to provide historical depth and enable contextualization of the material conditions in which late nineteenth-century writings were produced. Moreover, there is a lack of literary analyses that examine and compare the narratives of both men and women writers from the late nineteenth century against the backdrop of the island's social history. This research pays attention to the interplay among different kinds of writings at this particular moment in the history of Puerto Rico where a specific discursive formation took shape. Through close readings I demonstrate how these four authors employed literary strategies to represent their respective political and sexual agendas. Liberal men wrote proposals for the moral reform of women of all classes as they believed it was the best way to control reproduction, adultery, concubinage and interracial sex, thus guaranteeing the "whitening" of society and of the labour force. The discourses about moral reforms for women show the gender ideologies prevalent at the time that were inscribed in the national narratives. Ill Tapia's cosmopolitanism and supernatural topics represent the fragmented identity of the colonized subject striving for representation in Spain, and the gender crisis of the late nineteenth century. Brau and Zeno Gandia portray the peasantry as a sick body that represents the social stagnation in which the colony was mired. Roque's fiction proclaims her political ideas regarding the role of women in the cultural nation and attacks extramarital affairs, interracial relations, and women's financial vulnerability. The analysis of gender representation and its interrelations with colonialism, patriarchy, class, and race offers innovative perspectives to interpret the past, and to better understand the dynamics of gender power relations that persist to the present day. IV T A B L E OF CONTENTS Abstract i i Table of Contents iv Acknowledgements vii Introduction 1 CHAPTER 1 Puerto Rican Intellectual History: An Overview (1800-1900) 9 Colonial Oppression and the Growth of Cultural Nationalism 11 Creole Blacks, Mulattoes, and Mountain People 18 The Creole Elite and the Revolutions for Independence 24 The Printing Press: Birth of a Puerto Rican Literary Tradition 29 The Awakening of Theater 34 The First Creole Writings 39 Independence, Autonomy, and Unconditional Political Thought 48 The Spanish-American War and the United States Occupation: A Brief Overview... 53 Women Intellectuals and their Contributions 55 Historical Notes on the Practices of Espiritismo in Puerto Rico 63 CHAPTER 2 Gender Representation in Late Nineteenth-Century Puerto Rican Writing 68 Puerto Rico and the Question of National Identity 72 Narrating the Puerto Rican Cultural Nation 77 Puerto Rican Writing 78 Theoretical Framework and Methodology 82 CHAPTER 3 Gendered Discourses: The Creole Liberal and the Conservative Patriarchal Moral Prescription 101 Alejandro Tapia y Rivera's " E l aprecio a la mujer es barometro de civilization" ... 104 Gabriel Ferrer's La mujer en Puerto Rico 110 Salvador Brau's La campesina 119 V The Incondicionales'' Point of View: Fernando Lopez Tuero's La mujer 123 The Creole Women's Response 126 Lola Rodriguez de Tio: "La influencia de la mujer en la civilization" 127 Ana Roque's Feminine Program: "Nuestro Programa" 128 C H A P T E R 4 Gender Representation and the Creole Aesthetics of Alejandro Tapia y Rivera (1826-1882) 133 Alejandro Tapia's Life: The Metaphor of the Double 147 Representation, Espiritismo and Sexual Politics in Tapia's Postumos 150 Postumo el transmigrado (1872) 150 Postumo el envirginiado (1882) 169 C H A P T E R 5 Engendering Race: The Representation of the Peasant G i r l in Two Criollista Novels 191 Puerto Rican Writing with Sociological Intent (1880-1890) 192 Salvador Brau's iPecadora? (1890) 197 Manuel Zeno Gandia'sLa charca (1894) 214 C H A P T E R 6 Women Writers in the Late Nineteenth Century: Ana Roque de Duprey (1853-1933) 236 Ana Roque de Duprey: A Biographical Outline 240 Representations of Gender, Race and Class in Roque's Fiction 245 Pasatiempos: coleccion de novelas (1894) 246 "El rey del mundo" 247 "El secreto de una soltera" 261 "La fiesta de reyes" 266 Novelas y cuentos o Sara la obreray otros cuentos (1895) 268 "Andina (Novela fantastica)," " E l hada del Sorata (Cuento)," and "La Virgen del Mar (Leyenda)" 270 VI Sara la obrera (1895) 271 Luz y sombra (1903) 280 C O N C L U S I O N : 301 W O R K S C ITED 313 A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S The completion of this dissertation would have not been possible without the help and support of professors, scholars, colleagues, and friends. First of all I must thank my committee members, Dr. Derek C. Carr, Dr. Rita De Grandis, and Dr. Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert. I am indebted to Dr. De Grandis for all the valuable comments and critique provided and to Dr. Carr for his careful editing and observations. I especially appreciate Professor Carr's sense of humour that kept me smiling even at the hardest times. I am particularly grateful to Dr. Paravisini-Gebert (Vassar College) for accepting to be Co-adviser of this dissertation. Professor Paravisini's thorough knowledge of Puerto Rican literature and the Caribbean along with her scholarly guidance were crucial in the process of writing this dissertation. I found in her not only the solid supervision of the professional but also a cherished friend. There are other scholars and colleagues who helped me accomplish my research. Thanks to Dr. Eileen Sanchez-Findlay (American University) for our long phone conversations and materials provided. Dr. Judith File (Independent Scholar, University of Pennsylvania) helped me editing portions of my work. Reference Librarian Nancy Bohm (Lake Forest College) aided me with stylistic suggestions. Dr. Ivette Romero (Marist College) and Dr. Pamela M . Smorkaloff (Montclair State University) helped me with their constructive critique and discussions on various issues relevant to my research. Their professional advice, experience, and knowledge helped me immensely. V l l l I must thank my friends (and neighbors) Connie Corso and Dawn Wiser for their unconditional support and friendship. They helped me through difficult times while writing this dissertation and took very good care of my dear pet "Monstruo." Finally, I want to express my deepest thanks to my loving husband Clay Berglund for his constant encouragement and for our productive debates from the beginning to the end of this work. 1 INTRODUCTION This dissertation proposes a socio-historical approach to the analysis of literary strategies for the representation of gender in selected writings by four Puerto Rican authors, namely, Alejandro Tapia y Rivera (1826-1882), Salvador Brau y Asencio (1842-1912), Manuel Zeno Gandia (1855-1930), and Ana Roque y Geigel de Duprey (1853-1933). Nineteenth-century Puerto Rican histories of literature and criticism have paid little or no attention to the participation and contributions of women writers to the island's intellectual history. In particular, Ana Roque's literary work has been overlooked, despite her seminal role in the island's cultural development. In order to re-evaluate her literary work, this study contextualizes her writing and compares it to that of her contemporaries who also played leading roles in the intellectual growth of the island. Even though Puerto Rican women's fiction has been studied from a wide variety of perspectives since the late 1970s, there is a lack of comparative studies that analyze literary strategies for gender representation in works written by both men and women from the late nineteenth century. Moreover; there are no specific analyses of this type that would examine the interrelations between gender, class, and race against the backdrop of the island's social history. The writings of Roque, Tapia, Brau, and Zeno Gandia are thus placed here within their rightful socio-historical contexts, which attest to the unique spaces and conditions from which a national Puerto Rican literary tradition emerged. The selected writings analyzed here date from the period between 1870 and 1900, years of central importance in the formation and consolidation of Puerto Rican national literature. This period was a time of crucial sociopolitical and economic changes that included the abolition of slavery, the foundation of the first official political parties, and the 2 displacement of the hacendado oligarchy by United States' agrarian capitalism. The Spanish-American War of 1898 and the subsequent military occupation of Puerto Rico by the United States shifted the island's political situation from 300 years of Spanish domination to a neo-colonial condition. This dissertation shows that by the time of the United States' occupation, Puerto Rico had already defined itself as culturally Hispanic and had developed a national literary tradition. Therefore, in the light of its socio-cultural history and a close reading of selected foundational narratives from the late nineteenth century, this study also offers an understanding of the Hispanic cultural heritage that connects Puerto Rico with Spain and the rest of the Spanish American nations. In order to show the manner in which the aforementioned authors articulated literary strategies for gender representation within their particular socio-historical context, political positions, and literary traditions, I propose a close reading to describe and examine their foundational narratives. My reading attempts to answer the following questions, as they pertain to issues of gender: What is being represented by men and women authors in Puerto Rican fiction between the 1870s and the 1900s? How were these representations articulated? What did these representations mean in terms of political power relations? What did they say about race and class hierarchies? In order to answer these questions, this study provides a substantial literary context for the different approaches to gender representations assumed by both men and women intellectuals and, consequently, their social and racial implications. Furthermore, my study seeks to contribute to the appreciation of the cultural complexities of Puerto Rican society through the interpretation of its early literary expressions and how they show the fluidity of the ever-changing notions of gender, class, and race in the island's colonial context. 3 Most of the texts analyzed in this dissertation have been out of print since they were first published in the late 1800s.1 The required archival research was carried out chiefly at the Centro de Estudios Puertorriquenos in New York City, and at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Since these texts are largely unknown to modern readers, it has been necessary to include a large degree of plot description and summaries of ideas in order to facilitate the comprehension of my analysis. In addition, there is a limited number of critical studies of the late nineteenth-century Puerto Rican fiction with which my own analysis can establish a critical dialogue. One of the strengths of my study, consequently, rests on its being solidly grounded in archival research, which guarantees originality of material and approach, hence its contribution to our knowledge of the overall achievement of Puerto Rican literature. The sociopolitical instability of Puerto Rico in the late nineteenth century brought about competing concepts of the role of women at all levels of society. Both Liberal and Conservative men believed that in order to improve the foundations of their society and to ensure their political power, there was an urgent need to educate women. The moral education of women from all social classes became the centre of a public debate in the local press and in pamphlets that circulated among the reading public. These publications voiced the concerns of both men and women of the elite, namely, equal opportunities to higher education, access to the professions, an improvement in the social conditions of peasant women, the end of concubinage practices and miscegenation, women's suffrage, and other issues. These concerns constituted a significant challenge to traditionally assumed female 1 For example, the essays studied in Chapter 3 (with the exception of Tapia's) and most of Roque's fiction are available only in microfiche. 4 roles such as those of the obedient daughter, the faithful wife, and the nurturing mother, since women were regarded as the guardians of the moral basis of society; in their hands rested the education of the future citizens of the Puerto Rican nation. Thus, the fiction of this period is ideally suited for identifying literary strategies for the representation of gender, race, and class that impacted upon Puerto Rican colonial society in contradictory ways, as I shall attempt to demonstrate. Chapter 1 provides a historical overview of the island's intellectual history from 1800 to 1900, focusing on the main currents of cultural and sociopolitical thought. This chapter pays attention to the cultural connections between Puerto Rican, North American, and European—especially Spanish—literary models and the ways in which they were assimilated and "creolized" by the island's writers.2 This chapter's main objective is to provide the reader with a substantial historical background for an understanding of how the prevailing socioeconomic and political conditions, together with Spain's unstable political situation, impacted upon the island's creative writing and the role that women played therein. Moreover, this historical overview seeks to clarify why my study privileges the period from 1870 to 1900 for the analysis and interpretation of the representation of gender in a group of scarcely studied texts. Thus, this review sets the background for the methodology employed and the literary corpus analyzed. Chapter 2 explains the terminology, and the theoretical tenets employed in the analysis, and presents a concise review of relevant scholarly literature. In order to analyze In this study I use the term "Creole" as a translation of the Spanish "crzo/Zo" which means a person of Spanish ancestry, and in this specific case, born in the Hispanic Caribbean. "Creolized" is intended to signify the cultural process by which creative writing adapted foreign models and blended them with local elements from which an autochthonous literature emerged. 5 how Puerto Rican authors articulated literary strategies for gender representation, I propose a close reading that combines socio-historical approaches with social feminism, literary theory, and cultural studies. Such a close reading and interdisciplinary approach allows the analysis more flexibility to describe and examine the authors' foundational narratives. I seek to demonstrate how Puerto Rican fiction in the late nineteenth century responded to racially charged notions of gender and supported a political agenda that attempted to place sexual roles within certain codes of behaviour and morality prevalent in the Creole elite's cultural imaginary. Chapter 3 examines influential essays by Liberal and Conservative men mostly concerned with moral reforms for the education of women. These publications were quite inexpensive and sometimes circulated free of charge; they had a broad circulation throughout the island and were very popular. In the first place I comment on Alejandro Tapia y Rivera's article " E l aprecio a la mujer es barometro de civi l izat ion" (1862), which is perhaps the earliest attempt that dared to claim women's rights to better education and emancipation. This essay was a revolutionary text that called into question the traditional role of elite women, creating controversy amid the conservative sector. It took more than ten years before other Liberals would develop the arguments raised by Tapia. Mainly motivated by the aftermath of the abolition of slavery and the need to restructure the basis of society, during the 1880s and the 1890s Creole men articulated heated discourses regarding the need for moral reforms and the elementary education of the island's women. One of these men was Gabriel Ferrer Hernandez (1848-1901) who, like Manuel Zeno Gandia, was a physician and a political activist of the Partido Autonomista. In 1880 Ferrer submitted to a national contest a suggestive study bearing the long title o f La mujer en Puerto 6 Rico: sus necesidades presentes y los medios mas fdciles y adecuados para mejorar su porvenir. Ferrer's essay won first prize and was published in 1881 in the form of a booklet, having a great impact on the public opinion of the time. Ferrer's ambitious project dictated norms of decorum and behaviour not only for girls of the Creole elite, but also for the lower urban-class mulattas and poorer white girls (las hijas del pueblo), thus breaking the fine line between class and race, a step no one had taken before. In contrast, Salvador Brau switched his interests to the rural areas. In an answer to an alarming statement made by the island's governor, General Despujol, on the lack of schools and instruction for rural girls, Brau wrote his sociological essay La campesina (1886). This chapter ends with some observations on Fernando Lopez Tuero's La mujer (1893), a book that overtly attacked the proposals for the education of women and their eventual emancipation. In the following chapters I show how these ideas are reflected in selected novels by the authors at the core of this study, whose gender representations reveal the social fantasies that prescribed for the Creole elite norms of behaviour to follow or discard. Chapter 4 focuses on the Creolized Romantic aesthetics of Alejandro Tapia y Rivera. Regarded as the "Father of Puerto Rican Literature," Tapia stands out for his constant struggle to promote literature and the arts, and for his significant contribution to, and participation in, the development of Puerto Rican literature. His novel Postumo el transmigrado o historia de un hombre que resucito en el cuerpo de su enemigo (1872) and later its controversial sequel Postumo el envirginiado o historia de un hombre que se cold en el cuerpo de una mujer (1882) are seminal to the understanding of fictional representations of gender in nineteenth-century Puerto Rico. I argue that Tapia is a key intellectual because of 7 his most unusual proto-feminist agenda, which paved the way for much of the feminist discourse that developed in the early twentieth century. Chapter 5 examines the eclectic nature of Puerto Rican literature, in which Romanticism, Realism and Naturalism converged with Criollismo. It focuses on the analysis of two influential novels that convey nationalist values and gender and race ideologies: Salvador Brau's iPecadora? (1890), and Manuel Zeno Gandia 's i-a charca (1894). This chapter also expands on the discourse about cultural nationalism that intellectual Creoles articulated in their writings. It establishes the contextual background for a discussion o f Roque's literary strategies for the insertion o f women into the mainstream discourse o f the nation. La charca is regarded as the first Puerto Rican novel in the island's literary canon and as a salient text in the development of a nationalist discourse beginning earlier with Miguel Cabrera's Las coplas del gibaro (1820), and the Cancionero de Borinquen (1846) and Miguel Alonso's El gibaro (1849), that dominated Puerto Rican fiction until the middle of the twentieth century. The literary representation of the jibaro became the embodiment of puertorriquehidad as the Creole intellectuals closed their eyes to the island's African heritage. The reasons behind this neglect, previously discussed in Chapters 1 and 2, w i l l assume a greater clarity in the context of this chapter. Chapter 6 introduces the literary work of Ana Roque de Duprey. It analyzes her two collections of short stories, Pasatiempos: coleccion de novelas (1894), and Novelas y cuentos o Sara la obreray otros cuentos (1895), and her novel Luz y sombra (1903). Sara la obrera 3 I have kept the original nineteenth-century orthography in the titles of Cabrera's Las coplas del gibaro and Alonso's El gibaro. In modern Puerto Rican Spanish usage, the consonant /g/ changed to / j / . I use /jibaro/ when I refer to the white mountain peasant and not to the former literary works. is of particular interest since it was published separately in novella form. Contrary to Puerto Rican mainstream writing, Roque's short stories acknowledged the African presence, albeit in negative ways. Her fiction exalted the white Hispanic heritage and values in the same way as did iPecadora? and La charca. Sara la obrera can be seen as an alternative text that poses feminine claims on gender, class, and race power relations and that stands as both a counterpoint and a complement to Tapia's, Brau's and Zeno Gandia's fiction. Luzy sombra, a novel written in a combination of literary styles and genres, including the epistolary novel, melodrama, comedy of cuckoldry, and Spanish cuadros de costumbres, is situated at the intersection of Romanticism and Realism. The plot, very unusual from a woman's pen, is compared and contrasted to certain aspects of the novels by Tapia, Brau, and Zeno Gandia. These works are analyzed to show how the literary strategies for gender representation that Puerto Rican authors displayed in their fiction include or exclude each other in this period of cultural identity and literary formation. The Conclusion elaborates on the results of the analysis that brings together the voices of men and women writers from the late nineteenth century. It identifies the points of convergence and the discrepancies within the themes and concerns that these Puerto Rican authors enunciate in their fiction and essays. Puerto Rican authors articulated writing strategies to represent a modern subject, male and female, within the restraints of a colonial system, before the consolidation of the transformations generated by the process of industrialization brought about by the United States Occupation in 1898. In addition, the writings of Ana Roque, as well as other women writers, present irrefutable proof of a Puerto Rican literary tradition that speaks to the existence of a foundational feminine discourse in the late nineteenth century. 9 -CHAPTER 1-PUERTO RICAN INTELLECTUAL HISTORY: AN OVERVIEW (1800-1900) ^Quien habita esa costa? Una raza que prueba que los hombres no tienen color en el espiritu; que hay una chispa igual en todos, que de todo los hace capaces; los negros han fundado un imperio en este sitio. iMisteriosa justicia! Tu estas en todas partes. A l infeliz africano, arrancado de sus selvas, y hecho esclavo por la fuerza, le das fuerzas: rompe con ellas sus cadenas; el hierro le da armas; las armas, un imperio. (Eugenio Maria de Hostos, La peregrination de Bayodn 31) This quotation from Eugenio Maria de Hostos (1839-1903) reveals the paradox and contradictions in which Puerto Rican intellectuals were mired in the nineteenth century. While Hostos' words seem to show an admiration for blacks, the white Creoles actually feared them and, even more tragically, despised them. When Hostos published La peregrination de Bayodn in Spain in 1863, it was immediately banned because its content offended the sensibility of the Spaniards, for the Hostos' novel attempted to narrate the truth of colonial domination. As a result, La peregrination de Bayodn could not circulate among the reading public until ten years later, when it was published in Santiago de Chile. 1 In order to understand the reasons behind the many contradictions of the Puerto Rican intellectuals, such as their overt racism, their preference for reforms instead of independence, but most important, the emergence of a national literature, this chapter offers a historical overview of Puerto Rico's intellectual development in the nineteenth century. Its primary objective is to place the writings of Ana Roque (1853-1933), and of the authors at the core of this study, namely, Alejandro Tapia y Rivera (1821-1882), Salvador Brau y Asencio (1842-1 I gathered this information from Hostos' Introduction to the 1873 publication of La Peregrination de Bayodn in Santiago de Chile. 10 1912), and Manuel Zeno Gandia (1855-1930), within their rightful sociopolitical, economic, and cultural context. As I stated in the Introduction, the literary work of nineteenth-century women writers, such as that of Ana Roque, has received almost no attention from critics until recently. To alleviate this void, my study attempts a re-evaluation of the literary contributions of Roque to the development of Puerto Rican literature, which anticipated what came to be an outstanding tradition of women writers. Puerto Rican scholars2 emphasize the importance of establishing the proper historical context when considering any aspect of the national literature, especially that of the nineteenth century. Indeed, there is a close relationship between Puerto Rico's historical and literary development insofar as the literature reflects the historical events that have structured and shaped national identity. Whereas establishing the relationship between history and literature is not unique as an approach to the study of Puerto Rican literature, it is the most appropriate one to familiarize the reader with events that are little known, neglected or forgotten, and which help us make sense of the past for a more thorough interpretation of the writings from late nineteenth-century literary texts. The main trends of thought that permeated the Puerto Rican intelligentsia throughout the nineteenth century followed the model of the liberal ideals proposed by thinkers and philosophers from the Enlightenment, such as Voltaire and Rousseau, Adam Smith and For example, in The Puerto Ricans: Their History, Culture, and Society, Edna Acosta-Belen and Sandra Messinger Cypess underscore the importance of laying out the sociopolitical, economic, and cultural contexts of Puerto Rico's historical development in order to gain a full perspective on the emergence of literature. Jose Luis Gonzalez in Literatura y sociedad en Puerto Rico also emphasizes a socio-historical overview for a better understanding of the origins of Puerto Rican literary tradition. 11 Bentham, Locke and Beccaria, Turgot and Jovellanos. These imported ideas from the European metropolitan centres, particularly from Paris and Madrid, were reinterpreted by the Creole intelligentsia in their own terms, adding their experience as a colonized society whose economic growth was based on agrarian exploitation and the trade of basic goods. Colonial Oppression and the Growth of Cultural Nationalism The acute stagnation in which the island of Puerto Rico was mired during the first half of the nineteenth century inspired the Liberal Galician poet Jacinto de Salas y Quiroga (1813-1880) to write a now lost booklet entitled Un entreacto de mi vida en Puerto Rico, which, according to Alejandro Tapia y Rivera, depicted Puerto Rican life in 1839.4 Tapia, a great admirer of the Galician poet, lamented the loss of the text which contained a memorable sentence that summarized Salas y Quiroga's thoughts regarding the island's state of intellectual backwardness: "Puerto Rico es el cadaver de una sociedad que no ha nacido" (qtd. in Tapia, Mis Memorias 16). This bitter metaphor was for Tapia the most precise way to Gordon Lewis (1983) points out that the general ideas of these authors (who are-mentioned in Lidio Cruz Monclova Historia de Puerto Rico) "had become part of the mental climate of the age, and were, so to speak, in the air, and that by 1810 they had made their presence felt in San Juan" (Lewis 266). 4 Alejandro Tapia y Rivera's unfinished autobiography, posthumously published in 1927, Mis Memorias o Puerto Rico como lo encontre y como lo dejo, has left testimony of Salas y Quiroga's lost essay, part of the literary work written by the Galician poet during his short period of residence in Puerto Rico (16). Jacinto Salas y Quiroga is recognized by historians of Puerto Rican literature for his contribution to the development of the island's creative writing. According to Manrique Cabrera, the presence of this romantic poet was decisive in the awakening of Puerto Rican literature, and many of his poems remain dispersed, awaiting to be rescued from the late 1830s issues of the island's newspaper Boletin Instructivo y Mercantil (Manrique Cabrera 75). 12 describe the suffocating intellectual atmosphere that prevailed in the island during the first quarter of the nineteenth century. In fact, scholars who study any aspect of the nineteenth century in Puerto Rico explain that it is a period characterized by severe forms of repression and exploitation under the absolutist colonial government, a state of affairs that Jose Luis Gonzalez has called " E l desgobierno espanol" (Literatura y sociedad 71). The Spanish governors—military men with no vision other than their own financial well-being and the most narrowly-defined goals of the Spanish Crown—administered the island for brief terms of office and were seldom committed to improving the social, economic, and educational local conditions. More often than not, they.treated Puerto Ricans indistinctly as a mere mass of colonized and enslaved peoples. For example, in Mis Memorias, Tapia recorded that Captain General Jose Maria Marchessi y Oleaga (1865-1867) used to have free men whipped at his whim, indifferent to the protests of the Audiencia. His acts of impunity went so far that he once threatened to whip a respectable Creole hacendado who came to him voicing the peoples' protests and disgust with his illegal punishments.5 Salvador Brau, in his Historia de Puerto Rico, documents that Marchessi re-instituted the infamous "Codigo Negro" which gave permission to punish any free men, particularly This particular anecdote of Marchessi's ruthlessness forms part of the many accounts that Tapia recorded in Mis memorias. Tapia keenly criticizes the Spanish governors' abuse of power and the atrocities of the institution of slavery (73-81). 13 blacks.6 According to Brau, the "regente de la Audiencia don Joaquin Calbeton" fought against Marchessi's abuses and he was soon replaced in 1867 by General Julian Pavia, who ruled for just one year (233). With rare exceptions, Spanish governors neither understood the needs of Puerto Rico as a nascent country nor estimated its potential as an ally of the Crown. Tapia y Rivera, a Liberal Reformist like the majority of the intellectuals of his time, particularly resented the governors' practice of assuming the attitudes and prerogatives of former Viceroys: "Estan en tierra de conquista, donde hay que mantener muy alto el principio de autoridad, gobernar mucho y muy fuerte, o mejor diria: no gobernar sino mandar, lo que entienden mejor como soldados" (Mis memorias 108). Most liberal intellectuals agreed that the arbitrary ruling of despots contributed greatly to the thwarted development of the island's educational institutions and political infrastructure. The persistence of slavery, illiteracy, and limited educational opportunities suffocated any attempt at higher education or social justice that the intellectual elite proposed for the Puerto Rican people. Almost without exception, most of the Creole intellectuals who sought to improve the educational system and to better the social conditions faced either exile or incarceration, sometimes even torture and death. A well-known example is that of the prominent educator and sociologist Eugenio Maria de Hostos, forced to live in exile most of his life, dying in Chile after a disappointing return to the island. Ironies abound, like that of 6 Brau explains that " E l Codigo Negro" was institutionalized in 1848 under the pressures of a slave rebellion in St. Croix. General Primm, the governor in turn, was afraid that the rebellion would spread to Puerto Rico, so he decreed a new law. It was the "Codigo Negro" which authorized masters of slaves and military men to severely punish or execute immediately people of color, be they free or slaves, who were reported to commit any kind of misconduct (220). 14 the prominent poet Lola Rodriguez de Tio (1843-1924) who suffered exile three times, in Caracas, Havana, and New York. Rodriguez de Tio and Hostos met, not in their home island, but while they were both in exile in Venezuela. Roman Baldorioty de Castro (1822-1889), an educator and politician who designed the "Plan de Ponce"- the model for the ideal of autonomous government-, was accused of sedition and confined to the dungeons of the fortress of El Morro. Baldorioty, extremely il l and weakened from the torture and bad conditions of his imprisonment, died a year after he was released. These and other renowned Liberals were spokespeople for growing nationalist sentiments, seeking from Spain either administrative autonomy or independence for Puerto Rico. Their views clashed with the ubiquitous Spanish censorship and with the slow development of institutions and infrastructure imposed by the colonial state and the Catholic Church.7 These oppressive circumstances affected the Creole elite in distinctive ways. They began to feel themselves "different" from their European counterparts, possibly an indication of growing nationalist sentiment or national awareness. Gordon K. Lewis, in Main Currents in Caribbean Thought, explains that in the Caribbean, as elsewhere, the development of nationalism and of nationalist sentiment is a closely interrelated "twin process" that moves from cultural nationalism to political nationalism. According to Lewis, the growth of a cultural nationalism, understood as "congeries of feelings, beliefs, sentiments, in a given body of people that gives them a sense of distinctiveness" (239) comes first, and will 7 The Catholic faith was the official religion in the island since the very beginnings of the colonization until 1898 when, under the United States annexation, freedom of religion was bestowed. During the Spanish rule, though, there was no separation of church and state and the Catholic authorities exercised fairly comprehensive power over every aspect of Puerto Rican life. 15 eventually generate a second process of political nationalism, that is, the emergence of the independent nation-state. Lewis argues that nation-states, organized under the infrastructure of a government which exercises sovereign power, adopt symbols or what he calls "nationalistic paraphernalia" like a flag, an anthem, certain colours, and so forth, to give the people a unique sense of self-identity: The history of the Caribbean up to 1900 is in large measure the history of those twin developments [cultural nationalism and political nationalism]. Yet they were both made more complicated and more difficult by the manner in which they were interfered with by the twin epiphenomena of slavery and colonialism; so that there is little in their story of the straightforward, linear character of, say, European nationalism. Colonialism generated in the Caribbean mentality a divisive loyalty to the metropolitan culture that explains the historical tardiness of the final arrival of national independence. (239) In Puerto Rico, those "twin developments" did not take the same direction as they did in Europe or in the other American colonies. It was a unilateral process of cultural nationalism, which did not move towards a consensus for independence. There was a series of distinctive factors at play before and during the nineteenth century, which moved this process in a different direction. Colonialism generated a divisive loyalty toward Spain which was accentuated by waves of loyal immigrants and the indiscriminate exploitation of human labour. These discordant divisions between native-born Puerto Ricans, immigrants, and Spaniards generated internal conflicts regarding allegiance or anti-colonial positions that produced a social hierarchy strongly guided by class and race biases. 16 From abroad, Puerto Rico was viewed as a potential land for investment that attracted large numbers of both poor and wealthy people from around the globe. Waves of immigrants flooded into the island, causing a collision of cultures, but they soon became accommodated in intermediate places within the commercial trade or in the smuggling of goods, as well as in the administration of farms owned by the powerful Spanish landowners. This created a racial and social hierarchy within the plantation regime and in the urban areas that came to define the two main cultural impulses in the island: the Creole elite and the popular working class. Hence, economic factors were decisive during this period and directly affected the decisions of the Spanish and Creole elite. The economy of Puerto Rico, mainly agrarian, provided a wealthy and stable source of income for Spain. In 1869, the Spanish politician Segismundo Moret Prendergast declared at the Cortes de Cadiz: "Si las cuarenta y nueve provincias de Espana pagasen en la misma proportion que Puerto Rico, todavia tendrian que pagar mas de los 3,000 millones de reales que pagan."8 Thus, Puerto Rico was not only considered loyal but also extremely profitable to the Spanish Crown. However this prosperity was not enjoyed by the local people, composed mostly of jornaleros and enslaved peoples who lived in extreme poverty. Those who benefited from the riches produced by the coffee, sugar, and tobacco plantations were the Spanish hacendados and merchants, always in a Gonzalez remarks that during the second half of the nineteenth century the Treasury of .Puerto Rico received the highest income ever reached by any colony. The funds were used to finance the Spanish war against the Moroccan Empire in 1860; the war to regain Santo Domingo from France in 1864; and in 1866 the government of Madrid decreed that the public debt of Spain could be paid from the Cuban and Puerto Rican Treasuries (Literatura y sociedad 72-73). 17 position of advantage above Creole landowners and other immigrants who, in general, were gravely indebted to the Spaniards (Bergad 142-44). Felix V . Matos Rodriguez in Women in 1820-1868 San Juan offers a detailed description of the vertical socioeconomic division that existed on the island. Positioned at the top of the hierarchy were the Spanish officials, the military forces, and the higher clergy. Next on the scale were Spanish landowners and merchants, including a few Creoles and new immigrants. The nascent professional and intellectual class followed, mostly the sons of the merchant and landed countrymen who were able to study in Europe or the United States. In the growing urban centres there emerged a lower middle-class composed of peddlers, small retail merchants, teachers, clerks, couturiers, seamstresses, and a wide range of tradesmen, such as carpenters, bricklayers, shoemakers, and the like. At the base of this pyramid were the rural free population and the enslaved masses. The role women played within this social hierarchy is noteworthy. Matos Rodriguez points out that a significant number of upper- and middle-class women owned commercial stores and/or real estate in urban centres, inherited through widowhood or received as dowries. Despite the fact that women were not allowed by law to own and/or manage businesses, women owners were represented before the law by male relatives or were included as silent capitalist partners.9 There was also an expanding lower-middle class of working women who occupied jobs as teachers, clerks, and couturiers. At the lower end of 9 For a historical analysis of the participation of elite women in the economic life of San Juan, see Matos Rodriguez "Elite and Middle-Class Women in San Juan's Economic Life" (59-83). 18 this urban group, the ever-increasing need for domestic help created a growing working class of free men and women of colour who worked in the cities as laundresses, servants, cooks, gardeners, and street vendors of food. The growing cities of San Juan and Ponce also contributed to the increase in prostitution, either through women working individually or managed in bordellos. Although not officially recorded, prostitution became a main source of income for women in the urban centres.10 At the bottom of the socioeconomic hierarchy remained the large rural peasantry and the small enslaved population forced by the circumstances to live in extreme poverty, illiterate, and exploited. This latter sector of society was notably apathetic to the political status of the island, since a change in the nature of their "masters" would not change an existence marked by misery and exploitation. However, the political apathy of the lower classes is misleading, since they were the first to develop nationalist sentiments well before the nineteenth century. Creole Blacks, Mulattoes, and Mountain People In spite of their rapid and fairly comprehensive extermination, the original indigenous population, the Tainos, left their cultural imprint on Borinquen (the indigenous name of Puerto Rico) and participated in the process of miscegenation with both Spanish and African peoples. This sector of the population, called jibaros, comprised a free independent rural 1 0 In Imposing Decency, Eileen Findlay provides detailed information on the history of prostitution in the late nineteenth century in Ponce, the second most important city and port after San Juan (77-109). 19 class who lived in the mountains and developed an economy of self-subsistence. They had a reputation for being very jealous of their freedom and independence. Because of their free spirit and attachment to the wild lands, but above all because they were perceived as racially white, the jibaro was adopted as the national symbol of "puertorriquenidad" in late nineteenth-century Creole literature. The large, free peasantry outnumbered African slaves, and the landowners were faced with a lack of labour force, particularly in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. In 1838, the administration of Governor Miguel Lopez de Bahos (1838-1841) revised the instituted "matricula de los jornaleros"—which included all men who did not own lands—to ensure that the free peasant class that was dispersed throughout the country entered into the labour force of the hacienda economy (Pico, Al filo delpoder 48). Lopez de Bahos took additional measures to better control the dispersed jornaleros.12 To supplement "la matricula" the Governor instituted the Juntas de Vagos y Amancebados as a means of close surveillance of landless men. The Juntas stated that any man who failed to comply with his jornalero's responsibilities was prone to be accused of "ocioso y mal entretenido" by the Juntas, and run the risk of being sentenced to forced labour in the correctional facility of "La Puntilla" in San 1 1 The word /jibaro/ comes from the Taino /jiba/ which means "forest" (Messinger Cypess, The Unveiling... 283). 1 2 * ' Regarding the terms jornalero, jibaro, and agregado, Laird W. Bergad comments on the confusion generated by the classification of nineteenth-century rural social types in Puerto Rico. Commonly, the jibaro represents the independent peasant, the agregados are resident peons, and the jornaleros are landless day labourers. However, as Bergad points out, these three categories are not static but dynamic and often overlap, for example, jibaro could include the other two (60-62). 20 Juan (Pico 48-49). Later, in 1849, Governor Juan de la Pezuela (1848-1851) officially instituted the Libreta regime in order to make the labour control system more effective than it was. The jornalero's Libreta contained annotations, observations, and the signature of the employer-landlord regarding the jornalero''s behaviour. The Libreta also registered the jornalero''% debts and record of payment. The jornalero was obliged to carry with him his Libreta at all times, and to submit it regularly for inspection to the authorities.13 Basically, the Libreta regime, which favoured the hacendado class, was a strategic way of replacing the slavery system and to control the labour and behaviour of landless men. In nineteenth-century Puerto Rican fiction, allusions to the Libreta system echoed this unfair method of forced labour and control, as it is illustrated in Salvador Brau's novel iPecadora? (see Chapter 5). The omission of the African element in the nineteenth-century national cultural discourse (as in the novels of Manuel Zeno Gandia and Salvador Brau) has become a commonplace discussion in history, cultural studies, and literary criticism since the late 1970s. One of the first Puerto Rican scholars to examine and emphasize the importance of the African component in Puerto Rican culture was Jose Luis Gonzalez in his influential and highly debated essay El pais de cuatro pisos. The relevant point of Gonzalez's essay was to acknowledge the value of the African cultural component in the growth of nationalist sentiments in the island. 1 3 See Adalberto Lopez's "Birth of a Nation: Puerto Rico in the Nineteenth Century" 70-71; and Angel G. Quintero Rivera's "Background to the Emergence of Imperialist Capitalism in Puerto Rico" 105. 21 According to Gonzalez, many of the Spaniards who came to live in the island under the advantages provided by the "Real Cedula de Gracias" of 1815, were themselves discriminated minorities in Spain, for example, gallegos, catalanes or mallorquies. As a general rule, poor white immigrants were endowed with lands, slaves, and agregados by the Spanish government and soon adopted the air of aristocrats and became impious landowners (Gonzalez, El pais 23-24). Most of the Spanish population who immigrated to the island before the nineteenth century did not see it as their permanent home, but rather as a springboard to the mainland in their search for riches. Many Spanish immigrants were in constant flux and moved by ambition and profit rather than a presumed love for the island. Often, the Spaniards remained loyal to Spain, to which they wanted to return wealthy and successful. As a result, they did not develop national sentiments toward the island. On the contrary, the population of African descent—blacks and mulattoes—did not have the opportunity to go back to Africa nor to emigrate from Puerto Rico, so they were forced to remain on the island and saw it as their permanent home. That is why for Gonzalez the "first genuine Puerto Ricans" to develop nationalist sentiments toward the island were the Creole blacks and mulattoes.14 Perhaps because Gonzalez imagined the jibaro not only as of white Scholars who either felt offended by his emphatic recognition of the African cultural heritage or by his Marxist approach fiercely contested Gonzalez's conclusions. For example, Juan Manuel Carrion in his article "Etnia, raza y la nacionalidad puertorriquefia" examines the relevance of the Hispanic conceptions in the nationalist imaginary of Pedro Albizu Campos—a political leader who played a key role during the complex political process of the 1930s-1950s. Carrion believes that Gonzalez exaggerates the importance of the African cultural legacy to the detriment of the Hispanic heritage, which for many is the marrow of Puerto Rican culture. Carrion, however, appears to underplay Gonzalez's recognition of the important role that Creole Hispanics, such as Alejandro Tapia y Rivera and Salvador Brau, played in the cultural and national formation of Puerto Rico. 22 Hispanic-Taino mix, as the nineteenth-century intellectual elite insisted, but as of black descent, in his analysis he sidesteps the fact that the peasant population of Taino descent was ever-present in the island. The peasantry formed a free, independent rural class that lived fairly isolated in the remote central mountain range, seeing Borinquen as their only and genuine home. Their independent spirit and their connection to the land—in addition to their identification with whiteness in the minds of the Creole Hispanic elite—made the jibaro, and not the black, the national symbol of Puerto Rican Creole literature. Nowadays the Afro-Antillian contribution to the culture of Puerto Rico, and of the Caribbean in general, is acknowledged as one of the most influential components of Caribbean cultural heterogeneity. The African cultural heritage, though, remained for centuries marginalized by the Spanish and white Creole elite. Despite the fact that Puerto Rican blacks comprised the majority of the population, their presence was overtly omitted or despised in most nineteenth-century writing. Why did Puerto Rican intellectuals fix their gaze on the mountain peasant population and tightly close it to the African majority? Isabelo Zenon Cruz in his critical essay Narciso descubre su trasero demonstrates, with an extensive historical body of citations, the roots of the discrimination against the African heritage and of its eventual vindication in the official history. The "black stain" was a shameful insult that haunted Puerto Ricans' racial heritage for centuries. Having black blood was immediately associated with the institutionalized system of slavery and its consequent moral degradation. The powerful methods of domination and control exercised by the white dominant class contributed to develop strong racial prejudices of white superiority. The rhetoric used by slave-traders sustained the notion 23 that blacks were primitive savages devoid of a Christian soul. In this way they justified the slave-trade and its inhuman methods and practices. This rhetoric was ingrained in the psyche of slave-states all over the Americas, and Puerto Rico was not an exception. A significant excerpt from the first History of Puerto Rico, written in the eighteenth century by Fray Ifiigo Abbad y Lasierra, states: Los mulatos, de que se compone la mayor parte de la poblacion de esta Isla, son los hijos de bianco y negra. Su color es obscuro desagradable, sus ojos turbios, son altos y bien formados, mas fuertes y acostumbrados al trabajo que los blancos criollos, quienes los tratan con desprecio. Entre esta clase de gente hay muchos expeditos y liberales para discurrir y obrar, se han distinguido en todos los tiempos por sus acciones y son ambiciosos de honor. Los negros que hay en esta Isla, unos son traidos de las costas de Africa, otros son criollos, descendientes de aquellos, sin mezcla de otra casta: los primeros son todos vendidos por esclavos; de los segundos hay muchos libres; con todo no hay cosa mas afrentosa en esta Isla que el ser negro o descendiente de ellos. 1 5 Abbad y Lasierra indicates that the majority of the population were free mulattoes, strong and hard-working, as opposed to the whites who were not, and despite the Africans' noble qualities, the whites disdained them. Blacks and mulattoes, free or enslaved, distinguished themselves by their actions, good discernment, and great "ambition of honor." However, in the words of Abbad y Lasierra, there is nothing more shameful in the island than being black 1 5 See Abbad y Lasierra, Historia, geografia civil y natural de esta isla de San Juan Bautista de Puerto Rico 182-83, qtd. in Zenon Cruz 24. 24 or of black descent. This Negro-phobia prevailed throughout the nineteenth century, and it was aggravated by the fear of black insurrection. In addition, the black population did not have the means nor the spare time to meditate, reflect, or to write about their own situation. On the contrary, the white Hispanic Creole elite was privileged, and although repressed by colonial control and censorship, it was their point of view that prevailed as representative of Puerto Rican nationalist sentiment and culture. The failure in recognizing blacks and mulattoes as genuinely Puerto Ricans was a generalized cultural rejection generated in part by a European colonial bias based on notions of racial superiority. The upper-classes did not want to have any connection with, or relation to, the shame of slavery. These radical class and racial perceptions must be taken into serious account when studying the discourse of the Creole elite, in order to contextualize their writings and to understand their political position with respect to the black and mulatto majority. This does not mean that my study intends to be partisan to any racist implications, but rather to illuminate the reasons behind the Creole elite's deliberate omission of the population of African descent. The neglected presence of blacks and mulattoes in the fiction of the period under study obliged me to search for the possible reasons behind the ideological obliteration of a large part of the population that played a crucial role in the growth of nationalist sentiments in the island. The Creole Elite and the Revolutions for Independence Even though during the nineteenth century in Puerto Rico the spirit of the time was in favour of revolution and independence, historians have pointed out the fear felt by the 25 island's Creole elite of the eventual empowerment of the lower peasant class and slaves. Arturo Santana, for example, in his article "Puerto Rico in a Revolutionary World" observes that the revolution for independence in Venezuela in 1810-1811 was closely watched by the Puerto Rican Creole elite, who maintained correspondence with Venezuelan revolutionary leaders: However, the revolutionary, separatist spirit was not shared by the majority of the island's inhabitants at this time, and thus, as in the case of Cuba it would not be the decisive historical force at this stage. A liberal reformist tendency was to emerge, instead, to oppose the conservatives who were unconditionally loyal to Spain . . . Throughout this period Puerto Rico was Spain's principal counter-revolutionary bastion in the eastern Caribbean for the struggle in northern South America, especially Venezuela. (72) Years later, after the war of Carabobo in 1821, hundreds of loyalist Venezuelan families arrived in Puerto Rico: "preciso fue apelar a los sentimientos populares, recogiendose 12,000 pesos en suscripcion voluntaria para socorrer a aquellas atribuladas gentes" (Brau, Historia... 204-05). The Liberal Reformist tendency was the safest anti-colonial standpoint that the moneyed elite adopted, particularly in the aftermath of the 1804 Haitian Revolution. Haiti's declaration of independence was seen as a threat to an economy based on slavery. It is well known that Haiti was the most prosperous emporium of the plantation system and the richest colony in the 1700s. The bloody slave revolt against white landowners caused the surviving white families to flee in terror from Haiti to neighbouring islands, and Puerto Rico hosted many of these families. For example, Adalberto Lopez (1980) notes, that 26 French planters who escaped from Haiti immigrated with their families to Puerto Rico, as did many Spanish families from the Latin American mainland after the wars of independence began in 1810. These families were extremely conservative, and as soon as they established themselves in the local hierarchy they sought to protect their social status and privileges at all cost: The French royalists and the vigilant authorities in Puerto Rico were joined after 1810 by thousands of Spaniards fleeing from the wars of independence on the mainland colonies. These royalist exiles also brought with them tales of horror about what happened when the masses were involved in political struggles, and once settled in the island, they, too, made every effort to see that Puerto Rico remained a colony of Spain. (Lopez 52) Other Caribbean islands where the plantation-mainly of coffee, sugar cane, and tobacco-was the main source of profit throughout the nineteenth century and the first part of the twentieth, shared this fear of the rebellions of the lower class and the enslaved masses. The immigration of planters and Spanish loyalist exiles from St. Domingue (Haiti) and the fear of slave revolts were part of the reason why there was not a unanimous desire for total independence in Puerto Rico during and after the mainland revolutions of 1810. Unlike the rest of the Latin American countries, engaged in consolidating newly-born nation-states, Puerto Rico and Cuba remained under the strict control of the Spanish Crown. Spanish citizens and their sympathizers both in the Peninsula and the Antilles regarded Cuba and Puerto Rico as the most loyal colonies, "remaining faithful while the other mainland territories undertook their wars of anticolonial liberation" (Lewis 265). This unconditional 27 loyalty was extremely important for the Spanish administration, since Spain's own political instability in Europe jeopardized its control over what remained of its overseas empire. Spain's domestic political unsteadiness had been decisive in the series of events that unfolded in the Spanish American colonies in the first decade of the nineteenth century. In 1809, during the devastating war between France and Spain, Ferdinand VII was imprisoned and the deputies of the Junta Central de las Cortes de Cadiz decided to write a new constitution which resulted in the constitutional period of 1812-1814. The Junta invited representatives from all of the American colonies to the Cortes de Cadiz. At this time, the Spanish colonies on the Latin American mainland were involved in wars for independence, and the Junta believed that this call for a new constitution would appease the revolutionaries. For their part, the Puerto Rican Creole elite engaged in the process opened by the new Spanish constitution with vigour and optimism. This led to the first official election in the island; despite the fact that voting was restricted to literate upper class men, nonetheless it was a legitimate exercise in proto-democracy. Don Ramon Power y Giralt, born in San Juan, was elected the Puerto Rican representative for the Cortes de Cadiz. In 1810, Power y Giralt presented Las Instrucciones al Diputado Don Ramon Power y Giralt which were proposals for reforms that "point to the existence of a gathering protonationalist feeling in the Puerto Rico of the time ... they were the sentiments of a small-town professional elite" (Lewis 265). The proposals put forth the social, political, and economic petitions for reforms demanded by the Creole elite which, in turn, were based on a 1782 document written by Fray Inigo Abbad y Lasierra which criticized the despotism of the absolutist colonial system. The brief constitutional period from 1812 to 1814, known as the Constitution of Cadiz, reinforced 28 in Puerto Rico what Lewis calls "a sort of embryonic political national consciousness," that is, a growing nationalist sentiment among the Creole elite (267). The Constitution of Cadiz, although short-lived, allowed freedom of speech for the first time and as a result reinforced this initial national sentiment. The sense of freedom experienced during this couple of years awoke in the people a claim to their right to openly criticize the political regime and to express their feelings in the arts. In 1814 the Spanish conservatives overthrew the Constitution of Cadiz and restored the absolute power of the monarchy. Six years later a second constitutional period was decreed which also lasted a few years (1820-1823). The restitution of Ferdinand VII to the Spanish throne in 1824 put an immediate end to the constitution, and restored the absolutist regime over the island. The third constitutional period in 1834-1836 again awoke in the people the spirit of freedom of speech and an ever-increasing thirst for the arts. The Constitutional periods promoted the few cultural and educational institutions that survived during the nineteenth century, such as "La Sociedad Economica de Amigos del Pais" (1812), "La Academia Real de Buenas Letras" (1850), and the "Instituto Civi l de Segunda Ensenanza" (1873). To a greater or lesser degree, these few institutions contributed to the incipient education system and the limited dissemination of literature and the arts. In Mis memorias, Tapia tells yet another anecdote of his ongoing struggle for establishing a cultural centre which he envisaged as "El Ateneo Puertorriqueno." He recalls that by 1855 he tried to found such an institution. He already had a building, furniture, and subscribers only needing the governmental permission; but censorship banned a first attempt at publishing a simple statement of encouragement for the Ateneo, an act that deeply disappointed Tapia: 29 "Desisti, pues, de su fundacion juzgandolo imposible. Estaba visto, con aquella administration tan estrecha, era incompatible toda ilustracion y todo progreso" (88). It was not until 1876 that a group of intellectuals headed by Manuel Elzaburu founded the "Ateneo Puertorriqueno," also called "la docta casa," which has been the home of literary and scientific matters until the present day (Quintero Rivera 221; Gonzalez, Literatura y sociedad 74). The need for a university was an argument constantly brought up by nineteenth-century Creole intellectuals, but never heeded by the Spanish authorities, and the University of Puerto Rico had to wait until 1903 to be founded. The island's most important technology for the dissemination of information, creative writing and ideas throughout the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century was the printing press. The freedom of the press in Puerto Rico was in a constant flux in the nineteenth century, subjected to the ups and downs of the Spanish Cortes and the arbitrary whims of the Spanish governing officials. Historians of literature have pointed out that the late introduction of the printing press (1806) delayed the development of a literary tradition in the island. Despite restrictive censorship, these three brief constitutional periods afforded Puerto Ricans the experience of expressing themselves in politics, the arts, and literature. The Printing Press: Birth of a Puerto Rican Literary Tradition In her study La novela en Puerto Rico: apuntes para su historia, Carmen Gomez Tejera emphasizes that the rudimentary state of, and limited access to, the printing press in the nineteenth century was aggravated by the governors' and officials' constant harassment, 30 their arbitrary policies and censorship, and the high cost of printing.16 These were all fundamental factors that affected negatively the development of both journalism and creative writing in Puerto Rico. Nonetheless, ever since the printing press was introduced in 1806,'7 the seeds of freedom of speech and of the right to express opinions in writing were growing among the literate Creoles in the ever-expanding urban centres. The first and only newspaper authorized in the island was the biweekly governmental Gaceta Oficial, which began circulation in December 1807. Thanks to the Constitution of Cadiz of 1812-14, freedom of the press was declared and literate Puerto Ricans were able to voice their political concerns and artistic inclinations for the first time. The popular newspaper El Cigarron appeared for a brief period in 1814 and was characterized by its keen sense of humor and political satire. Unfortunately, there are no surviving copies of El Cigarron, as many scholars have lamented.18 This publication would offer much valuable information on the early thought and nationalist sentiments of the nascent middle class. During this period, another governmental periodical began circulation, El Diario Economico 1 6 Gomez Tejera's La novela en Puerto Rico is the first Master's thesis of the Department of Estudios Hispanicos at Universidad de Puerto Rico that compiled a thorough study on the development of the Puerto Rican novel from the Conquest to 1929. It was published in book form in 1947. The first printing press was introduced in 1806 under the rule of Captain General don Toribio Montes (1804-1809). Josefina Rivera de Alvarez in her Diccionario de literatura puertorriquena documents sources that speak to these first newspapers, such as Manuel Fernandez Juncos "Literatura y elocuencia;" Antonio S. Pedreira Elperiodismo en Puerto Rico; and Otto Olivera La literatura en periodicos y revistas de Puerto Rico (Rivera de Alvarez 90). I also found references to El Cigarron and the other newspapers I cite here in Francisco Manrique Cabrera's Historia de la literatura Puertorriquena, and in Jose Luis Gonzalez's Literatura y sociedad en Puerto Rico. 31 de Puerto Rico. As its name indicates, it dealt chiefly with economic issues that concerned the elite. During the second constitutional period of 1821-1823 several papers were founded for the enjoyment of the urban literate class, namely El Eco, El Investigador Puertorriqueno, and El Diario Liberal y de Variedades de Puerto Rico. In 1839, El Boletin Instructivo y Mercantil began circulation under the care of the Creole civilian Florentino Gimbernat, and was one of the few papers that survived throughout the 1800s. Even though El Boletin was a governmental publication, it did not necessarily represent official opinion, yielding its views and scope to the fluctuations of the governors in office. By 1843, under the direction of the Liberal Creole Ignacio Guasp, El Boletin served all the different opinions and literary expressions of the time until 1845. Then it became the voice of the "Capitanes Generales," the official organ of the "espanoles sin condiciones." From this time on, other publications abounded on a diversity of topics, such as education, economics, social life, and political satire, but censorship was still exercised and priority was given to the governmental press. Terms such as "independence," "abolition of slavery," "freedom," "tyranny," and "despotism" were banned from the journalist's vocabulary. High fines were applied for the violation of censorship, and again, the ever-changing stream of governors imposed their capricious ruthlessness on the popular press. For example, Governor Mariscal de Campos Juan Primm (1847-1848) suppressed the circulation of Elponceno, the most important vehicle for the dissemination of popular Liberal thought in the city of Ponce. Primm also closed another popular newspaper in Mayaguez, El Impartial, simply because "a don Juan Primm no le hizo gracia su imparcialidad," as Salvador Brau ironically stated in Historia de Puerto Rico (228). Tragically, these few examples illustrate how these short-term 32 governors—most of whom did not hold power for more than two years—played at will with the dispositions and laws that affected Puerto Rican freedom of speech. In 1856, as Gomez Tejera notes, Ignacio Guasp founded other newspapers, El Ramillete, and La Guirnalda Puertorriquena, that are important to mention for their literary orientation. These "voceros," as Manrique Cabrera calls these few newspapers that saw the light during the brief constitutional periods, provided invaluable venues for early literary manifestations and showcased people's increasing interest for poetry: "En las columnas del Diario Economico y El Cigarron, 1814; de El Diario Liberal, 1821, y de El Eco, 1822, estan grabadas las iniciales de nuestros comienzos" wrote Antonio S. Pedreira referring to those first popular publications, most of which have not survived.1 9 Despite the many restrictions, Brau documented that by 1865 there were eight local newspapers in circulation (Historia 229). After Primm, it took exactly ten more governors and two interims before Governor General Gabriel Baldrich (1870-1871) decreed the freedom of the press in 1870. Between 1871 and 1874, five different governors ruled the island, clearly showing the inconsistency through which it was politically administered by Spain. In 1874, at the end of the term of General Rafael Primo de Rivera, freedom of the press was suppressed yet again as a consequence of the fall of the Spanish Republic, since the opinions published in the island represented a threat to "la integridad national" (Gomez Tejera 10-11). 1 9 See Antonio S. Pedreira Elperiodismo en Puerto Rico, bosquejo historico desde su initiation hasta 1930 (Habana, 1941), qtd. in Manrique Cabrera 71. 33 This brief review of the early nineteenth-century Puerto Rican periodicals illustrates that from the outset Puerto Ricans had a strong inclination for creative writing, especially poetry and drama. According to Manrique Cabrera, the first literary publication in the island was a book of poems, written by the outcast Spaniard Juan Rodriguez Calderon, simply entitled Poesias, followed by a second work Ocios de juventud (both circa 1806). These books are important in our context because of their singularity, but especially because their themes are focused on Puerto Rico, as in the poem "Ida al campo de Puerto Rico" by Rodriguez Calderon: Sitio feliz en que por tantos ahos Despues que desenganos De la vida pasada Me ofrecio la fortuna. Albergue venturoso Adonde encontro suelo el forastero Un asilo dichoso Y a donde con esmero A l extrano se acoge (qtd. in Manrique Cabrera 68) These verses offer tangible evidence of the way in which the island provided shelter and refuge to Spanish exiles as well as to other immigrants. Ironically, while Puerto Rico was a good place for asylum, its own people suffered exile and had to flee to other countries. Most of the Puerto Rican exiles were intellectuals who belonged to the pro-independence faction and who were forced to leave the island, never to return, as happened to the patriots Eugenio Maria de Hostos, Ramon Emeterio Betances, Lola Rodriguez de Tio, and Segundo Ruiz Belvis, among others. 34 The Awaken ing of Theatre Cultural studies concerning the first half of the nineteenth century reveal that Puerto Ricans had a special inclination for theatre. In Mis memorias, Tapia recalls that there was only one theatre in existence before the 1820s, a wooden building that he describes as a "verdadero corral de comedias"(89). It was probably built during the constitutional period of 1812-1814, but since it was destroyed there remains no concrete evidence of its origin. Tapia indicates that in 1824, under the initiative of the Spanish army, construction began on the first coliseo (a large auditorium or coliseum), which was opened circa 1830 (Mis memorias 90). Many theatre companies from Spain, Mexico, and other countries were invited to perform in the island, with tremendous success. Tapia, Pasarell, and Manrique Cabrera have documented that the Puerto Rican audience particularly enjoyed plays by Leandro de Moratin (1760-1828) and Manuel Eduardo de Gorostiza (1789-1851), as well as many sainetes by Ramon de la Cruz (1731-1794). In Mis memorias, Tapia mentions that some local sainetes were also included, along with those by Ramon de la Cruz. With his usual sense of humour, Tapia refers to the title of one such local sainete for which "podra juzgarse la estetica de nuestro publico en aquel tiempo. Denominabase asi: 'Velorio en Bayaja / y pendencia en Culo Prieto'" (90). Despite its vocabulary, as Tapia hilariously remarks, the quotation shows that a Puerto Rican dramaturgy was gradually emerging. Of special interest is Emilio J. Pasarell's discovery of an anonymous fragment of what he identified as part of a drama written and published in Puerto Rico by 1811.2 0 The fragment See Pasarell's Origenes de la aficion teatral en Puerto Rico (1951) qtd. in Manrique Cabrera 1971, 69-70; and qtd. in Gonzalez 1976, 84. 35 might be the first Puerto Rican play whose action is situated in the island, probably between 1795 and 1805. According to Pasarell, the plot is a case of adultery and bigamy: Fulgencio, a Spaniard who married again in Puerto Rico, is followed by his first wife, who comes to find out her husband's infidelity. These early explorations of theatre, coupled with the literary texts available through the popular press, demonstrate how in Puerto Rico there was an audience eager and ready for the dissemination of the arts and culture. In 1848, when Puerto Rico was under the rule of one of the island's notorious despots, Governor de la Pezuela (1848-1851), Tapia wrote his first Romantic drama Roberto d' Evreux. In Mis memorias, Tapia confesses that at the time he was a devotee of the romantic historical drama, his favourite readings in particular were Cristina de Suecia by Dumas, and Maria de Tudor by Victor Hugo. In both dramas each of the queens, in a jealous rage, have their lovers killed. Tapia recalls that his young and highly romantic imagination was carried away with the idea of a queen who, after punishing her lover, mourns him inconsolably. He found in Queen Elizabeth Tudor's affair with the Count of Essex the ideal subject matter for his drama Roberto d' Evreux. Tapia recounts in detail this anecdote and how the censor banned his play: Olvide que era hijo de una colonia espanola en la Espana monarquica de 1848, con aquella literatura dramatica que aun solia pensar, o decir de los reyes, algo menos que Sancho Ortiz de las Roelas: " E l rey no puede mentir; no, que es imagen de Dios" . . . El censor hubo de prohibir no solo que se diese al teatro, pero ni siquiera a la estampa, so pretexto, como me dijo aquel funcionario, de que en estas provincias de America no debia permitirse la impresion ni representation de obras en que, como 36 pasaba con la mia, se humanizase a los reyes; y que yo pintaba a una reina freneticamente enamorada, hasta el punto de hacer morir por celos a su amante . . . Necesitaba yo tener pocos anos (contaba 21) para suponer que en Puerto Rico pudiese escribirse lo que en Francia. (125-26) Humorously, Tapia declares that the national literature did not lose anything of importance with the prohibition of his drama, since it was partly inspired by his passion for a certain sophisticated girl of Franco-English descent. The play, he indicates, was the result of his inexperienced youth, and consequently it had many flaws: "la candidez del adolescente se revelaba en esto, como el poco valor de la obra literaria" (125). Notwithstanding, Tapia managed to bring to the stage with tremendous success a revised version of Roberto d' Evreux in 1856 and published it that same year (Garcia Diaz 132). For this, Tapia is recognized as the first Puerto Rican playwright whose plays formally initiated the national theatrical tradition. Tapia continued writing dramas and promoting theatre locally. The themes that Tapia and other Puerto Rican playwrights used were inspired by events of recent foreign history, such as Roberto d' Evreux. Tales of honour, unrequited love, and the adventures of pirates figured among this first romantic impulse. Tapia wrote several historical dramas, namely Bernardo de Palissy (1857), Camoens (1868), and Vasco Nunez de Balboa (1872). In these romantic and sentimental plays, Tapia dealt with the lives and love affairs of men such as the Count of Essex, the French alfarero Palissy, the Portuguese poet Camoens, and the Spanish conquistador Nunez de Balboa. There are two interesting pieces which are not historical, La cuarterona (1867) and La parte del leon (1880). Both dramas are set in Tapia's own day, but 37 the only one that presents a Caribbean setting is La cuarterona. The action takes place in Havana, and explores the taboo subject of interracial relations. La parte del leon, even though it is set in Madrid, has a transatlantic connection, for the heroine, Catalina, had a boyfriend in America, Enrique, but she marries another man in Spain. Enrique goes to Spain to confront Catalina, and her husband Fernando believes that Catalina has been unfaithful. Fernando kills Enrique in a duel and abandons his wife. According to Garcia Diaz, La parte del leon was not welcomed by the Puerto Rican public, perhaps because Tapia used it to convey his message of moral and social equality between spouses (Garcia Diaz 146-47). Salvador Brau also wrote plays which were performed on the island and were received with enthusiasm by the public. Brau treated historical as well as local topics in his plays. Heroey mdrtir (1870) is an historical drama about the struggles of the comuneros against Carlos V in Castile. It was followed by the comic piece De la superficie alfondo (1874), and his last play, La vuelta al hogar (1877), which revolves around the adventures of pirates on the Puerto Rican coast at the beginning of the nineteenth century. In spite of the prohibition and scarcity of creative texts, they were still found in the private libraries of the Creole elite. Alejandro Tapia, for example, whose family did not have the means to send him to study abroad, had access to the private library of the wealthy Acosta family. Tapia records in Mis memorias that he fed his insatiable hunger for literature by reading English and German authors: Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott, Goethe and Schiller, the Spanish and French romantics Larra and Espronceda, and Chateaubriand and Lamartine, among others. The same applies to Salvador Brau, who was not able to study abroad but had free access to the extensive private library of the wealthy brothers Felix and Jose Garcia de la 38 Torre (Manrique Cabrera 150). In his Introduction to Brau's drama La vuelta al hogar, Cesareo Rosa-Nieves indicates that Brau was chiefly self-taught and that "en sus ratos de ocio leia a Quintana, Lamartine, Hartzenbusch, Garcia Gutierrez, Nunez de Arce, Zapata y Jose Echegaray. Asi se fue haciendo aquel caracter recio" (Rosa-Nieves 6). Despite the imposed censorship, European authors were being read simultaneously on the island and abroad, and slowly the nascent Puerto Rican narratives were gestating. While in Puerto Rico the Romantic trend in theatre was the norm by the middle of the nineteenth century in Spain it was declining, and French Realism was in vogue. As Angel M . Aguirre indicates, the Puerto Rican reading public delighted themselves mainly with Spanish novels, in particular those by Fernan Caballero (Cecilia Bohl de Faber, 1796-1877),23 Benito Perez Galdos (1843-1920), Jose Maria de Pereda (1833-1906), Emilia Pardo Bazan (1852-1921) and Pedro Antonio de Alarcon (1833-1891). The intellectuals who had the economic means to study in France, such as Ramon Emeterio Betances and Manuel Zeno Gandia, read Realist and Naturalist authors firsthand, namely Honore de Balzac (1799-1850), Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), and Emile Zola (1840-1902) (Aguirre 16-18).These authors figured among the literary models that early Puerto Rican writers adopted and interpreted in their own ways. Cecilia Bohl de Faber's novel La gaviota, became favourite reading among the elite. According to Aguirre, the novel is an example of the mixing of styles, such as Costumbrismo, Romantic, and Realist (Aguirre 18). 39 The First Creole Writings Poetry and drama were the first literary expressions found in the local press and in lost pieces—such as the anonymous fragment found by Pasarell—from as early as 1811. Puerto Rican histories of literature agree that the publication of the Aguinaldo Puertorriqueno in 1843 marks the formal beginning of Puerto Rican literature. The Aguinaldo was an anthology of prose and verse which was put together by a group of enthusiastic Spanish and Creoles. They published it at the same press where the newspaper El Boledn Mercantil was printed (Rivera de Alvarez 16). The Anthology contained the work of three Spaniards, two Venezuelans, and seven Puerto Ricans, among them two women, Alejandrina Benitez and Benicia Aguayo. The Aguinaldo attempted to be "un libro enteramente indigena" as it states its foreword (qtd. in Rivera de Alvarez 16). The success of this first national creative publication moved a group of Puerto Rican students at the University of Barcelona to write a second anthology. The next year (1844) another anthology was published in Spain entitled Album Puertorriqueno. It was welcomed with enthusiasm by the Puerto Rican reading public. There followed the second Aguinaldo Puertorriqueno and El Cancionero de Borinquen (both in 1846), published in San Juan and Barcelona respectively. In these anthologies are found for the first time the names of poets and novelists who will continue to publish. Among them stand out Jose Julian Acosta, Francisco Vasallo, and, in particular, Manuel A . Alonso. Alonso wrote a compilation of "cuadros de costumbres" entitled El gibaro (1849) which years later would be consecrated as the cornerstone of the Criollista literary movement. The work of the notable poet Alejandrina Benitez also marks this initial literary stage. 40 Rivera de Alvarez notes that these anthologies maintain the form and style of the Romantic Movement that was already out of fashion in Spain (16). Gonzalez adds that the first Aguinaldo of 1843, despite lacking literary merits "tiene en cambio la importancia innegable de haber iniciado toda una serie de publicaciones similares en las que empieza a hallar expresion cada vez mas segura la novisima literatura national" (Literatura y sociedad 95-96). In the cultural history of the island these anthologies represent the first locally based and published attempts at creative writing and stand as the precursors of what is considered the birth of an autochthonous literature. There are some discrepancies, however, in regard to the pioneering value of some of these early creative works. In this section I will discuss some controversial aspects in order to provide more contextual grounds for the subsequent analysis. Before continuing this succinct overview of early Puerto Rican creative writing, it will be useful to examine the relationship between European literary schools and the Puerto Rican literary tradition. Historians of Puerto Rican literature, such as Josefina Rivera de Alvarez and Cesareo Rosa-Nieves, classify the island's literary production strictly following the aesthetic norms and trends of the European schools. Contrary to that fixed view, I attempt a more flexible taxonomy, for which I am indebted to Francisco Manrique Cabrera's comments in his Historia de la literatura puertorriquena. Manrique Cabrera argues that his attempt to avoid assigning names of European schools or literary movements to the different stages of Puerto Rican literary development responds to the fact that those trends— Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, Naturalism—are strictly defined conceptualizations of European literary criticism, and that they would hardly do justice to, or describe with fidelity, the literary phenomena of Latin America: 41 En lo que a Puerto Rico atane, son con mucho, inciertos, cuando no injustos, o en cierta medida, erroneos. Tales conceptos tienen en la Europa literaria unos contenidos bastante precisos porque sus respectivos deslindes no son mera invention conceptual de criticos y pensadores, sino que tambien corresponden a unas determinadas experiencias culturales-historicas que en sucesivas oleadas de sensibilidades han ido plasmando los climas de espiritus germanos a tales expresiones esteticas. Las evoluciones historicas de la vieja Europa ofrecen con cierta claridad las fronteras de esas oleadas. En la America nuestra, por recien nacida, no podemos hablar hasta el proximo ayer de esa marcha acompasada y ello con gran cautela. (110) For this reason, analyses that seek to fit Puerto Rican literature into fixed European trends seem forced. However it is difficult to escape from following the models of the European canon because they marked the pace of Western literature. Latin American and Caribbean narratives were unavoidably influenced by the literary models from the other side of the Atlantic. For this reason, I take Manrique Cabrera's advice with caution, concerning the literary analysis of Puerto Rican literature, since we cannot measure the Creole narratives against the strict categories of the European trends but nor can we avoid all comparisons. M y study tries, however, to avoid thinking of Creole creative writings as "delayed development" or as "copies." Puerto Rico, like other countries, developed its own cultural nuances, spaces, and particularities that contributed to the emergence of a local literary tradition. I will refer, however, to the traditional nomenclature of European literary movements, because they define the Western literary canon. Perhaps the only exception is Modernismo, whose literary, philosophical and religious connotations go beyond the Latin American 42 expression of French Symbolism. In "Carnaval/Antropofagia/Parodia," Emir Rodriguez Monegal suggests that the European aesthetic models were accepted in Latin America, but they were immediately parodied (in the sense of "parody" coined by Bakhtin): "Ya hay en Dario un tono de autoparodia en el juego de ambiguedades con que imita y desacraliza los modelos del simbolismo trances . . . resulto evidente que solo las distorsiones de la parodia y la violencia de la antropofagia podian hacer justicia al 'espiritu' de la literatura latinoamericana" (407). It is perhaps in the concept of parody that we might find a better vehicle for the interpretation of nineteenth-century Puerto Rican fiction, than in the one offered by the European literary genres, trends, and schools. Manrique Cabrera explains that romanticism persisted throughout the nineteenth century as an "attitude"—a melancholy and bitter reaction of the defeated aboriginal peoples to the Conquest—and not as an echo of the European literary school. The first literary expressions show this romantic attitude as very emotive but absolutely not revolutionary (Manrique Cabrera 111-12). On the other hand, Jose Luis Gonzalez remarks in Literatura y sociedad that the Romantic movement did not arrive late in the island, but rather was not initially welcomed: Este romanticismo inicial, que no llego tarde, encontro sin embargo un ambiente inhospito en la isla . . . El romanticismo, aun el de filiation tradicionalista, tropezo en la propia Espaiia con la fuerte resistencia de quienes regian la vida intelectual y politica del pais. El mismo Walter Scott, abanderado del ala reaccionaria del movimiento, fue prohibido en la peninsula. En la colonia, que apenas alcanzo a disfrutar los momentos de triunfo liberal en la metropoli, la situation tenia que ser 43 peor. El romanticismo de signo revolucionario, que en Espana logro expresiones capitales en ciertos periodos de libertad, fue reprimido en la isla con verdadera sana a lo largo de todo el siglo. (91-2) As I have pointed out, Puerto Rican writers such as Tapia and Brau, and also the writers who contributed to the Aguinaldos, El Album, and El Cancionero, had access to the neo-classical and romantic authors. They sought the expression of a different spirit, or at least they tried to voice something "indigena" which Gonzalez calls "la primera hazana criollista de vertiente romantica" (Literatura y sociedad 102). The interest in creating a voice that would sound authentically "boricua" (from the island of Borinquen) was one of the main concerns of this early national literature. In Imagen del puertorriqueno en la novela, Jose Juan Beauchamp points out that an interest in the life and social conditions of the mountain folk initiated a ciclo jibaro in Puerto Rican writing. According to Beauchamp, the jibarismo literario is two-dimensional: on the one hand it can be merely picturesque, on the other, it can be used to denounce social conditions (29). This statement shows the confluence of the Romantic with the Realist movements. That is why, during the ciclo jibaro, both dimensions developed simultaneously: "Se caracteriza, pues, este ciclo jibaro por un afan de hacer sociologia dentro y fuera de la obra literaria, pero con predominio de lo pintoresquista"(30). Its earliest manifestations are found in the newspapers Diario Liberal y de Variedades and El Investigador. In 1820, Las coplas del gibaro—an anonymous short manuscript that criticized the recently restored 1812 Spanish Constitution—circulated among the reading public. Even though its political criticism was conservative, Las coplas, written in verse and imitating the 44 jibaro's speech, provoked controversy. El investigador published the poem, while attacking its political content, a reaction that resulted in a wider diffusion of the poem, which captured more public attention than was originally intended. In order to defend himself, the author of Las coplas, Miguel Cabrera from Arecibo, revealed his identity in La Gaceta, thus creating the first nationalist public debate in the newspapers of Puerto Rico. 2 1 Mire prima Sica, Mudeme ei lichon Que yo voy a vei La Costitusion Isen la an tragio En un gran papei, De juro la a embiao Deje Espana ei Rei Me an asegurao Con grande sijilio, Que no pagaremos Y a ningun susilio Que toos los presos Se echaran ajuera Y que ya ca uno Jara lo que quiera (excerpt qtd. in Manrique Cabrera 71) Historically, Las coplas is regarded as the first creative literary attempt at appropriating the jibaro's speech to voice political protest, thus conveying a distinct Puerto Rican expression. According to Manrique Cabrera, the impassioned public debate around Las coplas del gibaro was first documented in 1941 by Antonio S. Pedreira in Elperiodismo en Puerto Rico (Historia de la Literatura Puertorriqueha 71). After Pedreira's discovery of Las coplas, numerous Puerto Rican studies have pointed out the text's foundational value, for instance, Messinger-Cypess's "Tradition and Innovation..." (76) as well as her "The Unveiling of a Nation..." (283-84), and in Gonzalez's Literatura y sociedad (85-86). 45 For this reason, Las coplas is assessed as the foundational text that inspired later writers and helped reinforce a feeling of national culture among the elite. Las coplas is considered the antecedent of the more extensive El gibaro (1849) by Manuel Alonso, expanded and republished in 1882 with an introduction by Salvador Brau. Alonso's El gibaro is arguably regarded as the first literary expression of Puerto Rican national identity. Its second edition in 1882 marked the moment when the jibarismo literario reached its peak (Beauchamp 30). The literary representation of the jibaro, in its romanticized version as the embodiment of Rousseau's noble sauvage, appears as a recurrent leitmotif since the beginning of Puerto Rican creative writing, as can be seen in the first literary anthologies. Although it is true that the jibaro became the nationalist symbol par excellence in Puerto Rican literature, the validity of the claim that Alonso's El gibaro marks the beginning of the Puerto Rican national literary tradition is questionable. Gonzalez, in El pais de cuatro pisos, argues that the status of first "national" text should be more properly accredited to Alejandro Tapia, whose drama Roberto D 'Evreux was written two years before El gibaro. Moreover, Tapia was recognized by his contemporaries as the undeniable initiator of a national literature. In the 1930s, however, influential intellectuals such as Antonio S. Pedreira, Manrique Cabrera, and Rene Marques (all members of "La Generation del 30") revised and institutionalized the Puerto Rican literary canon, assuming the position that the first national literary work was Manuel Alonso's El gibaro, and that the first national novel was Manuel Zeno Gandia's La charca. Without denying the historical and literary relevance of these two national narratives, my own research points to the neglect, almost the 46 obliteration from the Puerto Rican literary history, of other significant creative works from the nineteenth-century. According to Gonzalez, the existence of conflicting views about whether or not Alonso's El gibaro or Tapia's Roberto D Evreux constituted the first Puerto Rican literary work has to do, in part, with their themes and styles. The Romantic cosmopolitanism of Tapia's drama did not fulfil the political agenda of "La Generation del 30," for they believed it did not convey the nationalist message that El gibaro''s "romanticismo costumbrista" (Gonzalez, El pais 59). Gonzalez explains that the discrepancy between the Puerto Rican intellectuals of the 1880s and the 1930s was mainly "en razon de un desplazamiento del punto de vista ideologico de los intelectuales de la clase dirigente criolla a partir del transito del regimen colonial espanol al norteamericano" (62). It is understandable that the collection of "cuadros de costumbres" that comprises El gibaro would be regarded as more authentically Puerto Rican by the latter group than Roberto D Evreux's cosmopolitanism. Nevertheless, Tapia's vast literary work includes the novel Cofresi (1876), which in both Gonzalez's and Beauchamp's assessment was the first regionalist novel to depict the problems of the campesinos in the Puerto Rican countryside. In the 1930s, however, and for political reasons, the works by Alonso and Zeno Gandia were incorporated and accepted into the Puerto Rican literary canon as the point of origin of the national literature. The core of this controversy, as Gonzalez asserts, resides in the 1930s intellectuals' idealization of Alonso's El gibaro as the means to advance their nationalist cultural agenda, without acknowledging that the context of Alonso's poem responded to the "liberalismo regionalista" of 1849 (Gonzalez El pais. ..63). 47 Ramon Mendez Quinones (1847-1889) is regarded as "el iniciador de la corriente criollista en el teatro puertorriqueno" (Gonzalez Literatura y sociedad 158). The jibaro was represented in plays by Mendez Quinones such as the comic "entremes" Un jibaro como hay pocos (1878), followed by Los jibaros progresistas and La vuelta de laferia (both from 23 1882). A well-known intellectual, Manuel Fernandez J u n c o s (1846-1928) also wrote short stories and essays inspired by the jibaro, such as Tipos y caracteres (1882) and Costumbres y tradiciones (1883). The latter, as Lewis states, "puts together gently satirical portraits of the social types of the small-town and country life, but at the same time notes the poverty and ignorance of the same types that in turn generate prostitution, emigration, and distorted moral values" (269). Far from recognizing the life-style and cultural complexities of the lower-class mountain folk, this type of literature criticizes the jibaro class and depicts it as the ultimate expression of a primitive, sickly, and retarded population: "el jibarismo literario de la elite no ha sido otra cosa, en el fondo, que la expresion de su propio prejuicio social y racial" (Gonzalez El pais. ..37). As my research has shown, "jibarismo literario" was only one among the various literary tendencies that were in vogue in the island during the late nineteenth century. For example, the cosmopolitanism of Tapia comprises a voluminous body of work which resists canonical classifications because of its uniqueness in the island's cultural milieu. The proto-feminist preoccupations of Roque and her blend of styles also destabilize an orderly taxonomy of literary topics and trends. In the hope of doing justice to See Antonia Saez's El teatro en Puerto Rico: Notas para su historia 69, qtd. in Beauchamp 30. 48 their work and of interpreting it correctly, this socio-historical overview attempts to identify the intertextuality required for the analysis of some of their foundational narratives. Independence, Autonomy, and Unconditional Political Thought While Spain's former colonies in the Latin American mainland were defining and consolidating their independent nation-states, in Puerto Rico many factors strengthened anti-independence positions. The reinforcement of the Spanish military garrison with the incorporation of the defeated troops from the Latin American mainland and the immigration of conservative families escaping the wars of independence were crucial. In addition, the actions of the colonial state against the Liberal Creole intellectuals created conflicting perceptions regarding the political status of the island. The Creole elite as a group kept strong psychological attachments to "La Madre Patria" and were unwilling to try to lead an independence movement that would mobilize the masses. In any case, the Creole Liberal elite and the conservative faction were both more inclined to keep the lower classes under their total control and authority. Although among the Creole elite there was a growing sentiment of awareness of being culturally different from the Spaniards, they still envisaged Puerto Rico as a province of Spain. It is common to find in the writings of the Creoles references to themselves as "los hijos de Espana" and to white Creole 49 women as "la mujer espanola." Instead of independence, most Liberals sought reforms that would grant them the same rights and privileges that Spanish citizens held both at home and on the island. For the moneyed class, the continued connection with Spain remained a powerful incentive, and European liberal ideas had a specific impact on the development of an anti-colonial ideology towards assimilation with Spain, rather than independence. It was between 1866 and 1897 that painstaking negotiations were carried out by the Puerto Rican Creole elite to regain the long desired but briefly granted political representation before the Cortes de Cadiz. Not surprisingly, in 1868 the only radical movement for total independence, "E l Grito de Lares," did not succeed. Traditionally, " E l Grito de Lares" is said to have been inspired or orchestrated by the independentista leader Ramon Emeterio Betances.25 In Coffee and the Growth of Agrarian Capitalism in Nineteenth Century Puerto Rico, Laird W. Bergad suggests that the central issue overlooked by history has been that "the local economy revolved around coffee production" and that the leaders of the Lares insurrection were all coffee planters (135). Bergad refers in particular to the leader This strong cultural connection with Spain recurs in many of the texts written in the nineteenth century. Significantly, after Puerto Ricans were granted United States citizenship in March 2, 1917 under the Foraker Act, Hispanic culturalnationalism and identity continued to be very powerful, provoking polemical arguments in the local press: "Porque, digo yo: si no somos espanoles ^que somos? . . . seria tonto negar que mas diferencias raciales y culturales hay entre un Catalan y un castellano que entre un castellano y nosotros . . . lo que es bueno en boca de un Benavente, de un Maeztu, de un Unamuno, es malo, es una infamia, es criminal como una punalada a traicion en boca de un espanol que nacio en Puerto Rico como pudo haber nacido en Malaga o Mallorca" (Nemesio Canales "Espana y nosotros" Juan Bobo 11, 11 demarzo de 1917). Ramon Emeterio Betances (1827-1898), educated in France, was a militant Mason and a physician. He is regarded as the initiator of the movement for total independence. It is recorded that he was in Saint Domingue at the time of the rebellion of Lares. He died in exile in Paris (Ribes Tovar 113). 50 of the rebellion, Manuel Rojas, a Venezuelan immigrant who came to the island ten years before "El Grito de Lares," and was indebted to Spanish merchants (137). In part, Bergad argues that the coffee planters saw independence as a way to get rid not only of the Spanish government but also of their debts. There was a clash of interests among the political leaders in the country who held conflicting agendas, and the different social sectors of the island were not united. In addition, the insurrection of Lares was initiated earlier than planned, so the rest of the country did not know what was happening, a terrible strategic mistake that made of "E l Grito de Lares" an isolated revolt, easy for the Spanish authorities and the Incondicionales to suppress immediately. It was not until the 1870s that Puerto Ricans experienced a relative sense of political freedom. Encouraged in part by Spain's revolution of 1868 and the new Republic of 1873 that promoted the abolition of slavery, the time seemed propitious for the official formation of the island's first political parties: the Liberal Reformist Party (los Reformistas), which favoured socioeconomic reforms and political assimilation with Spain; and the Liberal Conservative Party, which favoured the status-quo and whose members were soon to be called los Incondicionales (Gonzalez Vales 115). Political parties were allowed or acknowledged to the degree that their platforms addressed a continuing relationship with Spain. By 1887 the Reformistas founded the Partido Autonomista in the city of Ponce, which was grounded on the two most prominent models of political autonomy at the time: The Cuban Party's Platform, and the Canadian model of autonomy. The Puerto Rican patriots who wanted total independence from Spain were therefore not officially acknowledged. Supporters of independence, such as Bonocio Tio and his wife 51 Lola Rodriguez de Tio and the revolutionary patriots Segundo Ruiz Belvis, and Emeterio Betances, faced exile, incarceration, and even death. They were called separatistas-a term almost insulting at the time—which the Incondicionales manipulated as a threat, referring to the liberal autonomists as separatistas and filibusteros. Even Liberal intellectuals such as Alejandro Tapia y Rivera, despite his opposition to Spanish colonial excesses, manifested his overt disagreement with the pro-independence faction: Fue aquel motin [Lares] forjado en plena situation colonial sin esperanzas de reformas en la defectuosa administration de aquel sistema, y que si era precedente de separatismo, debia ser ensenanaza para los sostenedores de aquel sistema. Estoy dispuesto a hacer justicia a los conservadores en lo que les corresponde. (Mis memorias 65) This ambivalent position was that of the Liberates Reformistas, who wanted sociopolitical and economic reforms in terms of having the same rights as the Spaniards and being recognized as a province of Spain. 2 6 Until 1898 autonomy remained the dominant Tapia's sentiment towards the patriots who organized El Grito de Lares was not a sympathetic one; he referred to them as "la exception de los ilusos de Lares," and remarked that the rest of the Puerto Ricans- including reformists and autonomists- were actually defending the absolutist colonial system since what they wanted was assimilation, not independence. Basically, they did not want el separatismo (in other words, independence), unlike the Puerto Rican Creole Emeterio Betances or immigrants who resided in the island, such as the Venezuelan Manuel Rojas. Tapia's position was that of "los liberales pacificos y nunca amotinados" who, according to him, strengthened the trust of the conservatives and lovers of national integrity "con una buena y simpatica organization, nunca exclusiva de un solo partido, la defensa de la nacionalidad" (Mis memorias 65-66). 52 political and economic goal of Puerto Rican Liberals, who represented the interests of the white Creole urban professionals, intellectuals, and middle-class landowners.27 The conservatives or Incondicionales imposed severe forms of repression against the Partido Autonomista a few months after it was organized in 1887. The Incondicionales created the organization of the Compontes and the secret society known as La Boicotizadora (The Boycotter). La Boicotizadora represented a conservative reaction to the Partido Autonomista and was supposed to defend the interests of the Creole merchants against unfair competition from Peninsular commercial firms; however, its real purpose was to provide an excuse to persecute the Autonomistas. The newly appointed governor, Romualdo Palacio Gonzalez, who was in office for only one year (1887), effected decisive damage with his support for the Compontes' brutal regime of terror. The Compontes not only unleashed a systematic campaign of repression and torture against anyone who was a sympathizer of independent ideas, but also overtly attacked the Partido Autonomista almost to the point of its dissolution. During the time of the institutionalized regime of the Compontes, the Autonomistas were accused of seeking ways to attain independence through their plan for administrative autonomy. The irony was that instead of seeking separatism in any form, the 2 7 It is of interest, as a counterpoint, to mention the remarkable exceptions to the noticeable "whiteness" of the Creole elite. They were two liberal autonomists: the black physician Jose Celso Barbosa, and the mulatto journalist Roman Baldorioty de Castro. 28 Gonzalez points out that the regime of terror of the Compontes paralyzed the Partido Autonomista until 1891, when Luis Munoz Rivera reintroduced the ideas laid out by the autonomistas, especially those of Roman Baldorioty de Castro (1887). In Antonio S. Pedreira's El ano terrible del 87 (1945) some of the atrocities practiced by the Compontes are described in detail (Literatura y sociedad 80-82). 53 Puerto Rican Liberal Reformists and Autonomists-staunch anti-colonials as they were-sought ways of alliance with the metropolitan parties that would only result in assimilation. To the dismay of the Creole Liberal elite, the Spaniards neither granted nor seriously considered the heated allegations and platforms for reforms and assimilation proposed by the Liberal Puerto Ricans. Years later, under the leadership of Luis Munoz Rivera (1859-1916)29 the Partido Autonomista sought alliance with Spain's Liberal Fusionista party of Praxedes Mateo Sagasta. This pact with Spain supported the reformist ideas that would institutionalize political and administrative autonomy at last. This was known as La Carta Autonomica de 1897 (the Autonomous Charter of 1897). The aims of the Autonomous Charter were never realized, however, as its implementation was interrupted by the Spanish-American War the following year. The Spanish-American War and The United States Occupation: A Brief Overview The colonial absolutism that ruled Puerto Rico during the nineteenth century was the scenario against which men and women tried to play the roles of educators, writers, and free thinkers but instead suffered disenfranchisement, exile, incarceration or death. These conditions, together with admiration for the United States' democratic Constitution, explain in part why Puerto Ricans received the North American troops with enthusiasm when they landed in 1898. There was a new hope for social justice and progress which seemed 29 Luis Munoz Rivera was Prime Minister at the time of the American occupation: "a man of modest beginnings from the small mountain town of Barranquitas, [he] became at a young age one of the top political leaders of his time" (Trias Monge 31). 54 disappointing when the parade of military governors continued—with the difference that instead of Spaniards they were now United States' officials. Curbing of public opinion and press restrictions continued under the United States' official censorship. For example, General Guy V. Henry, the second North American governor (1898-1899), closed the newspaper directed by the political leader Luis Munoz Rivera because General Henry did not agree with Munoz's political criticism. In spite of this, the first decade of the twentieth century brought about a new feeling of freedom of speech throughout the island; numerous newspapers, pamphlets, and flyers of all kinds appeared, not only for the upper classes but also for the middle and lower working class. The United States military and political intervention dislocated the centralized power that the local Hispanic elite had gained by the late nineteenth century. As a result, Puerto Rico was fragmented into various social groups, and for the first time voices from diverse sectors of society found space for self-expression without censorship. The popular sectors, salaried workers and the lower classes, at last found the means to be publicly represented in local papers, syndicates, and unions. After centuries of Spanish political repression, the literate male population was eager to talk politics and exercise its civil right to suffrage: The political parties had papers which represented their points of view. The parties covered the island, their leaders frequently visiting the towns and many remote villages. Despite the illiteracy rate, political awareness ran very high. During periods of universal male suffrage, men flocked to the polling stations. Puerto Rico has always taken pride in its rate of voter turnout, one of the highest in the world. (Trias Monge 16) 55 In the first decades of the twentieth century, the Creole elite's perceptions of moral superiority began to collapse under the rapid proletarianization of the lower classes. Thanks in part to the influence of the United States workers' unions and Spain's anarchist workers' movements, a series of strong pronouncements were made in favour of more radical social changes that sought to blur racial and gender differences. The early twentieth-century working class intended to put an end to the previous rhetoric of the elite on race and sexuality that endorsed the Afro-Puerto Ricans' supposedly inherent degeneracy and immorality. For a while the lower class was gaining territory in the political and intellectual arena. Nonetheless, strong racist and class prejudices continued to permeate social thought and literary topics well into the twentieth century. Women Intellectuals and their Contributions Women played a crucial role throughout this historical process. Their active participation in and contribution to the cultural development of Puerto Rico, however, has only recently been acknowledged and become an object of study. The growth of recent scholarship in feminist theory and cultural studies since the late 1970s has unveiled a constant feminine presence and active participation that cannot be obliterated from Puerto Rican cultural history. In Imposing Decency, Eileen Findlay points out that in the history of Puerto Rico discourses about legitimacy, justice, citizenship, and community have often been produced through debates over racially coded moral values and sexual practices. In the nineteenth century, men from the Liberal elite articulated a language of honour intended not only to 56 control women's sexuality, but also to construct a white Hispanic Creole national identity that neglected the Afro-Antillian cultural component. In their turn, patrician women reaffirmed their status of racial and moral superiority over plebeian women, and in particular against women of colour. Thus, race and class were associated with sexual morality, producing an exclusionist, moralistic discourse within the elite. Therefore, it is neither strange nor surprising that the writings of white Creole women such as Ana Roque celebrated the Hispanic and the Taino cultural heritage, but despised the African. The contribution of women to the development of Puerto Rican literature was salient from the very beginning. As I previously mentioned, the first anthology of prose and poetry considered properly "boricua" (that is, from Borinquen) was the Aguinaldo Puertorriqueno (1843), followed by the Album Puertorriqueno (1844), and the second Aguinaldo and the Cancionero de Borinquen of 1846. The anthologies were received with enthusiasm by the reading public in the island and spawned a series of short publications of poetry and prose that were published in broadsheets or in newspapers that today are dispersed or lost (Rivera de Alvarez 292-93). The first Aguinaldo had the particularity of offering a sample of different literary genres by men and women authors, which was not the pattern that the rest of the Hispanic American world followed (Messinger Cypess 284). Alejandrina Benitez (1819-1876) contributed with poetry and Benicia Aguayo (dates unknown) wrote a short essay of religious content. Alejandrina Benitez also collaborated with a collection of eight poems for the second Aguinaldo of 1846 (Rivera de Alvarez 137-144). The Puerto Rican elite adapted terms from Ancient Rome to designate the abyss that separated social classes: the upper-class was called the "patrician class" and the lower-classes were the "plebeian." 57 Maria Bibiana Benitez (1785-1873) was one of the first Puerto Ricans to be publicly awarded a mention of honour in literature in 1832 for her poem "La Ninfa de Puerto Rico." Besides poetry, Benitez wrote the drama La cruz del morro (unknown date). La cruz del morro is set in San Juan and dramatizes the attack by the Dutch in 1625. For this, the play has been regarded as the first drama to explore a national theme (Manrique Cabrera 74; Messiger Cypess 284; Sola 197). Among other women poets from the first half of the nineteenth century, Fidela Matheu de Rodriguez (1852-1927) was a prolific contributor to Fernandez Juncos' newspaper El Buscapie and Tapia's La Azucena. Puerto Rican women writers did not just write poetry. As in the case of Maria Bibiana Benitez, there were also playwrights and novelists. Carmen Hernandez de Araujo (1832-1877) is an interesting case whose work has not been reprinted and is difficult to locate. In Literatura y sociedad, Gonzalez dedicates a small section to Hernandez de Araujo and calls her a "caso curioso" (131). In Gonzalez's account, Hernandez de Araujo cultivated poetry with a neo-classical spirit, for which she was awarded literary prizes. When she was only fifteen years old, she wrote the drama Los deudos rivales (published later in 1863) conforming to the Spanish Romantic aesthetic. Los deudos rivales consists of five acts written in verse, set in "la Esparta de Licurgo" (132). Hernandez de Araujo also wrote another less-known drama, Hacer bien al enemigo es imponerle el mayor castigo, and left two unpublished works: El catecismo Biblico and the novel Flores o Virtudes y abrojos y pasiones (Manrique Cabrera 146). Josefa Martinez (dates unknown) also cultivated prose narrative. Martinez was better known by her pen-name of "La Cieguita de la Cantera" and contributed to the island's 58 Romantic spirit with her Coleccion de novelitas y articulos de recreo (1880) (Rivera de Alvarez 287). Maria Manuela Fernandez (1865-1903) wrote the novella La mano de la providencia (1882), which according to Lizabeth Paravisini "es la primera novela publicada por una mujer puertorriquena."31 Set in the woods of Switzerland, the plot involves a girl and a boy abandoned to their fate. They live in constant fear of falling in love because they think they are brother and sister. The struggle between good and evil is at the core of the plot, and the intrigue is solved by exposing the causes of the children's abandonment: avarice and egotism. They discover they are not blood relatives, and so they can be lovers. The setting in a legendary, exotic place, the children lost in the woods, the struggle between good and evil, the unrequited love out of fear of incest, are all romantic elements which the elite enjoyed. Fernandez did not write another novel, or at least there is no evidence of it, and her work turned towards journalism and translation. Lola Rodriguez de Tio (1843-1924) one of the most outstanding Puerto Rican poets of the nineteenth century, distinguished herself by her political activism in favour of independence, which resulted in her exile and that of her husband. Her initiation to literature was achieved under the wing of another woman poet, Ursula Cardona de Quinones (1836-1875), who, using the pen-name of "Angelica," published poetry in the local newspapers.32 Manrique Cabrera has compared Lola Rodriguez's collection of poems Mis Cantares (1876) In her article "Las novelistas puertorriquefias inexistentes," Paravisini notes a lost manuscript of a novel by Carmen Hernandez de Araujo pre-dated La mano de la providencia. Paravisini is probably referring to Flores o Virtudes y abrojos y pasiones. Manuela Fernandez's La mano... in my view, however, cannot be properly considered "a novel" in the strict sense of the term, and that is why I use the more appropriate term "novella." 32 See Angela Negron Mujeres en Puerto Rico (1935) 38, qtd. in Manrique Cabrera 146. 59 to Jose Marti's Versos sencillos (1891) for their preference for singing of the simple things in everyday life. The exalted romantic rhetoric that permeated the literature of the Americas is absent from the verses of Mis Cantares, which instead pays more attention to using everyday vocabulary to describe ordinary events. In her second book of poetry, Clarosy nieblas (1885), Rodriguez reached the maturity of her lyric voice. Her political commitment is solidly conveyed in Mi libro de Cuba (1893). Other compositions show her affiliation to the Spanish writer Fray Luis de Leon, such as La vuelta del pastor and El arpa hebrea (Marique Cabrera 214). The revolutionary stanzas of Felix Astol's version of La Borinquena, are attributed to Lola Rodriguez. This song was the hallmark of " E l Grito de Lares" and became the Puerto Rican national anthem (Delgado Votaw 15). During her two-year exile in Venezuela, Rodriguez de Tio continued her political activism and there she was awarded "La Orden del Libertador." In 1887, when she and her husband came back to Puerto Rico, they were faced with the brutal regime of the Compontes and had to flee to New York and later to Havana where she died. Carmela Eulate Sanjurjo (1871-1961) was born in San Juan but moved in 1898 to Barcelona where she resided for the rest of her life. Eulate Sanjurjo was an accomplished novelist, essayist and translator from Arabic. One of the facts to be gleaned from the scant information about her life is that during her early years in Puerto Rico she was closely connected to Ana Roque's circle of friends. She was an enigmatic figure with respect to her private life, and little is known about her. Eulate Sanjurjo's first novel, La muiieca, published in 1894, the same year as La charca by Manuel Zeno Gandia, marks an interesting switch in 60 the gender representation of the Hispanic woman. Eulate Sanjurjo belongs to the elite, and the action of her novel takes place in Madrid, like Tapia y Rivera's Postumo el transmigrado and Postumo el envirginiado. This might be the reason why Zeno Gandia's novel is deemed to be the "first Puerto Rican novel," while Eulate's—and even Tapia's—has been overlooked in the nationalist literary canon until very recently. More interestingly, Paravisini comments that the prologue to La muheca, written by Zeno Gandia, captured the attention of the critics because it was considered Zeno's "Naturalist Manifesto," while Eulate's novel was ignored (Paravisini "Las novelistas..." 94). Eulate Sanjurjo published two more novels in Puerto Rico, Marques y marquesa (1911), and Teresa y Maria (1927). During the twentieth century she continued publishing in Spain novels such as Desilusion, La familia Robredo, Bocetos de novela, Las veleidades de Consuelo, El asombroso doctor Jover, El ingeniero de Quebec, and Una mano en la sombra, which are regarded as part of the Spanish Realist tradition (Rivera de Alvarez 289). Ana Roque de Duprey, in addition to being an educator and a novelist, stands out as a journalist and a businesswoman. Among her many contributions to the island's intellectual life, she was the founder of several newspapers. Roque learned typography skills and trained young women in a craft that until then had been considered exclusively a man's job. In Humacao, in 1894, she founded the journal La Mujer, establishing the first national printing press solely managed by women and for women. La Mujer also offered scholarships to provincial girls of low income who had the aptitude to pursue teaching certificates. The journal became a major public forum for voicing the concerns of the Hispanic Creole women, their points of view, and their demands. La Mujer published not only articles about social 61 events for a feminine audience, but also fiction. The fiction demarcated a public space where women authors were able to denounce the unspeakable: cases of rape and sexual abuse, honourable wives having extramarital sexual desires, and the infidelity of white men. Sadly, La Mujer only survived three years, but as Negron Munoz remarks, this was a long time, considering the controversial and fiercely-attacked campaign that it supported (5). Roque had to struggle constantly against negative criticism and financial problems in order to keep up her crusade for the formal education of women.3 3 Under the pen names of "Aquenora" and "Flora del Valle," Roque wrote articles, short stories, and serial novels for Puerto Rico's most important newspapers, such as El Buscapie, El Imparcial, El Mundo, La Ilustracion Puertorriquena, and La Revista Blanca. Among the journals and newspapers she founded or co-founded are: La Mujer (1894); La Evolucion (1902); La Mujer del Siglo XX (1917); and El Album Puertorriqueno (1918) all in Humacao. In San Juan, the journals she established were El Heraldo de la Mujer (1919) and Euterpe (1920).34 Between the 1890s and 1900s Roque's newspapers, together with the fiction by women produced at the time, are crucial in the development of a growing collective •1-5 According to Antonio Ortiz, Roque was often a victim of scorn and offensive jokes because she defended a feminine movement that at the time was not taken seriously by the majority (11). 3 4 Helga Serrano indicates that the women journalists of Puerto Rico today are the continuation of a group of women writers from the late nineteenth century. Some of the most outstanding are: Ana Roque, Mercedes Sola, Isabel Andreu de Aguilar, Beatriz La Salle, and Maria Luisa de Angelis (who also directed the magazine Pluma de mujer). Serrano also acknowledges tobacco workers, such as Luisa Capetillo y Franca de Armino, who founded journals and newspapers and published numerous pamphlets and articles for working class women ("El legado de Ana Roque de Duprey," El Mundo [San Juan] 3 Oct. 1982: 18-A). 62 self-definition of the "Puerto Rican woman." Roque's novels and short stories, as well as the literary work of other women writers, contributed immensely to the formation of Puerto Rican literature. These women authors provide concrete evidence their active participation in the island's intellectual arena. In the early twentieth century Roque was involved in a different kind of struggle: the suffragist feminist movement. Roque founded almost all of the early twentieth-century feminine organizations that represented the interests of the middle- and upper-class white Creole women. In 1917, she founded the Liga Feminea, which was considered the first women's political organization in Puerto Rico. Roque was president of the Liga Feminea and later honorary president until 1924. Isabel Andreu de Aguilar wrote the Primer Memorial, which was inspired by Roque. 3 5 This text has been called the "El Primer Manifesto Feminista" regarding the rights of women to the vote and to citizenship. In 1924, Roque founded the Asociacion Puertorriquena de Mujeres Sufragistas, which she oversaw for a year. After the vote for women was granted, it changed its name to the Asociacion de Mujeres Votantes (1925), of which Roque was honorary president until 1927. Early twentieth-century suffragist feminist movements and workers' anarchist ideologies were tendencies that prevailed in Europe and in the United States. In Puerto Rico they were manifested in a series of debates regarding feminist ideas, gender roles, literary trends, and workers' movements. Even though women's right to vote and the socio-anarchist Although Angela Negron Munoz claims that the very first "Manifesto Feminista" addressed to the women of Puerto Rico was indeed written by Roque in 1917, but it was lost during the terrible hurricane of "San Felipe" circa 1935 (106). 63 movements developed in the early twentieth century, the question regarding women's education and their incorporation into national life began to be raised as early as in the mid-1870s. Historical Notes on the Practices of Espiritismo in Puerto Rico The doctrines and practices of espiritismo had a tremendous cultural impact on Puerto Rican society, especially in the last two decades of the nineteenth century. This fact has been overlooked in the island's cultural histories, perhaps because of the sensationalism that has surrounded the practices of espiritismo over the years. In the context of my study, it is important to sketch the influence and spread of the practices of espiritismo in Puerto Rico, because Alejandro Tapia's novels Postumo el transmigrado and its sequel, Postumo el envirginiado, which I examine in Chapter 4, use themes and motifs drawn from espiritismo as a literary convention. Marcelino Menendez y Pelayo in Historia de la poesia hispanoamericana, has indicated that Tapia's tales of transmigration of souls emulated Theophile Gautier's Avatar (1856) (Menendez y Pelayo 339). Contrary to that assertion, I intend to demonstrate the originality of Tapia's novels and of his aesthetic preference for themes related to the supernatural. Nestor Rodriguez Escudero, in Historia del Espiritismo en Puerto Rico, argues that modern Spiritism- or what he calls "el verdadero espiritismo"—is a system of beliefs "scientifically" based on the spiritualist philosophies and theories that were in vogue in the United States, England, France, and Spain during the second half of the nineteenth century. Rodriguez Escudero argues that "el verdadero espiritismo" came to Puerto Rico through the 64 teachings of Allan Kardec and one of his closest disciples, the astronomer Camille Flammarion (1842-1925) in the late 1880s. Arguing for the semantic precision of the term "espiritismo" as designating the philosophical practice that Rodriguez Escudero defends, he states: En resumen el fenomeno siquico caracteriza al espiritismo. Siempre lo ha habido, lo mismo en el cristianismo que entre los brujos de Africa o los indios de Puerto Rico. Por consiguiente, el mundo siempre ha vivido, aunque no lo haya querido, con la presencia de esa fuerza. Por eso, para mayor claridad y comprension tenemos que limitar el concepto a aquel movimiento moderno que partiendo desde Hydesville, en el estado de Nueva York, a mitad del siglo pasado, penetra arrollador en Europa y de alia al traves del crisol de Kardec, vuelve organizado a nuestras playas (Historia del Espiritismo, 17). The popularity and rapid spread of modern espiritismo in Puerto Rico was due, in part, to a reaction against the absolute control of the Catholic Church which exercised its power in close alliance with the colonial state. The spirit of rebellion against Spain's blatant social, political, intellectual, and religious repression opened the door to the infiltration of new ideas and forbidden texts. This new and exciting knowledge came to the island as smuggled goods, in the minds and suitcases of the young Creole elite returning from Europe. Hence, espiritismo first spread in Puerto Rico among the patrician class, and for a while it was seen as a fashionable topic of conversation and entertainment for the elite. But most importantly, as Mario A . Nunez Molina explains in his essay "Community Healing Among Puerto Ricans: Espiritismo as a Therapy for the Soul," the practices and doctrines of 65 espiritismo came to satisfy the religious, moral, and medical needs of both upper- and lower-class Puerto Ricans, through whom it spread to the United States after the massive migrations of Puerto Ricans in the mid-to-late twentieth century. In 1872 in Madrid, the doctrines of the German philosopher Karl Krause (1781-1832), disseminated in Spain by Julian Sanz del Rio, and the spiritist doctrine of Allan Kardec were at their peak of popularity. This is a moment when there was a boom in secret societies, particularly those associated with Masonry and spiritist associations such as the "Circulo Espiritista de Barcelona." Psychology began to be considered a science, and spawned publications such as the Revista de Estudios Psicologicos of the Vizconde de Torres Solanot. Madrid's popular culture was filled with a frenzy of seances, rapping spirits, turning tables, and spectacles performed by mediums and seers. Marta Aponte Alsina states that Menendez y Pelayo, concerned with the explosion of fiction involving spiritism in Spain, compiled a bibliography of 36 texts published between 1868 and 1878 in Madrid alone, in addition to numerous translations of the works of Allan Kardec and Camille Flammarion. These texts, classified as "tratado espiritista ficcionalizado," were highly didactic and moralistic in content, and were assiduously cultivated in Spain, especially after the Revolution of September 1868 (Aponte Alsina 43-44). Within this line of thought and tradition, two important texts by Puerto Rican authors were published simultaneously in 1872 in Madrid: Alejandro Tapia y Rivera's novel Postumo el transmigrado o historia de un hombre que resucito en el cuerpo de su enemigo, and Manuel Corchado y Juarbe's collection of short stories, Historias de ultratumba. A Puerto 66 Rican lawyer, Corchado y Juarbe (1840-1884), stands out as one of the most serious disciples and defenders of "el verdadero espiritismo." Unlike Tapia, Corchado y Juarbe- who was also a militant Mason- openly claimed to be a follower of the ."scientific" doctrine of espiritismo.36 Corchado was so serious about the importance of espiritismo that he wrote a proposal in 1873 to include a basic course on scientific spiritism in Puerto Rico's official program of higher education. The importance of Corchado's Historias de Ultratumba lies in its forming part of a corpus of fictionalized spiritist treatises. It differs from Tapia's Postumo el transmigrado in its moralistic and didactic intention. The tone and effect of Historias de Ultratumba is sombre, and the author adopts a plain, straightforward language that made the stories accessible to a wide range of readers, but at the same time led critics to dismiss them as lacking artistic value. The common thread that links the stories is the spiritist belief that the dead can communicate with the living and vice versa. The stories recount cases of telepathy, materialization of spirits, redemption of souls, descriptions of the after life, and musical messages, all geared to exalting the moral virtues of forgiveness, repentance, charity, and hope. Some short stories written by Tapia fall into this category of fictional moralistic treatises, namely, "E l purgatorio de un egolatra," " E l desahuciado," and "Un alma en pena," all published in Tapia's newspaper La Azucena. Other Puerto Rican intellectuals, such as Ana 36 A most respected figure in the intellectual history of Puerto Rico, Corchado was appointed deputy to the Spanish Cortes in 1871 to represent the Mayagiiez district. Among his cultural contributions, Corchado was the co-founder with Manuel A . Alonso, Jose Julian Acosta, and Gabriel Ferrer of the newspaper El Agente, a pivotal publication that in the late 1800s voiced the ideals of the Liberal Reformists or Autonomistas (Geigel Polanco 1975). 67 Roque, were also interested in the serious study of espiritismo, magnetism, and somnambulism. Roque's experience in this realm resulted in the publication of a series of journal articles in the newspaper El Buscapie that traced the history of spiritualist philosophies from Francis Bacon of Verulam to Karl Christian Krause (Babin 1956). Roque also wrote stories involving supernatural elements such as "Clarividencias," and " E l hada del Sorata." The above overview demonstrates how the sociopolitical history of Puerto Rico shaped its intellectual development and national identity. The literary history of Puerto Rico during the nineteenth century emerged as a result of a combination of elements drawn from Romanticism, Realism, Naturalism, Spanish Costumbrismo, Positivism, and Spiritism: "it is within these European trends that a different literature begins to emerge: a literature that calls for national distinctiveness from the mother country" (Rodriguez de Laguna 2). In the sense suggested by Rodriguez Monegal (407), Puerto Rican creative writing parodied foreign aesthetic models and creolized them in a "mestizaje de estilos," to describe the uniqueness of the Borinquen's landscape, and the history, social customs, traditions, and problems that Puerto Rican Creoles faced in the urban and rural areas. 68 - C H A P T E R 2-G E N D E R R E P R E S E N T A T I O N IN L A T E N I N E T E E T H - C E N T U R Y P U E R T O R I C A N WRIT ING A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Two things, which in truth are but one, constitute this soul or spiritual principle. One lies in the past, one in the present. One is the possession in common of a rich legacy of memories; the other is present-day consent, the desire to live together, the will to perpetuate the value of the heritage that one has received in an undivided form. (Ernest Renan, "What is a nation?" 19) Renan's concept of the nation as the soul or spiritual principle of a community may be applied to the Puerto Rican people's will to reconstruct their past memories and their persistence in preserving and sharing those memories.1 The island's history attests to this enduring struggle for identity and self-recognition that has shaped present-day Puerto Rican national cultural production. One of the paradoxes of Puerto Rico is the question of what constitutes the nation, and Renan's quotation anticipates this debate. Puerto Rican literary critics, such as Sandra Messinger Cypess, Edna Acosta Belen, Consuelo Lopez Springfield, and Jose Luis Gonzalez, among others, emphasize that to appreciate thoroughly the emergence of Puerto Rican literature it is imperative to place it "within the context of the social, economic, and political conditions and ideologies which were in effect during the time of its Spanish colonial status and which continue to affect the culture of the Island to the present time" (Messinger Cypess 75). The development of nationalist sentiments and of a national literature was shaped by the constant struggle between colonialism and nationhood, as well as by the interplay of social class and racial, and 1 Arcadio Diaz-Quinones's La memoria rota, a vital collection of essays on Puerto Rican cultural history, attempts the rescue of dispersed episodes and personalities that, according to the author, are part of the island's collective historical memory, deliberately denied or broken by political power, repression, or cultural exclusion (79). 69 gendered power relations. Consequently, the complexities of nineteenth-century Puerto Rican socio-cultural history must be properly accounted for in our analysis. From the beginning of Puerto Rico's cultural history, the island's intellectuals have been fascinated by—even obsessed with—their own dilemma: the conflict o f Puerto Rico 's duality between the colony and the colonizer. The choice between nationhood or colonialism, independence or autonomy, is one with which Puerto Ricans are still wrestling, first with Spain, and after 1898 with the United States. This ongoing effort towards obtaining political agency and representation appears ubiquitously in the writings examined here. Nineteenth-century Puerto Rican intellectuals and politicians incessantly posed the question o f national identity and sought for what they believed were coherent ways to construct it. Thus far, I have indicated the conflicting duality of the island's colonial condition vis-a-vis the Spanish metropolis in the nineteenth century. It is not my intention to reduce literary discussions of gender, race, and representation to the conflict between nationhood and colonialism. Following Aileen Findlay's advice, one must be extremely cautious about fixed assumptions based on binary oppositions or static views, reflected in much of what has been said in Puerto Rican writing on the dichotomy between colonialism and nationalism, and on the strategies of resistance or accommodation (Findlay 4). In the hope that my analysis moves beyond simple binary oppositions, I attempt to contextualize how gender-structured discourses were used to articulate a sense of national identity as well as to ensure the perpetuation o f colonial political power. The specific case of Puerto Rico, when compared to the greater context of nineteenth-century Latin American nation-building struggles provides a quite unique example as "a place where secular authorities and institutions attempted to develop without the context of independent nationhood" (Matos Rodriguez 7). To avoid 70 losing sight of the material conditions within this context, I lean towards a socio-historic perspective, rather than following psychoanalytical models of analysis. As Sarah Mills argues, the centrality given to psychoanalytical concepts in current theories within the field of postcolonial studies makes it difficult to engage in an analysis of the material conditions of colonization without falling into the abstract notions postulated in psychoanalytical theory. Assumptions about colonial psyche, stereotype, and fantasy run the risk of ignoring economic, political, and social conditions: "the specificity of the colonial context is lost—the materiality of invasion, discrimination, murder, rape, expropriation of land and also of resistance are erased" (Mills 126). This does not mean that I do not appreciate the important contributions of psychoanalysis to current critical thought, or that I want to engage in a purely materialist analysis, for that would mean overlooking Findlay's warnings indicated above. In view of these problems and limitations, it is advisable to avoid constraining textual analysis within the framework of a single perspective that might be inconsistent with the island's socio-historical specificities. I propose instead an interdisciplinary approach to explore Puerto Rican discourses on gender and the ways in which gendered power relations are represented in late nineteenth-century narratives. In my analysis of Puerto Rican writing I try to keep in mind that we are dealing with representations of life whose ultimate subjects and objects are the very Puerto Rican women and men who lived and interacted during the period under discussion. Puerto Ricans constructed and articulated political and literary representations that were marked by, and in turn contributed to define, their actual practices in daily life, their gender ideologies, and moral values. It is worth recalling here Gillian Beer's statement regarding the distance that separates us from past texts. When reading these types of texts we are necessarily affected by our own cultural and historical conditions: 71 "literary history will always be an expression of now," hence it is important to detach oneself from one's immediate present as "the only real place and source of authority" (80).The authors studied here posed their own questions and answers in consonance with the realities of their own time. In my close reading of nineteenth-century writing, my proposed interdisciplinary method is indeed contemporary, but its main objective is to situate the texts within their rightful historical conditions, since "learning the conditions of the past brings them [the texts] to light" (Beer 81 -82). In addition to sociorhistorical approaches, I draw theoretical notions from social feminism, literary theory, and cultural studies, because they are all critically engaged in issues involving gender, identity, race, class, popular culture, and the problems of representation. To explain why I lean towards such an interdisciplinary analysis, this Chapter expands on the relationship between local history and the emergence of national narratives; the importance of popular culture in the construction of a national identity and of a literary tradition; and how the categories of gender and of representation function in textual analysis. Overall, my study aims at analyzing different kinds of writing that emerged in Puerto Rico between thel870s to thel890s and exploring their relationships to certain discourses: discourses about women's moral education; discourses about gendered power relations; and gendered discourses about class and race. The terms that formulate the title of this dissertation need a brief explanation. Although the terms "gender" and "representation" are recognized as separated categories, they are intimately related throughout this study, as I shall explain later. I use the term "writings" because I refer to a range of different kinds of writing: not just literary texts, but also newspaper articles, pamphlets, and essays. I approach these writings from the material 72 and historical conditions of their production and from their relation to other texts, in order to examine strategies for gender representation in fiction and non-fiction. I prefer to use the phrase "Late Nineteenth Century" to indicate a specific period of time (1870-1900), rather than focusing on a literary school or trend. This time frame allows the analysis to focus on the interplay among selected texts during a particular moment in writing in Puerto Rican history. Hence, I argue that European literary movements such as Romanticism, Realism, and Naturalism converged simultaneously in what Enrique Laguerre has denominated mestizaje de estilos, which gave rise to the emergence of an autochthonous Creole writing.2 Ultimately, my main concern is to grant historical depth to the fiction of the last decades of the nineteenth-century, to show how men and women authors contributed to the formation of a national literature on the island. I also seek to situate this particular production within a larger historical perspective and a broader discursive context than those in which these narratives have been (or have not been) situated so far. In order to describe the corpus of this study, it is necessary to throw fresher light on the problem of a "national" literature in a colonial context. Puerto Rico and the Question of National Identity In the previous Chapter, following Gordon K. Lewis's Main Currents in Caribbean Thought, I aimed to demonstrate that by the mid-nineteenth century, the Puerto Rican Creole intelligentsia had developed a distinct nationalist sentiment, "reflecting a spirit of felt separate cultural identity" (Lewis 267). The Creole elite indeed felt they were culturally In his prologue to Manuel Zeno Gandia's La charca, Enrique Laguerre argues that in the nineteenth century disparate aesthetic styles blended together, such as Romanticism with Realism and Naturalism, creating a "mestizaje de estilos" (xxiii). 73 different from the Spaniards. However, the Creoles' claims for reforms within the colonial administration did not necessarily contribute to the forging of a cultural nationalism that would move forward to a political nationalism, two necessary ingredients in the historical process of nation-building (Lewis 239-40). In other words, the Creole elite identified in terms of both race and class with their Spanish counterparts, but simultaneously both groups developed a keen sense of cultural difference. In addition, the Puerto Rican elite was reluctant to advocate for the island's independence, a step that would have meant the mobilization of the racially heterogeneous masses and their eventual incorporation into a new national order. The elite experienced a strong sense of class, characteristic of a rigidly stratified society. Those of European descent occupied the upper echelon, followed by the insular rural class, and the slaves. After the abolition of slavery in 1873, the incorporation of the slave minority into the wage-earning labour-force shook the basis of the plantation economy and of the island's social structure. Slavery left behind a shameful stigma on those who suffered it, and even worse, it passed it on to their descendants. Despite the fact that the rural population also was racially mixed with black Africans, and that there was a significantly large free black population long before the abolition of slavery, the white Creoles repudiated them. As mentioned earlier, it was the rural class represented by the mountain folk—although also despised—that provided the intellectual elite with the most enduring nationalist symbol of cultural identity, that of the jibaro. This choice of a national symbol taken from the rural class is not an unheard-of strategy in the wider context of the Western culture. Ernest Renan explains in "What is a nation?" how, in the process of nation-formation in Europe, the ideas of the Enlightenment posed by Rousseau were transformed to fit the values of a specific nationhood. Renan argues 74 that in Germany, Rousseau's "people" became the Volk, a Romantic representation of the rural man (always a masculine representation) that instilled a sense of cultural distinctiveness in relation to other communities: "Nationalism is an urban movement which identifies with the rural areas as a source of authenticity, finding in the 'folk' the attitudes, beliefs, customs and language to create a sense of national unity among people who have other loyalties" (Bruce King The New English Literatures, qtd. in Renan 53). According to Renan, nineteenth-century English authors adopted the concepts of German Romanticism and its focus on the people's idiomatic expressions and "native speech" in literary works (53). Puerto Rico is not alone, then, in choosing the rural man as a distinctive symbol with which the urban elite could paradoxically identify. In a similar process to the one that in Puerto Rico led to the adoption of the jibaro as a nationalist symbol, in Argentina the gaucho, or cowboy of the grasslands, was also adopted as the representative of argentinidad. In consonance with the social Darwinist and positivist European literature about race, psychology, and history that permeated nineteenth-century Latin American thought, the writer and politician Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (1811-188) employed the figure of the gaucho to construct the civilization/barbarism dichotomy that would become central to the Argentinian history of ideas. In his foundational narrative Facundo (1845), Sarmiento represents the gaucho as backward, immoral, violent, and a barrier to the progress and modernization of the Argentine nation. After Facundo, the literary representation of the gaucho was ennobled in the poem Martin Fierro (1.872) by Jose Hernandez (1834-1886). Martin Fierro captured the gaucho''s speech and customs, representing a noble and ingenious country-man. In the early twentieth century, as a reaction against recent immigration, the gaucho became the epitome 75 of Argentinian national identity, in opposition to the immigrant, who was seen as a threat to national values.3 In the case of Puerto Rico, the question still remains: why were the mountain folk regarded as a symbol of the nation and not the Africans? I have offered a partial answer, but a further explanation can also be found in the broader context of Western culture. In Engendering Fictions: The English Novel in the Early Twentieth Century, Lyn Pykett shows how, as a consequence of English expansion and the Darwinian model of evolution, the turn-of-the-century gave rise to the imaginary construction of the "dark races," and of Africa as the "Dark Continent": The Dark Continent represented both a challenge and a threat, a space in which the primitive might be civilized, or in which the civilized might regress or degenerate. Africa was figured as the most savage place remaining in the world, a primitive, pre-civilized domain, a darkly mysterious feminine space into which a culture's fears and fantasies were projected. (Pykett 27) Colonization brought about fearful and distorted notions of Africa and its people, and, in a similar way, of the Orient, as shown in Edward Said's Orientalism. The nineteenth-century cultural construction of the "dark races" as primitive, uncivilized, and degenerate served to a great extent to represent "the other"—what I would call the "dark-other"—always as a counterpoint to the white European. In this broader context of racial power relations in the See Manuel Mendelzon's "Reinventing the Gaucho: Civilization, Barbarism and the Mythic Argentine Cowboy" for a lucid account of the reification of the gaucho, from a symbol of barbarism to the embodiment of the Argentinian national character. 76 Western world, it is easier to understand the racial attitudes of the Puerto Ricans of European descent during and after the nineteenth century. The last decades of the nineteenth century marked the threshold of the growth of nationalist sentiments in the island, which, in turn, gave rise to a national literature. One must keep in mind that the discourses about national identity and national literature mirror and shape one another, creating a literary identity, a necessary concept for defining any further discussion of what can be properly called a "Puerto Rican national literature." National identity and literary identity are both ideological and political, since the term "national" necessarily implies that there exists a nation or political unit. Benedict Anderson argues in Imagined Communities that the nation "is an imagined political community—and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign."4 In Puerto Rico, however, this holds true only partially, because even though the members of the Creole elite were imagining themselves as a homogeneous group of Hispanic heritage,5 the island never reached the autonomous, sovereign status of Anderson's conceptualization of the nation. Is it possible to speak, therefore, of a "Puerto Rican national literature"? Anderson suggests that the nation addresses a social group whose members—even though they never will be able to meet one another—have reached a common consensus as to what constitutes the nation, "imagining" themselves as a homogeneous whole: "the nation is always conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship" (6-7). 5 Like Lewis, other historians and intellectuals such as Jose Luis Gonzalez, Jose Trias Monge, Adalberto Lopez, and Fernando Pico explain that by the mid-nineteenth century the Puerto Rican Creole elite culturally defined themselves as a nation of mainly Hispanic heritage. 77 Narrating the Puerto Rican Cultural Nation For the sake of conceptual clarity, it will be useful to discuss briefly the ideas of nation and of national and cultural identity. Since 1 specifically propose to analyze a group of narratives considered "national," it is necessary to provide a coherent answer to the question of how a colonized territory can have a "national literature." 1 have tried to answer this query using Lewis's study of the history of Caribbean ideas and culture. Nevertheless, Lewis's contribution can be complemented by the concept of the nation and its cultural representation that Homi K. Bhabha formulates in Nation and Narration. Bhabha explores his own growing "sense of the nation as one of the major structures of ideological ambivalence within the cultural representations of 'modernity'" (4). The idea of the nation as an ambivalent and unstable concept contests the static, essentialist aspects of the emergence of the modern nation-state as an autonomous, sovereign form of political rationality "which is never simply horizontal" (293). Viewing the nation as an unstable concept and as a shifting system of cultural signification, conveys a conceptual flexibility suitable for the explanation of the emergence of national narratives in the context of colonized societies. It becomes apparent that in Puerto Rican society, just as in other societies, the various groups that constitute it developed their own systems of cultural meanings that would eventually be represented in writing. It is the interplay of the social, the linguistic, and the psychological aspects of the idea of the nation that posits an ideological ambivalence, if, according to Bhabha, we see the nation as a cultural construction and a form of social and textual affiliation. This bond between society and text embodies, in my view, the ambivalent tension and conceptual indeterminacy of the nation, for it brings together both the psychological processes and the material practices of the people who talk and write about the 78 nation, and of those who live in it. Bhabha's project aims at formulating "the complex strategies of cultural identification and discursive address that function in the name of 'the people' or 'the nation' and make them the immanent subjects and objects of a range of social and literary narratives" (292). What is insightful about the idea of the nation as an ambivalent cultural construct is its applicability not only to independent nation-states but to any group of people (nation-people) who have identified themselves with a common system of cultural signification: "The nation reveals, in its ambivalent and vacillating representation, the ethnography of its own historicity and opens up the possibility of other narratives of the people and their difference" (Bhabha 300). Owing to its openness and flexibility, this conceptualization is useful for exploring and interpreting Puerto Rican narratives that have constructed the cultural nation, the metaphors used to describe it, and the contradictory ways in which discourses about gender, race, and class were articulated to define it. In the case of Puerto Rico, the emergence of nationalist sentiments in the nineteenth century reinforced a strong sense of cultural identity that led to the foundation of a national literature. The growing awareness of cultural nationalism among the Puerto Ricans paved the road to the creation of a national literature and, consequently, a literary identity. One of the goals of this study is to explore how the discourses about cultural identity function to represent the Puerto Rican cultural nation, often in ambivalent and contradictory ways. Puerto R ican W r i t i n g My research has shown that, historically, Puerto Rican literature has focused predominantly on the crisis of national identity. Since the literature's origins, the anthologies 79 that followed the first Aguinaldo puertorriqueno (1843) and the cuadros de costumbres in Manuel A. Alonso's El gibaro (1849) sought to characterize native Puerto Ricans. The first novels, such as La peregrinacion de Bayodn (1863) by Eugenio Maria de Hostos, Cofresi (1876) by Alejandro Tapia y Rivera, and La charca (1894) by Manuel Zeno Gandia, show a common preoccupation with Puerto Rico's colonial condition. Initially, literary works responded to two important aesthetic impulses, namely, the Romantic movement and the realismo criollista [Creole Realism], which coincided temporally and frequently overlapped. Owing to censorship and the lack of freedom of speech, by the mid-nineteenth century Puerto Rican writers resorted to the exploration of topics related to European history, representing European personalities and events in novels and dramas. A second moment, which is present in the early literary works, but which consolidates itself in the late nineteenth century, shows an increasing interest in the rural peasantry. This trend has been called "jibarismo literario" (Beauchamp 30) and combines elements from Costumbrismo with Naturalism and Positivism. Not only did it address the rural area, but it also spawned novels that focused on urban problems, gender and racial relations, and on women's concerns about their participation in society. I believe that early Puerto Rican national narratives may be defined, borrowing from Doris Sommer's Foundational Fictions, as "irresistible." According to Sommer, the overt resistance of the Latin American "Boom" writers to the early patriotic novels or romances of the nineteenth century is what made the romances irresistible (3). Early Puerto Rican narratives, especially those written by women, have been strongly resisted by the Latin American literary canon. It is precisely this demotion or neglect that makes them irresistible 80 sources for the analysis of gender ideologies, racial and class standpoints, and the problems of representation in a colonized nation. Early Latin American national narratives, as Sommer argues, are indebted to the well-known Venezuelan grammarian Andres Bello (1781-1865) for having promoted the "narrative method" as a valid means of filling the gaps in the historical record: "When a country's history doesn't exist, except in incomplete, scattered documents, in vague traditions that must be compiled and judged, the narrative method is obligatory."6 National narratives, then, were deemed necessary for the nation-building process, and had the potential to account for the origin of an authentic local expression (9). In Latin America and the Caribbean, this link between narratives and history has been quite obvious since the emergence of the first patriotic novels. The literary act was endowed with the sublime mission of instilling in the reading public an appreciation for their regional history and a sense of nationalist pride. Sommer's work uses the term "historical romances" to refer to the specific corpus of national narratives she examines.7 Her thesis states that the "rhetoric of love" functions in Latin American national allegories as a link between "natural" heterosexual love and nationalist projects, providing enduring examples of domestic happiness and national prosperity (7). Sommer argues that most of Latin American national romances depict a sentimental affair that is devoid of internal antagonisms; instead, the obstacles are outside the lovers' relationship (49). The reader wishes to see the couple overcome the obstacles to their 6 Andres Bello "Cultural Autonomy of Latin America," qtd. in Sommer 8. Sommer conceives of the "romance" in a broad sense that combines contemporary usage with its nineteenth-century adscription to allegorical representations. She claims that "it is the erotic rhetoric that organizes patriotic novels" (2). 81 love, for their loving union represents the consolidation of the nation. This allegory functions through metonymic associations between erotic love, family, and the state: "the romantic affair needs the nation, and erotic frustrations are challenges to national development" (50 italics in the original). Interestingly enough, Sommer leaves Puerto Rico out of her analysis because the island does not fit her theoretical framework. She refers to Eugenio Maria de Hostos's only novel, La peregrination de Bayodn (1863), to illustrate her point. Hostos's novel posits a problem of conflict in the relationship between Eros, body, and nation. Bayodn represents "an intriguing attempt at Pan-Caribbean (amorous) alliance" (50), as it pursues an international project rather than a national one. According to Sommer: Bayodn is rather heavy-handed about announcing distinct allegorical registers, and its contradictory affairs with politics and passion founder in the rather un-American competition between the erotic and duty. Whether or not the conventionally allegorical and puritanical features of Hostos's sentimental and political peregrinations kept Bayodn off the canonical list of romances I take up here, it can hardly have had a similar career. Which country would it celebrate or project? Which existing government could it have supported, when Bayoan's dream was precisely international, beyond the future institutions that might have required it? (50) Thus, it can be deduced from this statement that the lack of sovereignty is what eliminates Puerto Rican literature from Sommer's project and precludes its fitting into certain taxonomies or perspectives such as the one she proposes.8 Yet in the Puerto Rican narratives Referring to Sommer's exclusion of Bayodn, Angel A . Rivera asserts that in the work of authors such as Hostos and Tapia there occurs something atypical or anomalous that defies Sommer's suggestive connection between the erotic and the nation, which Rivera calls "desarticulacion erotica" (87). Hostos's and Tapia's characters establish a kind of 82 I analyzed, I find that erotic frustration challenges national development. At the same time, the majority of Puerto Rican intellectuals were striving, not necessarily to achieve independence, but rather to obtain political autonomy under Spanish rule. This intention can be clearly seen in the works of Tapia y Rivera, where unrequited love seems to be a romantic theme but can in fact be interpreted as the impossibility of the Creole subject to attain political agency. Even though early Puerto Rican narratives present an obvious sexual rhetoric, the corpus I examine (with the exception of Tapia) is inscribed in a literary project of sociological intent based on Realist and Naturalist elements rather than Romantic ones. However, it is important to keep in mind that these European literary trends in Puerto Rico were constantly overlapping, and locally interpreted and reshaped into a criollista style.9 Nevertheless, following Sommer's concepts, I regard the writings at the core of my analysis as "foundational narratives" for they mark the emergence of a Puerto Rican national literature. Theoretical Framework and Methodology Through the examination of literary representations of gender in Puerto Rican national narratives, I hope to reveal the political positions and ideologies that sustain them relationship where the erotic element is not an end in itself, but functions rather as an obstacle or impediment; while in novels such as Isaacs' Maria, Marmol's Amalia, or Galvan's El Enriquillo, the erotic element functions as an end in itself (Rivera, "Alejandro Tapia y Rivera y Eugenio Maria de Hostos: Avatares de una modernidad" 87). 9 1 emphasize this point because the notion of "romance" is related to Romanticism and traditionally literary theory regards Realism and Naturalism as a reaction against Romanticism. 83 and to show to what extent certain representations of gender are either perpetuated or challenged in the literature of the time. Although I focus primarily on disclosing literary representations of gender, I cannot overlook the fact that the discourses produced by the Puerto Rican intelligentsia that underlie nineteenth-century writing were also defined by race and class ideologies. Applying an interdisciplinary approach that combines North American, European, Latin American and Caribbean theories and methodologies may prove helpful in analyzing how Puerto Rican writing from the period in question represents gender relations in terms of family, social status, and marital alliances. This type of analysis would show the ways in which the Creole elite projected in their writings a sense of paternalistic morality and superiority vis-a-vis the masses. In sum, my analysis hopes to illuminate how the Creoles' fiction and essays conveyed meanings contradictorily linked to race and class at a time of strong patriarchal gender ideologies. In this section, I discuss three concepts that are crucial to the theoretical framework of this dissertation, namely, "discourse," "representation," and "gender," and will explain the choice of the corpus and my approach to its study. These notions, which have evolved and changed—and continue to do so—in the history of western ideas, are closely interrelated throughout this work. In particular the concepts "representation" and "gender," while being distinct categories, are difficult to separate within the context of my study. The same can be said about "discourse" and "representation," as I shall explain. Rather than posing fixed definitions, I attempt an understanding of how these notions may function in textual analyses. Postmodern fields of research such as post-structuralism, cultural studies, postcolonial theory, or feminist theory owe much to Michel Foucault's thought. In particular, Foucault's 84 notion of "discourse" is central to contemporary criticism. 1 0 In the Archaeology of Knowledge, Foucault characterizes discourses as practices obeying certain rules (138). A discourse is constructed by interrelated statements about a distinct topic in a specific historical moment. Discourses are built in part by language and in part by cultural and intellectual practices that define and produce the objects of our knowledge, for example, medical discourse, sociological discourse, literary discourse, and so forth. As Findlay notes, discourses are also produced in public debates, in the pages of newspapers, in social movements, in official laws and proclamations, and even in individuals' daily actions and decisions (Findlay 6). In this sense, discourse also functions as a system of representation and as a social praxis, two interrelated aspects that are present in my analysis in different ways: as literary representation, as political representation, and as gender representation. The concept of "representation" has a long tradition in western thought. It has evolved from simple notions to very complex ones, and it continues to be problematized today. Tbere are different forms of representation, and contemporary theories have bestowed multiple meanings on this concept: "Representation is an extremely elastic notion which extends all the way from a stone representing a man to a novel representing a day in the life of several Dubliners" (Mitchell 13). The notion of representation has traditionally occupied a fundamental place in the theory of aesthetics, and today it is also a key concept for many disciplines, for instance, semiotics, feminist theory, cultural studies, and political science. A significant number of contemporary critics who embrace interdisciplinary approaches, such as the conjunction of literary theory with feminist theory and cultural 1 0 See the second part of The Archaeology of Knowledge, in which Foucault disserts on his conceptualizations of discursive regularities and of discourse formation (Archaeology 31-39). 85 studies," show an increasing interest in examining how "representation" functions in literary texts because of its social and political implications. They have taken a stance on the importance and interrelation of the notions of "representation" and "gender." For example, Gillian Beer argues in "Representing Women: Re-presenting the Past," that representation is an ideal category of analysis of literary texts from a feminist point of view because [i]t sustains a needed distance between experience and formulation. It recognises the fictive in our understanding. It allows a gap between how we see things and how, potentially, they might be. It acknowledges the extent to which ideologies harden into objects and so sustain themselves as real presences in the world. The objects may be books, pictures, films, advertisements, fashion. (77) The notion of representation suggested by Beer seems viable for the exploration of the political ideologies and systems of power that rest behind fictional representations of gender. Beer's research examines literary representations of women in eighteenth-century English fiction in order to understand the evolution of social gender roles and gender power relations. Yet it is not enough to concentrate only on representations of women in texts written by women. In order to decode stereotypes of sexuality and representations of gender that would speak to social change, one must analyze both men's and women's writing (Beer 78). In Engendering the Subject: Gender and Self-Representation in Contemporary Women's Fiction, Sally Robinson explores women's self-representation as "a process by which subjects produce themselves as women within particular discursive contexts" (11). Turning to representations of the self and to self narrative, Robinson shows the flexibility that 1 1 Sally Robinson, Lou Charnon-Deutsch, Judith Butler, Gillian Beer, Lyn Pykett, Jean Franco, Mary Louise Pratt, Francine Massiello, among others. 86 the category of "representation" entails. Her study, like that of Charnon-Deutsch, is oriented towards psychoanalytical interpretations. Robinson is concerned with the female writer's subjectivity, and finds in narrative the ideal space in which gender and subjectivity are produced in powerful ways. She draws from Judith Butler's Gender Trouble and Alice Jardine's Gynesis to build up her standpoint on this issue. Whereas Jardine's perspective on representation is focused on a radical feminist view of patriarchal violence, Butler offers a more socio-political description. Butler's view of representation as a twofold notion is worth recalling here: On the one hand, representation serves as the operative term within a political process thatseeks to extend visibility and legitimacy to women as political subjects; on the other hand, representation is the normative function of a language which is said either to reveal or to distort what is assumed to be true about the category of women . . . The domains of political and linguistic "representation" set out in advance the criterion by which subjects themselves are formed, with the result that representation is extended only to what can be acknowledged as a subject. In other words, the qualifications for being a subject must be met first before representation can be extended. (Qtd. in Robinson 189; Butler, Gender Trouble\-2, italics in the original) Butler describes representation as a double process in which both the political and linguistic domains function as a vehicle of power by which "invisible subjects" would be legitimized by inserting their experiences into the mainstream discourse. Representation implies the existence of a legitimate subject that exercises authority, and therefore the struggle of colonized subjects that claim representation vis-a-vis the dominant culture can be inferred. 87 The notion of gender is inextricably related to that of representation in certain trends within feminist criticism. However, to clarify the use of the notion of gender in this study, it is necessary to point out a series of problems and limitations it entails. Its very meaning is the focus of an ongoing debate in North American and European feminist scholarship, which has not yet reached a definite consensus. This obvious limitation becomes even more apparent in the context of this dissertation because the texts analyzed are written in Spanish and belong to a Hispanic cultural heritage intersected with colonialism, slavery, and miscegenation. Particularly because I refer to the distinct writing strategies and styles employed by Ana Roque to guarantee her insertion as a woman author into the mainstream culture, I will briefly discuss how the category of gender has become a valid and interesting perspective for cultural and literary analysis. The explanation of the concept of gender provided by Robinson summarizes much of the debate on the matter, particularly the deconstructionist trend, as she studies contemporary feminist theory and identity discourses in depth. Robinson suggests that gender "can be conceived as a system of meaning, rather than a quality 'owned' by individuals. And, as in all systems of meaning, the effects of gender are not always predictable, stable, or unitary" (1). It has been argued that gender is culturally learned and that it does not merely mark "natural" biological differentiations. As a system of meaning, gender comprises a broad spectrum within a given culture at a given time and place. It is a social and cultural construction that encompasses multiple and conflicting representations creating social meanings, relations, and identities among the members of a given social group. 88 Borrowing a trope from Jorge Luis Borges, Butler refers to the debate on gender as "The Circular Ruins of Contemporary Debate" (Gender Trouble 7), a metaphor that describes the vicious circle into which feminist criticism may fall in discussing a definition for "gender." As I said at the outset, I do not intend to offer any fixed definitions. Rather I try to show that these notions are complex, debatable, in constant question and subject to change. For Butler gender is not simply the cultural interpretation of sex. More in line with Foucault, she sees both gender and sex as notions that are constructed and shaped by culture. Perhaps the anthropological and historical position that views gender as a relation among persons in specific contexts is, in my perspective, the most viable explanation: "as a shifting and contextual phenomenon, gender does not denote a substantive being, but a relative point of convergence among culturally and historically specific sets of relations" (Gender Trouble 10). The notion of gender as a system of meaning, that depends on the social relations in which it is construed, provides a richer and open framework for the interpretation of textual representations of "masculinity" and "femininity" and of "man" and "woman" in narrative. I will therefore read textual representations of gender by looking at the ways in which they define social relations and convey and produce social meanings. I do not seek to analyze gender as a category of analysis that only marks the confrontation between male/female differences. According to the materialist feminist critic Martha Gimenez, "this mode of thought compels us to think in terms of men versus women, patriarchy, domestic exploitation, and similar dichotomous dynamics" (258). As Gimenez asserts, reflection should not focus on the tension generated by the Manichean phrase "man versus woman" but on the tensions generated by the socio-historical and political specificities that were at play— 89 in this particular case, the different sets of relations that can be read in late nineteenth-century Puerto Rican narratives. Gender tensions, present in the social context as well as in writing, promoted social changes that put into question conventionally accepted gender roles, creating a certain degree of gender anxiety, as evidenced by the proliferation of discourses around the question of woman and of women's education. Puerto Rican feminist critics such as Edna Acosta-Belen and Norma Valle Ferrer12 have documented that, by the mid-nineteenth century, some Liberal intellectuals (among them Ignacio Guasp, Jose Pablo Morales, Alejandro Tapia, Salvador Brau, and Gabriel Ferrer) were deeply concerned with the improvement of women's education and wrote proposals for its achievement. Acosta-Belen points out, however, that Liberal men "did not advocate total equality among the sexes (politics, for example, was still seen as the domain of men), they defended the right of women to an education and to practice professions from which they had traditionally been excluded" (275). These apparently well-intended proposals were the result of the socio-economic fractures that the Creole landed elite was facing, particularly after the abolition of slavery in 1873. Educating women from all classes, they thought, was the most viable way to control reproduction, adultery, concubinage, and interracial sex, thus guaranteeing a supposedly "whitened" more productive labour force. By examining selected proposals I hope to unveil the connections between 12 Acosta-Belen's essay "Women in Twentieth Century Puerto Rico," points out that the inferior status of women under the Spanish rule was reinforced by juridical inequality. By the mid-nineteenth century, Acosta-Belen assesses, the Liberal Creole elite men who also advocated the abolition of slavery "emphasized in their writings the need to educate women and prepare them to participate in society" (275). By the same token, Valle Ferrer in "Feminism and its Influence on Women's Organizations in Puerto Rico" indicates that educated Liberal men defended the moral and intellectual capacity of women (39). 90 racial and gender power relations that permeated Puerto Rican discourses in the late nineteenth century. It is for this reason that the corpus of this dissertation includes both essays and novels. I analyze four essays or proposals for the reform of women's education and their participation in society by Alejandro Tapia y Rivera, Gabriel Ferrer Hernandez, Salvador Brau, and Manuel Lopez Tuero, respectively. As a counterpoint, I discuss the reaction of Creole women to the men's proposals. Ana Roque, together with other women intellectuals, such as Lola Rodriguez de Tio, Isabel Andreu, and Mercedes Sola, voiced the bourgeois proto-feminists' response. These discourses about the need for moral reforms for women set the background for the development of gender ideologies that are inscribed in the national narratives. The literary texts I have selected are four novels by three male authors—Alejandro Tapia y Rivera, Salvador Brau, and Manuel Zeno-Gandia—,because of their prominent position in the Puerto Rican literary canon. Each novel portrays different literary strategies for the representation of gender that reveal the political projects that Liberal men sought to represent in their fiction. In turn, I examine the less well-known fiction of Ana Roque against the intertextual background provided by the textual analysis of her contemporary counterparts. Tapia's novels, Postumo el transmigrado and Postumo el envirginiado offer an interesting contrast in the context of this dissertation in as much as they challenge traditional gender roles and pose questions of self-identity as well as of gender identity. Tapia was an advocate for women's rights to citizenship, education, and job opportunities. The unusual agenda of sexual politics that Tapia proposed in his fiction made him a unique case in the 9 1 nineteenth-century's proto-feminist thought. The novels iPecadora? by Brau, and La charca by Zeno-Gandia, on the other hand, illustrate the Liberal Creoles' imaginary, which saw the rural area as inhabited by an eminently white peasantry in grave need of moral reform. My corpus includes Roque's two collections of short stories, Pasatiempos and Cuentos y novelas, including her novel Luzy sombra. As she was an educator, Roque's narratives are didactic, and unusual in approaching rare topics for her time, such as female sexual yearnings, the negative consequences of marriage for social convenience, and the moral disgrace carried by interracial sexual relations. The grouping and comparison of these authors requires an explanation. Tapia, Brau, and Zeno Gandia represent mainstream Puerto Rican intellectuals whose literary work is recognized as seminal in the development of the island's national literature. Roque cultivated a close friendship with these and other intellectuals who used to gather at her house in San Juan for animated cultural exchanges.13 The friendship among these authors attests to the fact that Roque was also a public figure and an active member of the island's exclusive circle of intellectuals and writers. Although Tapia, Brau, Zeno Gandia, and Roque were contemporaries who exchanged ideas, their literary work has not yet been examined 1 3 Ana Roque was the first woman to be invited to join El Ateneo Puertorriqueno and to enter the Public Library. Her house, where the Puerto Rican intelligentsia often met, became the centre of socio-cultural events. On the roof top Roque installed a telescope borrowed from the Junta de Obras Publicas, and sources indicate that at her parties she used to entertain her guests with lectures on astronomy, a discipline she studied in depth. Among her guests were renowned intellectuals such as Gabriel Ferrer, Alejandro Tapia y Rivera, Jose Julian Acosta, Carmela Eulate Sanjurjo, Manuel Fernandez Juncos, and Manuel Zeno Gandia, among others (Paravisini, "Esquema biografico de Ana Roque" 153). 92 collectively against its socio-historical background, or studied taking into account the perceptions of class, race, and gender that stratified Puerto Rican colonial society. Within this context, Foucault's analysis of the relation between power and discourse, and the role of disciplinary discourses in the production of power relations, is especially relevant to my study. Foucault claimsthat the nineteenth century is exemplary for the articulation of discourses: "but neither literature, nor politics, nor philosophy and the sciences articulated the field of discourse, in the seventeenth or eighteenth century, as they did in the nineteenth century" (Archaeology 22). M y dissertation brings together diverse discourses from public debates and fiction produced between the 1870s and 1890s. The literary works chosen, moreover, show the pervasiveness of disciplinary discourse in cultural life. Public men such as Gabriel Ferrer and Manuel Zeno-Gandia who were also physicians, articulated the medical discourse in their narratives, in the same way that Salvador Brau employed sociological discourse. In the nineteenth-century cultural imaginary, the physician is represented as a powerful—even unquestionable—masculine authority empowered to diagnose, to manipulate bodies, and to moralize upon people's behaviour, making biological and genetic assumptions on behalf of "science." Intellectuals such as Tapia and Roque, however, constructed discourses that were positioned on the fringes of the authoritative medical discourse. Their concerns centred upon gender representation and sexual behaviour, mostly in the urban space. In their narratives they proposed gender categories that challenged traditional views, such as the confirmation of active female sexuality and women's emancipation. 93 The fact that Roque had access to the public sphere through her writing and actively participated in the island's intellectual life—normally considered an odd practice among the women of her time—is directly related to issues involving not only gender representation but also political representation. Roque carried out an open struggle for women's rights from 1890 to 1930.14 This struggle was motivated in part by the influence of the late nineteenth-and early twentieth-century movements for the emancipation of women in Europe and North America, and in part by the particular socio-historical conditions of the island. These various discourses on gender and authority produced in Puerto Rico at the time created a cacophony, so to speak, among the Puerto Rican intellectual elite since they were frequently in conflict with each other, or within themselves. I am not searching here for the coherence of concepts; rather, following Foucault, I seek to analyze "the interplay of their appearances and dispersion" (Archaeology 35) or the relation between their emergence and separations, their commonalities and discrepancies which would lead to "discursive regularities." As suggested by Pykett, by focusing on discursive regularities, that is, on the dispersion as well as continuities of different types of discourse in a determined period of time, one can define a regularity, and disclose a particular discursive formation (Pykett 4; Foucault, Archaeology 38). This analytical approach can cast light on the ways in which the Puerto Rican elite constructed contradictory representations of gender, and on the interplay of these representations with assumptions about race and class. Such representations are not static, but dynamic and in constant fluctuation, and by examining them it can be shown how 1 4 Yamila Azize Vargas, Edna Acosta-Belen, and Norma Valle Ferrer, for example, have documented the Creole Liberal men's support for the rights of the women of their class to formal education, to work, and to suffrage. Chapter 3 expands on this issue. 94 they either produced social change or perpetuated social roles based on fixed gender assumptions. Puerto Rican Creole intellectuals, positioned at the top of the social hierarchy, generated a series of contradictory statements that wove a network of relations among their shared views, their contradictions, and their divergences. It is the interplay between their conflicting statements that will be read in fictional texts, as they constructed discourses and systems of representations that in turn defined models of authority and leadership grounded on gender, class, and racial assumptions. The studies by Beer, Robinson, Charnon-Deutsch, Franco and other feminist critics who have focused on gender representations are particularly centred on fictional representations of women. This dissertation, however, does not explore solely representations of women, but gender representations in general. Placing texts by men and women authors together helps bring to light a more complete picture of the social and cultural forces that were at play during the specific period under study. In this sense, my study is closer to Lyn Pykett's methodology in Engendering Fictions. This critic builds on a socio-historical approach to examine the development of early twentieth-century English fiction within the context of Modernity and the fin de siecle gender crisis. Pykett argues that novels by men and women writers in the first decades of the twentieth century directly reflect turn-of-the-century debates about the feminine, and the practice of gendered writing in the context of the crisis of the representation of gender: "This crisis of representation was linked both to a crisis of definition of gender, and to the gendered discourses of degeneration and renovation which pervaded late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century culture" (2). This observation is insightful in the context of my analysis, taking into consideration the fact that the moneyed 95 Puerto Ricans sent their sons to study in Europe. Intellectuals on both sides of the Atlantic could not only experience, but also read about, the gender crisis to which Pykett refers. It is not surprising, then, that Alejandro Tapia y Rivera focuses on gender crisis in his novel Postumo el envirginiado (1882), portraying the spirit of a man invading a woman's body. It is also significant that part of the action of El envirginiado takes place in England, and that the protector of the main character, Virginia, happens to be an Englishman. Within this context of gender representations in writing, particularly in texts from the past, Pykett informs us in a rather riddle-like way that: "the gender crisis was also a crisis of representation; it was a crisis in both the representation of gender and in the gender of representation" (15). According to Pykett, the series of crises around the issue of gender in the late nineteenth century kept the "question of woman" (in terms of motherhood and of familial and social roles) at the forefront of public attention (15). The "Modern woman," along with her emancipatory agenda (the concepts of free love and of female eroticism), was an important subject of debate. The "New Woman" enters English popular culture in thel890s, represented as a creature of contradictions at odds with the traditional Victorian representation of the feminine. The English New Woman and her counterpart, the homosexual or decadent, became the two most intriguing representations of the gender crisis. Interestingly enough, it was also in the 1890s that discourses on homosexuality and on female hysteria became the centre of medical discussion about sexual pathology.15 It is worth making the connection here with Puerto Rico, since it was also in the 1890s that Ana Roque and a 1 5 Pykett informs us that the Hungarian Karoly Benkert invented the term "homosexual" and that Krafft-Ebbing translated the term in Psychopathia Sexualis in 1892 (Pykett 18). Also in 1895 Studies on Hysteria was published by Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud. 96 group of Creole women began to unite around periodical publications to contest patriarchal discourses about the "question of woman." With reference to gender representation studies in Spain, Charnon-Deutsch points out that in nineteenth-century Spanish fiction the sexual dichotomy and gender codes that pervaded Spain's social and cultural practices were conspicuously represented, thus rendering these novels ideal texts for the study of gender representation: "The nineteenth century is one of the favoured test periods feminism uses to confront patriarchal values because the ideologies of gender are so heavily inscribed in its discourses" (xii). Nineteenth-century Spanish novels responded more satisfyingly to the male reader, in the sense that it is nearly always masculine identity that is being problematized, even when a woman is the subject of the story. Consequently, the study of the representation of gender in nineteenth-century fiction will constantly turn the reader towards the crisis of male identity, because such a crisis "engendered" the century's prose, as both Charnon-Deuthsch and Pykett have pointed out. As Pykett puts it: "Inevitably, given that femininity is habitually defined as the other of the masculine in Western Culture, the prolonged nineteenth-century focusing on the 'Woman Question' also put masculinity into question" (Pykett 16). However, it is not just a matter of searching for and exposing female stereotypes in male writing, or of finding sites of resistance in women's writing. There is always a risk of essentializing men as they have essentialized women. By placing men's writings side by side with those of Ana Roque, I aim at examining the interplay between their discourses on gender which are part of the greater national discourse about the need to improve women's moral education. The main duty of women was seen in terms of motherhood, because well-educated 97 mothers would effectively lead the new Puerto Rican generations towards the path of progress and modernization. In Plotting Women: Gender and Representation in Mexico, Jean Franco documents how in nineteenth-century Mexico men were also concerned about the education of women: "The intelligentsia set out to educate mothers so that they would instil in the new generation patriotism, the work ethic, and a belief in progress" (81).These discourses on the education of women were a widespread practice at the time of nation formation in the Americas. They confined women to the domestic sphere, and limited their access to elementary education, thus placing them in an ambiguous space simultaneously inside and outside the nation. Women had the moral duty to educate the new generations without themselves having the right to citizenship (Gerassi Naravarro 130; Pratt 54). There is another variable that must be taken into consideration in this study—that of the authors' political position within the social structure. In order to analyze and compare texts written by both women and men, it is vital to have a clear configuration of their positions within the social spectrum, which will help to understand the ways in which the authors studied here devised strategies of gender representation within the context of late-nineteenth-century sociopolitical changes.16 Where does Ana Roque position herself? Where is she positioned within Puerto Rican discourses? Where are Tapia, Brau, and Zeno Gandia positioned? Roque's proto-feminist politics and that of her literary counterparts, Tapia and Brau, necessarily reflect the interests of their social class and status as white, middle-class 1 6 Gay and lesbian representations remain outside my analysis because the religious and moral restrictions of the time precluded the publication of texts that would speak explicitly of same-sex preferences and sexual practices. It is precisely this silence that pushes the moral restrictions of the period to the forefront. 98 Creole intellectuals. Neither Tapia's nor Brau's families had the means to send them to study abroad, as most of the moneyed class did. Both were mainly self-taught, as was Roque, and had to work in administrative jobs in order to support their families. In contrast, Manuel Zeno Gandia belonged to the landed elite, studied medicine in Europe, and became a respected physician on the island. These socio-economic variables speak to the writers' different positions in society and also explain the political agendas and tendencies reflected in their work. My research has shown that during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in Puerto Rico there were pronounced ideological differences between upper-, middle-, and working-class proto-feminist discourses. Roque reproduced those differences in her fiction and essays, as they represented the interests of upper- and middle-class Creole women. A close reading of her texts, however, shows that her rhetorical strategies shared common themes and concerns with Liberal men with regard to moral reform and education for women of all classes.17 In conclusion, nineteenth-century women writers, such as Roque, had to reformulate their writing strategies and styles in order to legitimate their insertion as authors into mainstream culture. This conscious act of self-determination and authorship necessarily raises questions related to the concepts of gender and of representation. In the first place, both Tapia's and Roque's proto-feminist fiction deliberately puts into question traditional 1 7 In the first two decades of the twentieth century, Puerto Rican working-class women from the garment and tobacco industries articulated a powerful counter-discourse that demanded radical socioeconomic changes, but also advocated the same basic women's rights that the bourgeois Liberals addressed. To limit the scope of this study, I do not address the early twentieth-century working-class women's movement and writing; rather, I focus on the 1890s upper- and middle-class discourse of emancipation of which Roque was a key leader and activist. 99 assumptions regarding the social status of the Creole woman, thus introducing the problem of gender roles. In the second place, the ways in which Tapia and Roque represent men and woman in their fiction challenge imposed cultural and social norms, which generates questions of literary representation. In contrast, the works by Brau and Zeno Gandia represent the views of the patriarchal Liberals, who based their rhetoric on contradictory conceptualizations of honour codes and racially charged representations of gender and of moral superiority. Puerto Rican society during the period under consideration was severely stratified, and the main concerns of the writers responded to specific political agendas. This issue is directly linked to political representation. To a greater or lesser degree, the political positions of Tapia, Roque, Brau, and Zeno were sympathetic to the Liberal Reformistas, whose tenets promoted a peaceful process towards autonomy from Spain without violence or social revolts. They all articulated in their respective intellectual projects the Liberals' rhetoric of "La Gran Familia Puertorriquena," which positioned the Hispanic Creole intellectuals as the morally superior fathers and mothers who were meant to guide and control the racially mixed masses. The contradiction of the Liberal Autonomist Creole elite was that they accused the Incondicionales of exploitative labour practices and a retrograde vision detrimental to progress in the island, while simultaneously, looking upon the lower urban and rural classes—composed of blacks, mulattoes, and jibaros—as dangerously racially mixed, weak, apathetic, and lacking the necessary energy and spirit to attain progress. The Liberal Creoles' rhetoric of "La Gran Familia Puertorriquena" replaced the blatant exploitation of slavery with 100 a benevolent and hierarchical paternalism. This is found in much of the writing of the time, as I shall demonstrate. 101 -CHAPTER 3 -GENDERED DISCOURSES: THE CREOLE LIBERAL AND THECONSERVATIVE PATRIARCHAL MORAL PRESCRIPTION On the good constitution of mothers depends that of the children and the early education of men is in their hands. On women too depend the morals, the passions, the tastes, the pleasures, aye and the happiness of men. For this reason their education must be wholly directed to their relations with men. To give them pleasure, to be useful to them, to win their love and esteem, to train them in their childhood, to care for them when they grow up, to give them counsel and consolation, to make life sweet and agreeable for them: these are the duties of women in all times for which they should be trained from childhood. (Jean Jacques Rousseau, Emile 135) Rousseau's Emile (1761) provided a model of education for men that was simultaneously social and "natural." Rousseau characterized Emile as the quintessential man of the Enlightenment, and Sophie as his perfect wife. His dichotomy of sex and politics was categorical: the political realm belongs to the social contract; inequality of the sexes is completely "natural." Mary Wollstonecraft much admired Rousseau's work but resented that for him egalitarian rights were reserved just for men, and that women, by natural law, were outside of the social contract. Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman contested Rousseau's natural masculine hierarchy and claimed that the only reason for women's state was their lack of education (Valcarcel 58-59). Rousseau's mode of political philosophy not only triumphed in the nineteenth century but has also been filtered through many discourses up to the present day. In the context of nineteenth-century Puerto Rico, the intellectual elite on the island and abroad were acquainted with Rousseau's philosophical thought. Therefore, it is not surprising that the debate on women's education on the island was based on Rousseau's ideas about what is "natural." This Chapter examines Creole men's discourses about women's education that interweave statements on the control of female sexuality, racial impurity, and 102 the limitations and possibilities of an emancipatory agenda. Puerto Rican elite women were not passive recipients of this indoctrination, and created their own responses to the masculine moral prescriptions. Crucial changes in the social and economic development of Puerto Rico occurred during the 1870s and 1880s. The abolition of slavery in 1873 soon made the practice of the Libreta regime obsolete,1 and rapidly showed its effects as the dominant classes' authority and control began to crumble. The first political parties also emerged during this time, and the Creole professional elite organized the Liberal Party (later the Autonomist Party) and voiced their concerns officially. The male members of the island's officialdom and landowning or professional elite saw the urgent need to re-organize the basis of their social infrastructure to ensure their economic, political, and above all moral power over the subjugated masses. The Liberals, who so fervently advocated the abolition of slavery and political autonomy from Spain, believed that "los hijos del pais" were in grave need of moral reform. The undisciplined blacks and mulattoes, and the unruly jibaros, embodied a moral illness that, according to the Liberals' rhetoric, kept the country's large masses corrupt with their vices, laziness, promiscuity, and degeneracy. Puerto Rican Creole men, like their counterparts in other Latin American nations, insisted that the education of women was the cornerstone that would improve society at large. Numerous pamphlets written by both Liberal and Conservative elite men were placed in circulation during this period specifically addressing the "question of woman." Their patriarchal rhetoric called for moral reforms for women of all social classes and ethnic backgrounds. Among the many proposals for the improvement of women's education and 1 The Libreta system was a unjust and cruel instrument of labour control, "a state campaign to force free landless men into labour on large estates" (Findlay 53). 103 their participation in society, this Chapter examines three of the most disseminated texts by Liberal men in the latel800s: Alejandro Tapia y Rivera's "E l aprecio a la mujer es barometro de civilization" (1862), Gabriel Ferrer's "La mujer en Puerto Rico" (1881), and Salvador Brau's "La campesina" (1886). There follows a brief description of Fernando Lopez Tuero's extensive treatise, La mujer (1893), that voiced the conservative lncondicionales ' attack on the Liberals' proposals in favour of the [limited] education of women. This section concludes with a discussion of the Creole women's response to the masculine moral prescription. Furthermore, this Chapter attempts to demonstrate how gendered power relations were at the centre of discursive practices between men and women intellectuals that represented their respective agendas of sexual politics and the politics of location—as conflicting and ambiguous as they were. While Brau believed that the education of women from the wealthy elite was satisfactory, Tapia and Ferrer thought that it was insufficient. Tapia's discourse probably held the most progressive ideas regarding gender: these were in consonance with his cosmopolitan view, rather than with the realities of the island. In his writing, Tapia openly demonstrated his solidarity with the early women's emancipation movements of the nineteenth century from North America and Europe. He firmly believed that the Hispanic Creole women were independent and intelligent human beings who, given a proper education, were perfectly able to debate any subject with men as their equals. Tapia's partisan ideas on women's emancipation did not suit the ideological agenda on women's education expressed by the Conservative lncondicionales who quickly moved to censor the support Liberal Reformist men gave to women's claims for emancipation. By the 1890s, bourgeois women also began writing their own opinions regarding their education and 104 access to the public sphere. Ultimately, both Liberal men and bourgeois proto-feminists proclaimed a moral transformation that would "whiten" and reinvigorate Puerto Rican colonial society, "yet the proposed reforms were premised on elements of the dominant honour code; thus their proponents assumed the right to assert racial superiority and consolidation of power over the groups whose lives they hoped to better" (Findlay 54). These groups provided competing definitions of morality, race, and gender. However, as Findlay argues, their ultimate goal was to maintain the professional and landed classes at the top of the social and economic hierarchy. My intention in reviewing these diverse discourses is not simply to criticize men's proposals, but rather to examine and expose the strong gender ideologies and racially charged rhetoric that both Creole men and women sustained, as they believed that in their hands rested the modernization and progress of their society. Alejandro Tap i a y Rivera ' s " E l aprecio a la mujer es barometro de c iv i l i za t ion" Tapia y Rivera, as well as other Liberal men (among them, Ignacio Guasp, Gabriel Ferrer, Jose Pablo Morales Miranda, and Salvador Brau), supported the "rational emancipation" of the Creole women. Tapia seems to be the earliest voice—and probably the most revolutionary of all—to claim egalitarian rights between the two sexes. His short article, " E l aprecio a la mujer es barometro de civilization," 2 conveyed the marrow of the 2 In the compilation I consulted, Cuentos y articulos varios (1938), the cited article is datedl862. However, it appears in other sources as first published in Tapia's newspaper La Azucena in November 1870. The article's main points and ideas were repeatedly evoked by the Liberals, who viewed Creole bourgeois women not just as man's sexually subordinated "hembra" but rather his equal friend and partner with whom he was able to discuss any matters pertaining to cultural or political life. 105 Liberals' thought regarding the education of upper-class women which, in turn, was strongly opposed by the Conservative patriarchal majority. Upper-class young men, in the Caribbean as well as in the rest of Latin America, had the opportunity to study overseas in Spain, France or the United States, a possibility not extended to young women. Despite the educational limitations of Puerto Rico and the reluctance of most fathers to provide their daughters with the same education they gave to their sons, Tapia fiercely defended women's rights to education and access to the political sphere, premising his argument on the fact that the most cultivated and civilized nations of the world provided a thorough education to men and women alike. And that was what Puerto Rico urgently needed: educated women to transform the island into the cultivated, civilized, and modern nation that Tapia envisaged. Woman, the most prolific topic of all times, says Tapia, represents "la diatriba y la apoteosis" simultaneously. Tapia, an aesthete par excellence, condemns satirical remarks against women—the diatribe—and favours the "apotheosis," which for him is condensed in the dual formula "beauty and virtue." Tapia insists that anywhere this dualism is found, there exists progress and civilized peoples. His interpretation of Rousseau's concept of "the state of nature"4 serves him as the premise for weaving his argument around "beauty and virtue." Thus Tapia attempts to design the political position for women within the proto-nation. His writing strategy is to provide a historical overview of past and present civilizations, following 3 A remarkable exception was Ana Roque, whose father insisted on her formal instruction. Although Roque never studied abroad, her higher education—most of which was self-taught—was a rare privilege among the women of her time. The same can be said about Carmela Eulate Sanjurjo, who unlike Roque, did study in Spain where she resided most of her life. 4 Tapia was referring to Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Second Discourse: On The Origin and Foundations of Inequality Among Men. He calls Rousseau "el filosofo de Ginebra" in the next quotation. 106 the historical model of Renan, to illustrate how educated women of all times have contributed toward the progress of humankind. He aims to demonstrate that the incorporation of women into society would eventually lead to the development of a more advanced nation. Most interestingly, Tapia's counterpoint of civilization is exemplified by Asian societies, which he qualifies as "backward and primitive," for they maintain women subjugated as servants while men are occupied with more important endeavours, such as military action, government or simply "holganza" (leisure). For example, he condemns the ancient tradition observed by some cultures in India of burning the wife alive along with the deceased husband since the woman is the male's property. In his article, Tapia states that this kind of practice would never lead to progress or to civilization. Basing himself on Rousseau's Second Discourse, Tapia emphasizes the following: Es evidente que, sin que sea ya necesario en nuestra epoca refutar el exclusivo sistema del filosofo de Ginebra, el mencionado periodo [India] no puede tampoco llamarse estado natural, puesto que nunca debe juzgarse al hombre mas proximo a su estado natural, que cuando se encuentra mejor aparejado en la via de civilizarse y perfeccionarse. El estado de naturaleza que imagina o establece el citado filosofo, esta en palpable contradiction con la verdad, puesto que el hombre no fue creado para los bosques como los lobos, sino para la civilization que le acerca a la belleza y la virtud. Y ciertamente que el artista a quien ocurrio pintar al hombre de Rousseau despojandose de sus vestidos para ir a buscar en lo agreste de las selvas la dulce ventura de su estado natural, anduvo acertado, y su ocurrencia fue por demas ingeniosa, apropiada y peregrina. Si en semejante periodo anti-civilizado de los 107 pueblos buscamos a la mujer, la encontraremos barbara y esclava. (50-51, bold in the original) I cite Tapia at length to facilitate the understanding of his interpretation of Rousseau's concept of "the state of nature." To justify his argument, Tapia states that Rousseau is in obvious contradiction with the truth "el estado de naturaleza que imagina o establece el citado filosofo, esta en palpable contradiction con la verdad." According to Roger D. Masters, it has been argued that Rousseau's thought was indeed contradictory, however, his paradoxes were carefully and deliberately crafted.5 Tapia saw beyond the alleged contradiction regarding the state of nature that Rousseau imagined or established. He wastes no time in offering his own interpretation of the state of nature in order to introduce the subject of his essay—woman—one that was conspicuously absent from Rousseau's discourse. Tapia proceeds to give examples of ancient societies—Hebrew, Greek, and Roman— that reached a significant level of advancement in the arts and sciences because they had ennobled women. According to Tapia, the notorious decadence of the Roman Empire impacted negatively on the place of women in society. Caesar's "Mesalinas" corroded the image of women and they began to be disrespected. This disdainful attitude towards women 5 Roger D. Masters, in his Introduction to The First and Second Discourses, points out that most of the criticism of Rousseau's Discourses decries the inconsistency and contradictions of his statements. Masters insists that this is merely a "superficial inconsistency" and that we should look for the underlying principles that explain the paradox: "his writings are not only profound, they are paradoxical. His First Discourse is a learned essay on the danger of learned essays; his Second Discourse establishes the nature of man as the criterion for judging society, but reduces the natural man to an unthinking animal. The First Discourse can only be understood as a return to classical principles; the Second Discourse uses modern principles to attack the tradition derived from the classics" (24-25). Furthermore, Rousseau himself acknowledges his paradoxes: "they must be made when one thinks seriously; and, whatever you may say, I would rather be a man of paradoxes than a man of prejudices" (qtd. in Masters, 25). 108 continued during the Middle Ages, when the empty phrase "Dios y mi dama" was nothing more than an expression of mere vanity for the self-glorification of the knight, and not of true devotion to his lady: El feudo de las cien doncellas, el derecho de pernada, el de vida en el marido para castigo del adulterio, la consagracion forzosa y absoluta de la mujer a los menesteres mecanicos del hogar, su nulidad en el estado; todo prueba que la invocation caballeresca de Dios y mi dama era pura vanidad . . . no verdadera estimation. (Tapia 53) Here, Tapia launches his revolutionary and controversial proto-feminist argument: a civilized society would and should appreciate women; that is, for Tapia, "the barometer" with which one can measure the level of civilization of any given society. In the modern age, Tapia declares, women are finally called to occupy their rightful place. The state now recognizes that she ought to be educated: in her condition as a mother, she is the solid base that supports the family, the nation-state, and society at large. Her "rational emancipation," according to Tapia, lies in struggling against her ignorance about how to fulfill her civic role. Woman and man were both born with the same intellectual capacity; therefore, woman should break her shackles so that she can rightfully dispute with man in the fields of Law and Sciences. These are the greatest innovations and challenges that lie ahead in the nineteenth century, Tapia concludes: "La mujer ha pasado por la esfera de las esclavas y las libertas, ha ocupado el trono de las diosas; ese no es su fin, ese no es su camino; la mujer se eleva mas, camina mejor hacia su estado natural haciendose ciudadana; he aqui uno de los problemas que tiene que resolver el siglo X I X " (54, emphasis in Tapia). Tapia's closing statement was one of the most controversial and daring written in the colony in the mid-nineteenth-century. Although 109 Liberals agreed that women were in need of a better education, they did not accept so easily their inclusion in politics, nor their claim to civil rights. It was on this very point that Tapia's thought radically diverged from thatof the rest of his contemporaries. Certainly, Tapia's ideas were echoed by the Liberals, but the most important one, that of bestowing suffrage on women, was overtly neglected. Tapia's ideas advocating women's rights did not have much public resonance until over a decade later. From the 1880s on, public opinion was bombarded with a cacophony of discourses regarding the "woman question." Most of the records documenting social and cultural events in Puerto Rico in the 1880s that I have consulted show that 'woman' is an obsessive subject of discussion. These speeches, articles, and pronouncements, often articulated in extravagant language destined to stress the importance of motherhood and woman's moral responsibility, followed basically the same structure: first, a brief account of notable women in ancient societies; secondly, a presumed analysis of the physical and moral development of girls, and third, a proclamation of woman's maternal duties. A good case in point is the lecture by Enrique Soriano Hernandez, given at one of the many literary dinners of the "Circulo de Recreo" in San German.6 Under the ubiquitous title "La mujer," Soriano's opening lines recapitulate some of the ideas previously laid out by Tapia. Soriano's main point, he states, is to offer a brief account of women's historical influence over human history. After mentioning a number of celebrated women, ranging from Eve to Katherine the Great, he finds it necessary to concentrate on the analysis of women's moral development. According to Soriano, even before a woman learns how to think nature has already taught her sacred destiny: maternity. Also following Rousseau's 6 This particular speech was read the night of June 27, 1880 in the "Circulo de Recreo" and published later by the press of J. Ramon Gonzalez that same year. 110 thought, Soriano argues that, unlike man, woman is obliged, by her desires and needs, to depend on man. Therefore, in order to fulfill her needs, man should agree to provide for her needs, and to do so, she must gain his esteem: "el hombre pone precio al merito de la mujer, pesando lo que valen sus gracias y sus virtudes" (7). Thus, the moral qualities of women are subject to a good education and to the imposition of social mores, to such an extent that it is the only way to eradicate woman's primitive character: "La obligation de la buena madre es instruir la inteligencia del nino y desarrollar su alma . . . instruyamos a la mujer para que pueda cumplir con su destino" (9), are the closing words of Soriano's speech. Gabriel Ferrer's La mujer en Puerto Rico Probably the most influential proposal for women's education in the 1880s was that of Gabriel Ferrer y Hernandez (1848-1901), a teacher, physician, and poet who actively participated in the political and intellectual life of the island. According to Cayetano Coll y Toste, Ferrer was praised in the "Juegos Florales" of the "Casino de Mayagiiez" in 1893 for his poems Post Nubila. He wrote two of dramas in 1883, namely, El bastardo and Herir en el corazon, which were performed in San Juan (Coll y Toste 323). His essay, La mujer en Puerto Rico: sus necesidades presentes y los medios mas fdciles y adecuados para mejorar su porvenir, won the first prize of the "Certamen Cervantino" in 1880. The essay's prologue by Manuel Fernandez Juncos7 is worthy of special discussion, for it illustrates the highly gendered ideologies that dominated the Liberals' thought. Fernandez Juncos celebrates the subject of Ferrer's work—the Puerto Rican woman—stating Manuel Fernandez Juncos was the founder and chief editor of the Liberal newspaper El buscapie, where Ferrer's La mujer en Puerto Rico was published. A pamphlet version also circulated throughout the island. I l l that it is "una cuestion que preocupa hoy a los pueblos mas civilizados, y que por su importancia y magnitud puede considerarse como uno de los grandes litigios de la humanidad" (viii). Citing contemporary "hombres ilustres" in England, Germany, Belgium, and France who were also concerned with the "woman question." Fernandez Juncos' prologue thus places Puerto Rican Liberals at the same level of progressive ideas as the "civilized" world—Europe. Fernandez Juncos approves of European writers such as Dumas and Girardin for supporting equal rights for men and women and for deploring the "codigo napoleonico" which gave men the legal right to kill their wives under certain conditions (ix). However, he argues that Dumas is too radical and excesive: "radical hasta la exageracion, intenta hacer de la mujer un hombre" (x, emphasis in the original), while Girardin only aspires to the "la igualdad moral de la gran familia humana" (x). This statement strategically confirms the Liberals' rhetoric about moral reformation, linking it to the paternalist language of "la gran familia" repeatedly used in these lectures and speeches. In the context of this study it is pertinent to cite Fernandez Juncos' extremely romanticized representation of the Puerto Rican Creole woman, one that was commonplace in the writings of the time: Hija legitima de la espanola, y mas especialmente de la andaluza, es como ella impresionable y sensible, de viva y penetrante imagination, de agudo ingenio, de caracter dulce y benigno, de nobles y generosos instintos, y de excelentes disposiciones para el cultivo de las ciencias y las artes. . . . La puerto-riquena misma, con su natural gentileza, su talle esbelto y flexible, sus rasgados ojos, radiantes de luz 1 1 2 y de poesia, y su semblante agraciado, correcto y ligeramente palido, con aquella vaga expresion de languidez o de indecible melancolia... (xi) Fernandez Juncos' assertion that the Puerto Rican woman is the "hija legitima de la espanola" confinTis the white Hispanic lineage that legitimates Creole woman as authentically European. The Puerto Rican woman is thus defined in reference to the Spanish woman, conveying a racially charged feminine representation that denies in principle any African or Amerindian component. This kind of racialized rhetoric was usual among the white Creole elite. Liberals carefully substituted their racism by a rhetoric based on paternalist racial and moral superiority. The delicate and charming feminine creature described by Fernandez was, however, dangerously misguided since her childhood to feed only her imagination rather than her intelligence. A s a result, she becomes inconstant and deprived of the capacity for discernment, is consumed by her own vanity and frivolity. A solid moral education would prevent her from falling into the most serious threat that affected the women of the middle and upper classes: "el tedio . . . terrible enemigo del hogar . . . muy peligroso en la mujer" (xv). For Fenandez Juncos, boredom is the enemy o f the home, and a very dangerous threat for women, so it is necessary to combat it. To fight the dangers associated with boredom, the upper-class woman must learn how to occupy her mind by studying Sciences and Fine Arts in order to constructively entertain herself and her family: "de esta manera se elevara su espiritu, adquirira claras nociones de lo bello y de lo bueno, y se despertaran en ella nobles y elevadas aspiraciones" (xv). Her position within the family unit is defined with respect to man: woman is man's natural companion and she should be able to understand him, comfort him and help him. Only through appropriate instruction could women be saved from the 113 malignant vice that destroys homes. Thus, Fernandez Juncos' prologue corroborates the main points of the discourses that Liberal men displayed regarding the education of their women. Gabriel Ferrer's La mujer en Puerto Rico claims to be a serious, scholarly sociological essay. This essay was groundbreaking because it took into consideration socio-economic and racial differences among the female population, something that the Creole elite preferred not to acknowledge, at least not in a straightforward manner. Ferrer develops a classification of Puerto Rican women by class and race, prescribing to each group particular norms of behaviour and advice for their proper education. Since Ferrer was a physician, he bases his arguments on nineteenth-century European theories of hygiene that stressed the importance of bodily cleanliness, pure oxygen for the brain, and physical exercise. A l l three are important factors for maintaining a perfect equilibrium between a healthy body and the normal functions of the intelligence: mens sana in corpore sano. Ferrer's main point is that women's natural domain, whatever her class or race, is at the core of the family unit. In this capacity, she must be adequately educated to be morally responsible, so that she will be able to take care of and educate the new generations effectively: "la sociedad depende de las mujeres ... es preciso ensenar a las madres lo que mas tarde deben ellas ensefiar a los hijos" (5). He defends the notion that there is a radical difference between supporting women's rights to basic education, and believing that women are just the servants of "su tirano"—her male counterpart. However, women's education must be limited; Ferrer does not support the idea that the rights of men and women should be totally equal. Ferrer divides Puerto Rican women into two large economic groups: the moneyed class and the working class; and into three main racial groups: the white Hispanic, the mulatto or cuarterona, and the black. He explains that the well-being of society rests on the 114 labour of the working-class, therefore he finds it only fair to give advice to the daughters of honest artisans. Ideally, these unfortunate creatures, i f orphans, should be able to recognize the causes of their misfortunes themselves and correct them. If they are not orphans, their parents should help them find a remedy to prevent them from "falling" and to assist them in correcting their mistakes (7). To explain his argument, he poses a rhetorical question: are there essential differences that would prove the superiority of men over women? Would these differences explain somehow women's inferior behaviour in the physical and the intellectual order? Remarkably, Ferrer concludes that through the observation of the development of both male and female from infancy to puberty, it is evident that men have advantages over women at certain times, and that women often surpass men at others. Although we do not know what those particular instances are, at least Ferrer talks about a supposed balance between the two sexes, even if his discourse merely describes women in reference to men and never as independent beings. Without being ill-intentioned, Ferrer represents woman as reduced to a single organ: the womb: La mujer poseyendo ademas un organo que . . . es el centra de donde part en las sensaciones mas exquisitas, y al cual confluyen las simpaticas relaciones que emanan de sus diversos organos, aparatos y sistemas, la caracteriza de tal modo, que el, por si solo, bastaria para hacerla considerar un ser de naturaleza especialisima y al cual se doblegan sumisamente todas las prerrogativas que el hombre supone tener sobre ella: a la importancia de aquel maravilloso centra, de portentosa y delicada sensibilidad. El organo a que hacemos referencia, ya lo habran comprendido nuestros lectores, es la urna sagrada, el laboratorio admirable, en donde la vida se concentra en los 115 primeros y sucesivos instantes de la procreation y en el cual el organismo entero, rindiendole justo vasallaje, fija toda su atencion, le presta su valioso concurso para que se realice el incomprensible acto, primero de la vida, al cual siguen una serie de fenomenos todos extraordinarios, todos grandes, todos sublimes, y ante cuyo impenetrable misterio el sabio dobla la cerviz. (10) Thus woman, by nature, is endowed with a quid divinum having a womb, a most mysterious organ that makes her resilient to the tremendous torments imposed by maternity. Therefore, woman's capacity to give birth makes her unselfish, loving, tender, and delicate. Ferrer insists that the supposed male superiority pales before the role of maternity. While man is more robust, more daring, more prompt to fight, she is more delicate, less provocative, and more conciliatory; while man is full of pride, more material, more indifferent, she is more submissive, more idealistic, more sensitive; while woman is capable of extreme self-denial and self-sacrifice, man rarely feels true love. In sum, woman is ruled by "virtue" which makes her comply with the demands of "duty": "gobierna la familia con sus consejos, inculca en sus hijos y hasta en su mismo esposo las maximas sagradas del honor y de los deberes... ^donde esta, pues la decantada superioridad del hombre?" (11). Although Ferrer seems to be attacking male superiority, he represents woman only in reference to man. As Charnon-Deutsch points out, ultimately it is the male identity that is actually being problematized. Ferrer assures his audience that Puerto Rican women, from both the wealthy and the working classes, are fating great needs, and that he is determined not only to pinpoint those needs but also to prescribe the most likely means to alleviate them. La mujer puerto-riquena, con dotes suficientes para ilustrar su inteligencia, es—y lo confesamos con dolor, —generalmente ignorante. 116 Si se trata a la mujer acomodada . . . no se tarda en conocer que toda su ciencia se reduce a algunos escasos conocimientos religiosos, a leer mal y peor escribir. Su moralidad proverbial, hace de la madre en este pais un dechado de virtudes. (14-15) The upper-class woman is simultaneously a selfish mother and an ignorant being. Her knowledge is reduced to basic religious information; she barely knows how to read and her writing ability is even worse. However, she possesses notable imagination, sensibility, and a great capacity for love and self-denial. Among her limited activities, her great passions are music and dancing, so she enjoys attending the city's ball-room. Dancing and reading novels are two of her favourite pastimes, both dangerous activities capable of misleading her feverish and childish imagination. Cuarteronas or mulatto women are more inclined to this kind of entertainment white women, and therefore they are in need of close control: "la cuarterona o mulata, tipo de una clase muy numerosa en las ciudades... son alegres y bulliciosas . . . su pasion se reduce a lucir galas; su mania es el baile . . . aman con frenesi y su inmenso cariflo. . . las lleva a perder el tesoro de su virginidad" (19-20). Despite these statements, Ferrer insists that the Puerto Rican woman transcends her imposed limitations as she seeks progress and self-advancement. However, the excessive religiosity of some women makes them often fall into public ridicule, as they seem extremely ignorant and superstitious, something that only proper instruction would remedy. Nevertheless, the few women who are well-educated and have extraordinary wit, their own intelligence "las hizo romper con el habito,"8 so they are forced to go abroad in search of "[RJomper con el habito" meant that they were no longer "honourable," could not live by themselves as respectable single women without the consequent scandal and social stigmatization. 117 more social freedom. In order to avoid this, he advises following the examples of Germany, the United States, and France, where women are educated and incorporated into national life. Notably, his contradictory discourse recognizes that Puerto Rican women do not lack intellectual faculties, just opportunities. Ferrer is not opposed to the idea of single women living independently like single men outside the bonds of marriage, however with great moral limitations: "en este grave asunto no hay ni pueden haber terminos medios: o buena esposa o buena soltera, aunque para ello sea preciso el sacrificio de la vida" (19). Thus, for a woman there are no options, except to cultivate her virtue at all costs, and the development of a strong will to keep her from committing what Ferrer's calls "un acto criminal," since a woman herself is totally responsible for maintaining intact her honour "el tesoro de su virginidad" (20). Otherwise, she runs the risk of being disgraced and outcast from society. Interestingly enough, in the context of adultery, Ferrer examines the living conditions of the daughters of low-income families or poor orphans. These poor girls marry older men for financial convenience and without love, so they have a proclivity to adultery. According to Ferrer, these girls should not get married, even i f it means living in misery and being deprived of economic ease for the rest of their lives. This misguided advice is proof positive of how Liberal men viewed women's sexuality as threatening and manipulative, while leaving men absolutely exempt from any responsibility. Contrary to what one would expect, for Ferrer upper-class women represent the group at the greatest disadvantage with respect to their physical and mental development. Following Spanish notions of hygiene, Ferrer emphasizes that the upper-class woman is deprived of the basic means to be healthy: exercise, sun, and oxygen. Her languid, pale 118 complexion, and her physical weakness are due to lack of outdoor exposure. Confined to the boundaries of the home, she is used to living cloistered, and with reduced aspirations. Her activities are limited to going to church on Sundays and visiting close friends or relatives on rare occasions. This permanent confinement in enclosed spaces keeps her weak from childhood on. In school, girls are obliged to spend six hours a day in the same position, which Ferrer argues is against their nature. Consequently, they do not learn to appreciate study and quickly learn how to lie, becoming frivolous and caring only for fashion and beauty. When she is ten years old, a girl's school education ends and she continues at home learning passive activities such as embroidery, weaving or playing the piano, but still indoors, so that she grows up languid and i l l . . Her diet consists mainly of vegetables, which contribute to her slow development and weakness. By contrast, both peasant and mulatto girls are more robust and healthy because they are exposed to breathing pure air and to playing outdoors freely. To compensate for this lack, he proposes the Froebel Kindergarten, where children can safely play outdoors and learn at the same time. In sum, women must be morally re-generated in order to offer future generations and men "una digna y virtuosa companera" (41). The merit of Ferrer's proposal, with all its limitations and contradictions, was to evaluate the role of women in society taking into consideration the prevalent differences between class and race. Unlike most Creole elite men, who simply chose to ignore these realities, Ferrer based his analysis on what at the time were considered progressive and non-traditional methods, such as hygienics and the German concept of the Kindergarten as proposed by Froebel (42-43). Ferrer's solutions are, basically, to reform the educational system and open more schools for girls. Through a good education, women would also have 119 more access to the professions. Hence, Ferrer's proposal to improve Puerto Rican women's education was also intended to improve the island's educational system at large. Salvador Brau's La campesina (1886) In 1880, Governor Eulogio Despujol (1878-1881) published, in the Gaceta Oficial, his agreement and support for schooling for rural girls. Despujol's words were echoed in the writings and speeches of men such as Salvador Brau, Gabriel Ferrer, and Manuel Zeno Gandia: Me hallo de todo punto conforme, en tesis general, con la conveniencia de establecer escuelas rurales para nihas. Completamente diseminada la poblacion rural en chozas asiladas, falta de toda instruction religiosa y de freno moral, sin que ni la eficacia del Sacramento ni la sancion de la Ley venga a legitimar muchas uniones, mas o menos duraderas, creadas sobre la sola y deleznable base del apetito sensual, puede decirse, en verdad, que la famdia, en los campos de Puerto Rico, no esta moralmente constituida, siendo este quiza el principal obstaculo para su futuro progreso. (General Despujol, qtd. in Brau, La campesina 8-9. Italics in the original.) Salvador Brau wrote his sociological treatise La campesina as a direct response to Governor Despujol's support for the establishment of elementary schools for girls in the rural areas. La campesina is a chapter of Brau's larger work Disquisiciones sociologicas, but it was also published by itself and circulated free of charge.9 La campesina was endorsed by other Liberal men representing cultural associations, such as Laureano Vega, founder and sponsor of "La Sociedad Protectora de la Inteligencia," and Jose Cordovez y Berrios who, 9 The copy I examined was published in 1886 in the Almanaque de las Damas, a small magazine for women edited by Jose Gonzalez Font, to whom Brau dedicated his essay. 120 interestingly enough, was the founder of the "Asociacion de Damas," and as Brau states in his "Advertencia," an enthusiastic defender and promoter of the education of the Puerto Rican people (Brau, La campesina xiv-xv). Brau begins his argument by addressing one of the most important problems faced by the intellectual elite in matters of higher education: the lack of a university on the island. Analyzing the precarious socio-economic condition of Puerto Rico, Brau reflects that a university in the island is "like a fairy tale" that would only satisfy a very limited number of privileged people who, as he suggests, already have the option to go abroad in pursuit of higher education. The social realities of the island impose priorities, and the increased provision of elementary schools for children in the rural areas is the most urgent. Based on the official census of urban and rural inhabitants of both sexes, Brau points out that 81% of Puerto Ricans live in the rural areas. He breaks down this percentage by sex, and indicates that 36% of the rural population are women: "^que instruction reciben esas mujeres? Doloroso es contestar. N i una sola escuela rural acusa en su obsequio, la estadistica oficial de la ensenanza"(5). Brau's paternalist rhetoric, as a physician and sociologist, assumes a sententious tone of moral authority as he condemns "el vicio del concubinato" that, according to him, is so deeply rooted in the peasants' customs. Promiscuity is the main evil of the rural sector that must be eradicated, since the salvation of the peasants' morality is in the hands of peasant women. He emphasizes that anyone who has walked through the countryside is aware of the rampant promiscuity in which the rural children are immersed. Brau believes that peasant women must have priority for education, rather than men, because, as he notes, of the 257 elementary schools in the rural areas, none is for girls. The only exceptions are two schools 121 for girls in the neighboring island of Vieques. In Brau's assessment, the peasant woman must be taught a strong set of moral principles through proper elementary and Christian education. The peasant woman is three times more responsible than man, because in her familial role as daughter, wife, and mother she is the only one responsible for instilling and preserving morality and beauty, and for sweetening the jungle-like habits that prevail among the people of her class (6-7). It is significant to realize how this incipient masculine rhetoric automatically exempted the male from any responsibility; even i f men were the ones who received elementary education, sexual and moral problems were still blamed on women. A most disturbing accusation that Brau points out is that of the sexual abuse of children. Brau indicates that this is a serious problem in the rural areas that affects particularly children between nine and twelve years old. He sadly comments that cases of children sexually assaulted on their way from home to remote schools are very common. Brau does not specify who assaulted these children. Instead, he enumerates various factors, such as the tropical weather, the exuberant vegetation, the isolation, and in general the geographical environment and the social milieu in which the proletarian class live, that contribute to their demoralized and promiscuous sexual behaviour (12-13). He believes that the negative influences of the tropical climate are aggravated by the poor diet of the jibaros, who were mainly vegetarian. In the same "scientific" way that Ferrer approached the vegetarian diet and the oxygen deprivation of the upper-class woman, Brau claims: "las sustancias vegetales forman la base alimenticia de nuestra poblacion rural, y la ciencia prueba que el alimento vegetal relaja las fibras musculares. El imperio del mundo pertenece a quien come carne y respira oxigeno a satisfaction en los pulmones" (18). In addition, the abuse of coffee keeps the 122 nervous system of the jibaros exalted but at the same time indolent and prone to extreme and uncontrollable sensuality. In contrast to Tapia and Ferrer, Brau finds the education of the upper-class women satisfactory. He refers in particular to the families who live in the rural "pueblos," arguing that they have the advantage of being able to hire private tutors for their daughters, so that they are not exposed to travelling long distances alone in isolated places. They also attend the local church where they can expand their social relations, and participate in social events that promote an exchange of ideas which help keep alive the "sentimientos tradicionales" of Puerto Rico (16). Brau is aware that he is writing in answer to Governor Despujol's claim that the rural proletarian family is not morally constituted, and his essay attempts to elaborate a sociological analysis for the Governor. His arguments are based on official statistics and a close examination of the idiosyncrasy of the peasants which, according to Brau, is founded on the "teoria racionalista." In this way, he presents the problems of the proletariat, stating that they are mainly caused by genetic heritage, environmental influences, concubinage, extreme poverty and ignorance, and superstitious beliefs that lead to a sensual morbidity that dooms the peasantry. For Brau, there is no right answer, in so far as he merely points out the roots of the problem and calls for immediate action. His solution lies in creating co-educational schools. The only way to do this, he argues, is to transform the 257 existing schools into institutions for both girls and boys. The success of this project is based on the model of the United States, where an evangelical moral code is coupled with hygienic measures. This is the only way to provide the Puerto Rican peasant woman with a proper education: "La education de las mujeres es mas importante que la de los hombres . . . 123 instruyendo a nuestras campesinas su soledad concluye: nadie esta solo cuando tiene un libro que le acompane . . . No hagamos sabias a esas mujeres, pero no las dejemos tampoco abandonadas como irracionales" (40-41). The lncondicionales' Point of View: Fernando Lopez Tuero's La mujer It is interesting to note that the Reformistas or Autonomistas were always ahead of the lncondicionales in social and political matters. The Liberals were the first to organize an official party in 1870, and months later the Conservatives organized their political party in an effort to counteract the influence of the Liberals. Ponce became the alternative capital of Puerto Rico, where the Liberals dominated almost.all the cultural and official institutions. The brutal repression of the Compontes in the "aho terrible" of 1887 succeeded in dismantling the political terrain that the, Autonomistas had gained in those years. The lncondicionales were also late in their attack against the Liberals' proposals for the education of women. In the 1890s Creole women organized themselves in feminine leagues and responded to these proposals. During this time, the lncondicionales launched their attack through booklets and pamphlets against the Liberals and against women's claims for emancipation. One of these texts, published in 1893 under the overused title of La mujer, is remarkable for its length of 221 pages. Its author, the conservative Fernando Lopez Tuero, energetically criticizes the Liberal Reformistas for their support of women's education, and admonishes the "bello sexo" against the threats of emancipation: La emancipation de la mujer: Algunos publicistas, eruditos a la violeta, pretenden demostrar que la mujer debe salir del hogar, y lanzarse a la vida publica donde pueda disputar al hombre sus triunfos y laureles en cualquiera de las multiples esferas de la 124 actividad intelectual. . . . Y querer variar las leyes de la naturaleza y hacer mundo nuevo, tan solo porque haya sido moda hablar de reformas y pedir derechos para la mujer, es perder el tiempo y dar que reir a la gente discreta y a la opinion sensata. (198-99) Lopez Tuero's contradictory rhetoric states on the one hand that women's intellectual capacity is equal to that of men; but on the other hand he underscores women's lack of the necessary "aptitudes fisicas" because their extremely sensitive temper is unsuitable for exercising the "nobles profesiones masculinas." The political agenda of Lopez Tuero excludes women, stating that the very idea of women's direct participation in politics is absolutely ridiculous. Lopez Tuero insists that the involvement of women in the political arena is a foreign idea, alien to the nature of the Spanish woman. The Puerto Rican woman does not need to embrace those dangerous ideas that will only confuse and detach her from her true "mision de la mujer." For Lopez Tuero this is the law of God and nature, therefore one must accept this inexorable condition without question: women must stay at home and leave the field of politics as men's exclusive domain. Otherwise it is an act against nature, a Utopia that will never come true because it is against the order of things as they are meant to be. Lopez Tuero, like Soriano, believes that woman is obliged to depend on man. Furthermore, he argues that there are as many men as women in the world, so that every man can and should take care of a designated woman (202). But his theory that there is a man for every woman fails, as he acknowledges that there are some exceptions represented by less fortunate women: "para estas mujeres desamparadas del destino, si, debe buscarse refugio, protection y apoyo a cualquiera de las multiples profesiones y ejercicios que existen propias 125 del bello sexo" (203). How would "el bello sexo" have access to these professions if men like Lopez Tuero were actively denying access to them? He saw the financial dependency of women on men as something natural, just as Liberals did. He failed to realize that this was precisely the point of women's emancipation: to remove the inextricable interrelation between sexuality and women's economic dependency on men in the upper classes, as well as the sexual abuse of poor women by wealthy men (Findlay 73-74). Creole men, both Liberal and Conservative, wereoblivious to this fact, and did not understand the reasons why "their" women were struggling for the right to be financially self-sufficient. The exception acknowledged by Lopez of the "mujeres desamparadas del destino" did not address either social status or race, thus revealing his exclusionary thoughts, and his vague and incomplete point of view. The reality was that the majority of Puerto Rican women at the time were poor peasants and former slaves, not to mention the middle-class and bourgeois women who were widowed or who were left by their husbands financially destitute and with children. Ana Roque herself was a victim of her husband's infidelity, and left financially ruined with four children to support. Roque's case was not exceptional, and other intellectual women suffered similar fates, such as the poets Fidela Matheu (1852-1927 ) and Trinidad Padilla (1864-1957), who had to work as teachers and free-lance writers to support their families (Findlay 68). Deaf and blind to these realities, Lopez Tuero insists that the sexual division of labour is fair, that women do not need this "emancipation" since it is men's primordial duty to provide for them. Furthermore, Lopez Tuero also condemns higher education for "el bello sexo," claiming that university degrees mean nothing for women, that wisdom will only make them ugly and undesirable, and that their real career is pursuing the bonds of marriage: 126 "Fluid, hermosas, de las tentaciones academicas, universitarias y bachilleras; . . . la mujer debe ser instruida, pero no sabia . . . con el estudio por todo lo alto, nada gana la mujer, solo afearse y perder encantos; las carreras para nada le sirven y la sabiduria tampoco" (209). It is clear how the Liberals' discourse favouring the rights of women in work, education, and politics clashed with the Incondicionales views, as represented by Lopez Tuero's discourse. The Creole Women's Response Bourgeois women articulated a counter-discourse to the rhetorical formulas of men's agitated pamphlets. Even though men extolled maternity, they accused women of lacking moral principles. Women, in their turn, protested against male privileges and accused men of blatant infidelity. The illegitimate unions between Spanish and Creole men and Taino peasant or black slave women contributed greatly to the racially mixed population that the Creoles themselves socially despised. White Hispanic women were highly regarded as reproducers of white children to perpetuate the dominant class, and elite men believed women needed to be educated in order to maintain their sexuality under control. For their part, white Creole women were aware of their importance in the reproduction of the dominant class: "they were important as transmitters of Hispanic culture and values, and thus had a tremendous impact on the development of Puerto Rican culture and society" (Acosta Belen 1980, 274). Hence, elite women were conscious of their position as legitimate white Hispanic wives and mothers, and of their mission to reproduce the leading class. As Marcia Rivera Quintero notes: "the reproductive capacity of women acquired a tremendous economic and political importance throughout the Spanish conquest and colonization of the island" (9). It is significant that bourgeois women's counter-discourse 127 claimed that they were morally superior to the men of their class; furthermore, they positioned themselves at the top of the social hierarchy as morally and racially superior to all men and women from the lower classes. Lola Rodriguez de Tio: "La influencia de la mujer en la civilization" Ivette Romero-Cesareo points out that Puerto Rican women intellectuals began voicing their concerns as early as 1875, when the poet Lola Rodriguez de Tio (1843-1924) published her essay "La influencia de la mujer en la civilization." According to Romero-Cesareo, Rodriguez de Tio used daring words as metaphors to denounce woman's subjection to men and her state of ignorance. Rodriguez de Tio harshly criticized the frivolous language commonly used to address women, thus exposing that language itself was "another hobble holding women back in a disadvantageous position" (772). One could argue that Rodriguez de Tio was a precursor of the feminist discourse that claims women are restrained even by the dominant linguistic code, as French feminists did more than a hundred years later. With regard to Rodriguez de Tio, Jose Luis Gonzalez declares that she must be recognized as "una de las conciencias patrioticas y democraticas mas admirables de su tiempo" (Literatura y sociedad 137). Rodriguez de Tio was far removed from the passive model of female behaviour promoted by the dominant conservative patriarchy. She was a woman of action who believed in women's self-determination and their ability to be involved in politics to fight side by side with men. Rodriguez de Tio was a fervent separatist, and she and her husband were part of the group of intellectuals implicated in the pro-independence revolt, " E l Grito de Lares," in 1868. Rodriguez de Tio's proto-feminist concerns were part of a larger movement for 128 women's emancipation that, as stated by Romero-Cesareo, began in the printing press around 1845 when a number of Liberal journalists initiated a series of debates protesting against women's limited access to formal education (773). This movement later expanded not only to education, but also to job opportunities and civil rights, endorsed by politicians, writers, and thinkers such as Eugenio Maria de Hostos, Alejandro Tapia y Rivera, and Manuel Fernandez Juncos. Ana Roque's Feminine Program: "Nuestro Programa" Roque struggled almost all her life to define a different image for women, trying to make people realize that both sexes could work together in equal conditions for the good and prosperity of the whole country. Historians most often regard Roque as an educator, owing to her restless campaign for the improvement of higher education on behalf of Puerto Ricans. Although she did fight for a general improvement in education, promoting co-educational and laicized schools, her pursuit was clearly focused on the education of women. Roque believed that women's emancipation would come only through equal opportunities with men in education, so that women could compete with men in the professions and be financially independent. Roque wrestled unceasingly to create sources of work, training in various crafts, and scholarship funds to provide financial support for the formal education of women. In her later years, under the United States administration, Roque became a key organizer of the Puerto Rican women's suffragist movement. For this reason, the society of her time considered her the first feminist of Puerto Rico and a "mujer de ideas avanzadas" (Angelis 83). 129 Roque is renowned not only for her role as an educator but also as a journalist and a businesswoman. In Humacao, in 1894, she founded the first national printing press solely managed by women and the newspaper La Mujer. Findlay notes that Roque's printing press and La mujer were the result of the "fragile network" that Creole women began in the 1890s across the island (65). Even though the circle of bourgeois proto-feminists was small, it had a resonance throughout the island, and the Autonomist men often initiated debates on articles in La Mujer and in papers such as La Democracia (83). The late nineteenth-century Puerto Rican feminine circle, of which Roque was the most prominent leader, was not a homogeneous or monolithic one. Women's positions fluctuated between extremely conservative and radically pro-emancipation. To provide a balance, Roque created "Nuestro Programa" to lay out the philosophy, goals and objectives of the feminine league, which at the time became a strong response to the earlier masculine prescriptions for women's education.While women agreed with Liberal men that educated mothers were the key to a better society, they also pointed out that women's economic vulnerability forced them to depend on their sexual wiles. Liberal men alleged that the central problem was women's immorality, frivolity, and lack of discernment between right and wrong, so they had to educate women in order to morally regenerate them and reinforce female sexual control. Like Ferrer, Liberal men demanded total sacrifice from women; they were to preserve their virginal virtue and not to marry only out of financial interest. They did not acknowledge women's economic vulnerability, nor the fact that they had no options, especially i f they could not be educated for the professions, as men were. Despite Roque's continuous struggle for women's financial independence, her discourse kept intact the honour codes and innate sense of racial superiority as laid out by the patriarchy. 130 In Roque's "Nuestro Programa," and in other articles such as "La instruction de la mujer," and "^Debera ser limitada la education de la mujer?," she defined patrician women in opposition to the plebeian. Bourgeois women identified themselves with Roque's exaltation of Hispanic heritage and cultural values, giving them a sense of racial hierarchy. "Nuestro Programa" carefully excluded plebeian women from the bourgeois feminine political project. Lower-class women were infected with racial miscegenation. African blood made them too sensual, potential seductresses who represented the major threat to masculine fidelity, and therefore they needed to be under close surveillance and control. Bourgeois women articulated a counter-discourse to the masculine moral prescription in terms of race, and class identity, claiming that those devoid of moral principles were precisely men from all classes, followed by plebeian women. The lower-class women of African descent were dangerous rivals because of their untamed sexuality and notorious public life in the urban centres and the countryside, where they became the concubines of white Hispanic men. Mulatas or cuarteronas—generally addressed as "pardas" in colloquial speech—were especially blamed as the main agents responsible for the adultery that affected Puerto Rican society. The lack of morality of bourgeois men was also part of the conspiracy that caused infidelity, but men were not able to resist the seductive powers that women of African descent exercised over them. Findlay points out that Roque, in both her fiction and in La Mujer, found the ideal medium for denouncing male infidelity: Ana Roque exposed this suffering in her fiction, openly denouncing the male extramarital sexual desires left unnamed by the Liberals. The pages of La Mujer were also filled with veiled references to the philandering of bourgeois men. Superficial charms, the authors warned, would not keep a husband's heart; only intellectual 131 companionship could guarantee men's lifelong love. Thus, education would not only release women from trading on their own sexuality for financial support but also meant freedom from other women's sexual threats and husband's straying. (70-71) Strategically, the female bourgeois positioned themselves as racially and morally superior to the men of their class, as well as to the popular masses marked by miscegenation. Roque and her followers claimed that white Hispanic Creole women had the inherent right to devote themselves to motherhood, since they were the means to properly educate the future generations. The lower-class woman, however, must accept birth control and have limited access to education, sufficient only to develop her basic skills for crafts or domestic work in order to satisfy the needs of the growing urban upper-class. Thus, bourgeois women attempted to control plebeian women through vocational training and the maintenance of the domestic division of labour. In this way, lower-class women would be provided with a level of subsistence and would constitute a lesser threat to the "sanctity of the home" and to the integrity of the Great Puerto Rican Family. Both bourgeois men and women shared the same basic preoccupations but focused them in different ways to fulfil their own sexual political agendas. Men articulated discourses that opened a debate between Liberals and lncondicionales based on ideas of racial purity, moral reformation, and honour codes, in order to control female sexuality and reproduction. Creole men, using a rhetoric founded on the law of God and the "natural law," did not acknowledge women's financial dependency as a reason for emancipation. For their part, the feminine league attacked men's infidelity and insisted on monogamy for both males and females, protected the honour code, and favoured the sexual division of labour. It is 132 remarkable that what was originally a native women's movement flourished in Puerto Rico, but tragically it soon began to be discredited: Faced with a growing autochthonous Puerto Rican feminism and fearing an explosion of female mobilization such as that taking place in Europe and the United States, the Autonomist Liberals' earlier public sympathies for women's emancipation began to break down. The chorus of Liberal voices that had hailed male-led female education as the key to good mothering and moral womanhood during the 1870s and 1880s ceased entirely. (Imposing Decency 83) It is central to this study to explore the voices from the period in question to reveal the gender ideologies held by men and women from the elite. The fiction of Puerto Rican writers in the late nineteenth century echoed the debates on women's education discussed here. It is through the exploration of their literary gender representations and metaphors that one can find insightful information about the problems that were not publicly addressed, and complete the social picture of this complex time of political changes. This study can serve as the foundation for further research that would add to an understanding of the silence (to which Findlay refers) that followed in the first quarter of the twentieth century. 133 -CHAPTER 4-GENDER REPRESENTATION AND THE CREOLE AESTHETICS OF ALEJANDRO TAPIA Y RIVERA (1826-1882) [Y]o, para quien el encanto ideal de la mujer fue siempre un movil . . . por quien todo, valor, virtud, talento, todo he querido tenerlo; yo, que siempre vi un rostro de serafin o de mujer en el fondo de todo espacio, de todo tiempo, de toda idea, de todo ensueho, cuyos ojos y sonrisas eran un paraiso que en imagen, en recuerdo, en esperanza vivia siempre como un encanto en mi fantasia. (Alejandro Tapia, Mis memorias 15) This quotation reveals the ever-present idealized image of woman in Alejandro Tapia's imagination, which inspired every act of his life. In his autobiography, Tapia states that when he was young he always dreamt of possessing the talent of a poet, a talent that he views as a magic wand endowed with the power to fascinate female beauties and make them dream and love. Tapia's romantic spirit, deeply motivated by Neo-classical and Romantic literature, essentialized woman as a celestial being with an ideal charm—a seraph—and the muse that motivated his literary creation. Beyond his romantic idealization of the feminine, Tapia denounced the material conditions that oppressed women in society, and became an advocate for women's movements and egalitarian rights for both sexes. This fact is crucial for an understanding of Tapia's empathy with nineteenth-century Anglo-Saxon struggles for women's emancipation, which was little understood by his Hispanic contemporaries. The complexity of the process of nation-state formation in Latin America, dating back to the Conquest, had a different outcome in the history of the Caribbean, particularly because of the longevity of colonialism and slavery, the extended miscegenation, and the syncretism between Amerindian, European, African, and Asian cultures. The conjunction of all these elements marked the fiction of the Caribbean as eccentric and eclectic. As I discussed in the previous chapters, nineteenth-century Puerto Rican aesthetics and literary 134 trends had their roots in European models (such as Neo-Classical, Romantic, and Realist) which were adapted by Puerto Rican writers to represent their local concerns. However, European literary models were often incompatible with Caribbean realities and, as Enrique Laguerre suggests, the literature of the area turned into a mestizaje of styles (see Chapter 2). Adding to this cultural blend, by the end of the nineteenth century the German Romantics and philosophers, in particular the ideas of Karl Krause (popularized in Spain by Sanz del Rio), together with the principles of espiritismo laid out by the French philosopher Allan Kardec (mainly disseminated through the writings of Camille Flammarion), influenced Puerto Rican Liberal intellectuals in various degrees. Espiritismo soon became a popular practice, which in turn blended with indigenous healing systems for body and soul. The late works of Alejandro Tapia y Rivera are grounded on ideas related to the doctrine of espiritismo (such as the transmigration of souls and the possibility to communicate with the dead), to which he dedicated serious study as in the nineteenth century the practices of espiritismo were assumed to be scientific.1 This chapter focuses on Alejandro Tapia y Rivera's novels Postumo el transmigrado 0 historia de un hombre que resucito en el cuerpo de su enemigo (1872), and its sequel, Postumo el envirginiado o historia de un hombre que se cold en el cuerpo de una mujer (1882). Significantly, the last ten years of Tapia's life (1872-1882) are framed by these two novels which became two parts of one book. Using the theme of the transmigration of the 1 Marta Aponte Alsina indicates that Tapia studied the writings of the astronomer and espiritista Camille Flammarion, as is apparent from their inclusion in the list of books in the "Tapia Collection" at the Universidad de Puerto Rico. Tapia also recommended Flammarion's readings in his newspaper La azucena (44). From now on, I will refer to both novels as the Postumos, and individually as El transmigrado and El envirginiado. 135 soul as a connecting thread, Tapia develops a humorous plot where the remarkable transmigrations of a transgressor spirit, Postumo, lead to displacements of bodies and souls that metaphorically parallel nineteenth-century forms of imperialism. Tapia incorporates elements from espiritismo as a literary convention, in order to indirectly criticize the sociopolitical, sexual, and spiritual crises of late nineteenth-century Spanish society, and by extension that of Puerto Rico. In this section, I provide a review of some relevant literary criticism regarding the Postumos in order to inform the reader and to contextualize the analysis. I argue that both novels have elicited a range of interpretations, most either superficial or treating the Postumos as mere satire of "practicas espiritistas," thus overlooking their political criticism. Tapia incorporated elements from the popular practice of espiritismo to launch his sociopolitical and gender claims unnoticed by censorship, thus disguising his criticism as something else. Despite its relative success as Tapia's most ingenious work, El transmigrado was greeted with muted enthusiasm by most critics. Its second part, El envirginiado, along with Tapia's extensive epico-philosophical poem La Sataniada (1878), are probably the author's least understood texts. In her pioneer study, La novela en Puerto Rico, Gomez Tejera has classified the Postumos under "La novela de tendencias: filosofica; satirica; de propaganda politica" (40). This classification also includes Tapia's novels Enardo y Rosael o el amor a troves de los tiempos and A orillas del Rhin, which evoke topics related to espiritismo beliefs such as reincarnation: "[h]ay en todas estas novelas un simbolismo muy marcado. Tapia parece Both appeared as serial novels in 1874 in Tapia's newspaper La Azucena, and were published in book form in 1880. 136 preferir la alegoria como medio de expresion" (Gomez Tejera 39). For the reasons indicated above, it is not strange that Tapia resorted to espiritismo as a topical frame of reference. His novels Enardo y Rosael and A orillas del Rhin maintain a philosophical tone which blends Neo-classical and Romantic styles on the topic of eternal love, and do not display the keen satirical tone that characterizes the Postumos. Tapia's short-stories " E l purgatorio de un egolatra," "E l desahuciado," and "Un alma en pena" also belong to this cycle of philosophical/allegorical and romantic fiction. Gomez Tejera was the first Puerto Rican scholar to offer a classification of Tapia's novels and to provide a compilation of the small body of criticism that the Postumos generated at that time (1929). These were in turn gathered and amplified in 1964 by Manuel Garcia Diaz in his Alejandro Tapia y Rivera, su viday su obra, the first complete bio-bibliographical work about the author.4 Garcia Diaz also classifies Postumo el transmigrado as a "novela satirica," emphasizing that is a satire of certain "practicas espiritistas" (124). Regarding Postumo el envirginiado, Garcia Diaz states that Puerto Rican critics such as Manuel Maria Sama and Manuel Fernandez Juncos found El envirginiado inferior to El transmigrado in terms of originality and literary merits. Yet El envirginiado should be considered neither superior nor inferior to El transmigrado, as Garcia Diaz observes; the reason why the text contains some literary flaws is because Tapia left it unfinished at his death, without having a chance to revise it. El envirginiado was rather misunderstood, for it stands as Tapia's defence of nineteenth-century women's movements for emancipation: Gomez Tejera and Garcia Diaz make reference to local critics, such as Manuel Maria Sama's Bibliografia puertorriquena (1887) that qualifies El transmigrado as "la mas ingeniosa de las novelas de Tapia." Felix Matos Bernier's Isla de arte (1907) calls it "satira sangrienta ... contra ciertas practicas del espiritismo" (Gomez Tejera 43; Garcia Diaz 122). 137 "nueva y original treta en un pais en que era un pecado para el hombre abogar por mayores libertades para el sexo femenino" (127-28). In the early twentieth century, the Spanish philologist Marcelino Menendez y Pelayo reviewed Postumo el transmigrado, stating that it was "una de las mas originales [novelas], aunque no exenta de parentesco con el delicioso Avatar de T. Gautier. . ." (Menendez y Pelayo, qtd. in Gomez Tejera 43; Garcia Diaz 122). Menendez y Pelayo was determined to find a model that Tapia must have copied. However, Avatar (1857) is a story of unrequited love that differs substantially from El transmigrado''s plot.5 There is evidence that Tapia was familiar with the French romantics, and he may well have read Gautier's Avatar, but the only similarity between the two is the use of the transmigration of the soul as a literary artifice. In Avatar is a predominant theory of spiritual affinities is defined by the love between Prascovia and Olaf, while in El transmigrado body and soul blend together without a triumphant amorous relationship at the end. In addition, the narrative technique in the two novels is dissimilar: while Avatar is rich in detailed descriptions of setting and characters, El transmigrado's plot is mainly constructed through dialogue. It is probable that Menendez y Pelayo was not aware of the suffocating colonial context with which Tapia had to struggle, and that he did not understand Tapia's literary strategies. Even though the Spanish critic recognized a certain poetic talent in Tapia, he was not especially sympathetic to the Puerto 5 A summary of Avatar might be helpful. Octavious is madly in love with the Countess Prascovia who is happily married to Count Olaf. With the help of Dr. Charbonneau—a wise man knowledgeable in oriental occultism—Octavious' soul transmigrates to Olaf s body and vice versa. Prascovia realizes that the body of her husband is occupied by someone else and rejects and fears him. In the end, Dr. Charbonneau restores Olaf s soul to his legitimate body and Olaf and Prascovia's happy marriage is consolidated. The heartbroken Octavious decides not to return to his body. Taking advantage of the situation, the old Dr. Charbonneau transmigrates into Octavious' young body and continues his life anew. 138 Rican author's predilection for supernatural topics, nor with his philosophical reflections. Perhaps, as Garcia Diaz implied, Tapia's work offended Menendez y Pelayo's zealous Catholicism and patriotic sentiments, as he was horrified by the epico-philosophical poem La Sataniada: "es un centon de todo genero de herejias, y atentados, pues comienza por llamar Diablo a S.M. Imperial e Infierno a sus dominios de la Tierra" (Menendez y Pelayo, qtd. in Garcia Diaz 104). The critique of Spanish imperialism is quite obvious in La Sataniada, but for Menendez y Pelayo it was heretical and offensive. The Spaniard thought of Tapia as a kind of pseudo-mystic and espiritista, and he judged his work from a biased perspective: "de genio ya hemos dicho que carecia Tapia, pero tenia cierto grado de talento poetico, amor desenfrenado al arte, mania de grandezas esteticas." 6 Tapia's insistence on the treatment of supernatural topics in his fiction leads us to concur with Garcia Diaz who states that the doctrines of espiritismo not only provided the Puerto Rican author with a wealth of materials for literary plots, but also were a serious object of his research and study (Garcia Diaz 121). Contemporary scholarship enables us to move beyond the simplistic judgments of Menendez y Pelayo, who was more perplexed than anything else by Tapia's work, as Marta Aponte Alsina asserts: ^Como referir, para dar un ejemplo, el criterio goldmanniano de la coherencia a obras como esta, resbaladizas y desbordantes, sin de inmediato condenarlas por descabelladas como lo hiciera Menendez y Pelayo? La ausencia de codigos establecidos de lectura, el desconocimiento de los pormenores de la biografia del autor, el hecho de que una parte de su obra permanece sepultada en revistas de la 6 See Menendez y Pelayo's Historia de lapoesia hispanoamericana (1911) 343. Also qtd. in Gomez Tejera 43; Garcia Diaz 122; and Aponte Alsina 55-56. 139 epoca, obstaculizan la enunciation de interpretaciones uniformes, acabadas. De manera analoga, ciertas condiciones de su gestation impidieron que la enorme obra de Tapia se lograse plenamente en un corpus racional y equilibrado. (56-57) In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the lack of adequate instruments of analysis to approach this type of eccentric literature frustrated any attempt to decode the novel's multiple levels of interpretation which do not correspond to a single literary trend or school. The once highly respected opinion of Menendez y Pelayo, which represented European canonical authority in the early twentieth century, irremediably falls apart in face of the transcultural, heterogeneous, and hybrid nature of Tapia's work. Furthermore, one must take into consideration the fact that the Puerto Rican context in the nineteenth century differs notably from the history of the rest of the continental Hispanic colonies, making it even more difficult to categorize Tapia's novels. In the 1930s, Antonio S. Pedreira's seminal cultural essay on Puerto Rican identity, Insularismo, also betrays a distate for the inclusion of supernatural elements in Tapia's work, calling it a literature of evasion or apolitical romanticism: La literatura puertorriquena, generalmente hablando, urbaniza sus mejores solares en el limbo . . . Alejandro Tapia, con ser tan fecundo y principal, es un magnifico ejemplo de lo que digo: sus dramas y novelas mas importantes no tienen la sazon de nuestra biologia y nuestra geografia. La censura acoso a Tapia desde su inicio y tuvo que proteger sus facultades distanciando su obra en otros climas. . . . Nuestros autores regionalistas tenian que dedicarse a la prestidigitation, al barroquismo excesivo, a componer alegorias prudentes para expresar a media sus sentires.(65) 140 Pedreira's contempt is only partially valid, that is, in the matter of the censorship. On one hand, he is speaking from the perspective of thel930s, when Puerto Rican intellectuals were gravely reflecting on the past thirty-two years of United States occupation; the topics and concerns of the literary production of this period concentrated mainly on national identity. On the other hand, Pedreira talks about "nuestra biologia y nuestra geografia" forgetting other works such as El bar do de Guamani (1862), La palma del Cacique (included in El bardo...), La leyenda de los veinte ahos (1874), and Cofresi (1876) in which Tapia makes use of the national topics that were of prime importance to Pedreira's nationalist imagination. Aponte Alsina has declared that Pedreira's criticism popularized the wrong image of Tapia as an "escapista" but, probably unknowingly, at the same time he opened a door to new interpretations when he described the repressive conditions under which Puerto Rican literature was produced (Aponte Alsina 65). Marta Aponte Alsina wrote her insightful essay, "Postumo interrogado: relectura de Tapia," on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of Tapia's death. She is probably the only scholar who has approached these novels from the perspective of the nineteenth-century literary predilection for the supernatural. She defines both novels as eccentric texts whose complexity goes beyond the traditional moralistic and didactic treatises of espiritismo and the novellas that abounded in Europe in the second half of the nineteenth century. The notion of espiritismo that the human being is a dual entity—body and soul—provides Tapia with a literary trope to represent the problem of identity and the lack of individual autonomy that he suffered so intimately. The motif of the double also lends itself to denounce indirectly the double standard of the island's colonial condition: 141 Asi se nos representa la lucha entre los hijos del pais y los peninsulares por una parte, entre los separatistas y los incondicionales por otra; pero, sobre todo, los sentimientos que abriga en su seno el criollo, quien, sin acabar de asumir una identidad propia, se ve desgarrado por la contienda entre sus deseos de afirmacion y la impotencia del estado colonial. (63) The ambiguities that Tapia faced at both levels, intimate and public, speak to the duplicity of his life as both a Creole and a Spanish man, and of his ongoing struggle for representation and recognition in Spain's cultural milieu. After Aponte Alsina's essay in 1982, there is an absence of literary criticism on Tapia's Postumos until thel990s, when Angel A. Rivera re-reads these novels and offers new interpretations. In "Avatares de una modernidad," Rivera approaches the Postumos from the perspective of Modernity and its interrelation with literature, nationalism, and the development of capitalism in the nineteenth century. According to Rivera, in both novels there is a close relationship between the manipulation of the body as a symbolic entity, the emergence of a new type of subject, and the desire to found a modern community (90). Later, in 1994, Rivera's article "Puerto Rico on the Borders" offers a comparative study of Tapia's Postumo el envirginiado and Carlos Varo's Rosa Mystica. He explores issues related to homosexuality, transvestism, and transsexual representations as related to cultural and personal survival. Rivera connects Varo's Rosa Mystica with Tapia's El envirginiado, establishing an intertextual dialogue from different centuries that locates both novels as Angel A . Rivera,"Alejandro Tapia y Rivera y Eugenio Maria de Hostos: avatares de una modernidad," diss., State U of New Jersey,1994. 142 narratives of the borders where culture and the body are interpreted as creative acts of survival (31 -44). The recent reprinting (1998) of Postumo el transmigrado bears witness to the ongoing interest in this exceptional novel. In the prologue, Antonio Benitez Rojo states that the literary models that Tapia followed in his early works corresponded to the Neo-classical and 8 ' Romantic trends. However, Postumo el transmigrado does not fit into this classification, and Benitez Rojo suggests that it belongs to a group of obras cuyos modelos fueron tornados a partir de una crisis preexistente en la conciencia del escritor; esto es, una interiorizacion de la crisis publica originada por el derrumbe de los valores de la Ilustracion y por la ansiedad de buscar su sustitucion dentro de los nuevos codigos del romanticismo. Esta clase de obra, que suele mostrarse esceptica, no abunda en la Hispanoamerica del siglo X I X . Postumo el transmigrado es este tipo de novela. (20-21) There is no doubt that both novels, Postumo el transmigrado and Postumo el envirginiado, are exceptions that cannot be compared to other nineteenth-century Hispanic novels, and they are exceptions even within Tapia's own literary production. Both texts show characteristics of the Spanish Realist novel, however, as Aponte Alsina argues, the supernatural topics that they exhibit place them in a different category, that is, a narrative that combines realist and idealist elements (57). This does not mean that they belong to the moralistic spiritualist treatises of the mid- and late-nineteenth century; rather, the Postumos are "textos excentricos . . . obras perifericas por su manera indirecta de relacionarse con una Other critics such as Carmen Gomez Tejera, Francisco Manrique Cabrera, Marcelino Menendez Pelayo, Jose Luis Gonzalez, Manuel Garcia Diaz, Marta Aponte Alsina, and Angel A . Rivera agree that Tapia's early dramas and novels are clearly guided by the Neo-classical and Romantic spirit. 143 tradition europea innegable y su aire criollo" (44). The problem in analyzing Tapia's Postumos and of trying to classifying them as part of a specific literary trend poses an obstacle to their interpretation. In order to understand and evaluate them properly, they have to be analyzed within their rightful context in light of the overall development of Puerto Rican literature in the nineteenth century, as I have tried to describe thus far. Undoubtedly, the Postumos belong to their own time, to their particular historical and socio-political conditions, and—with all their ambiguities and contradictions—they constitute an important piece of the Puerto Rican literary mosaic of the late nineteenth century. In "Carnaval/Antropofagia/Parodia," Rodriguez Monegal explores the usefulness of Mikhail Bakhtin's theories on the novel to interpret (or re-interpret) difficult periods in Latin American literature. Rodriguez Monegal points out that Latin American and Caribbean literary studies have been guided by a type of criticism much preoccupied with the logocentrism of European models (403). This tendency presents a methodological problem when analyzing eccentric texts such as Tapia's Postumos, which do not belong to any particular literary school or trend, and Bakhtin's notions of the carnivalesque and parody lend themselves as versatile literary tools for an interpretation of such texts. The reason for this, as Rodriguez Monegal explains, is the inversion of the Aristotelian canon that Bakhtin's theories posit—the novel does not derive from the Epic genre, but from what are considered lower cultural forms such as parody and Menippean satire. When Bakhtin conceived his theories, Soviet culture was regarded as "marginal" vis-a-vis the Western canon: "En un movimiento tipicamente carnavalesco, Bakhtin desplazo el centro a la periferia y probo que las formas 'marginales' habian ocupado el centro" (406). The marginalization of Latin 144 American culture made the inversion of the European models possible, and as Rodriguez Monegal asserts, Bakhtin's theories are particularly useful in our context. Since its very beginnings, Latin American culture was marked by the brutal process of assimilation of foreign cultures, the violent imposition of a Christian and feudal worldview, and the massive African slave trade, all crucial elements that were expressed in extreme forms of carnivalization (407). 9 Hence, Latin American and Caribbean literatures find in the concept of carnival a useful instrument for cultural integration, not in submissiveness to Western models, but rather as the parody of a cultural text which already contains the seeds of its own transformation (408). Thus I argue that the Postumos do not necessarily imitate or copy European models; rather, they parody and carnivalize other models and texts. The same operational process that Bakhtin proposes, that is, a carnivalesque movement that displaces the centre to the periphery, can be applied to Latin American and Caribbean literatures. Thus, the emergence, evolution, and consolidation of Caribbean literature can be interpreted as a cultural movement of displacement that may function in both ways—from the colonized margins to the colonizer's centre, and vice versa, displacing the centre to the margins. Creole writers adapted European canonical forms to their "marginal" culture, and displaced the margins to the centre, as demonstrated in Tapia's novels. 9 Rodriguez Monegal argues that "formas extremas de carnavalizacion" were reciprocal between Europeans and Amerindians since the beginning o f the Conquest. For example, the Aztecs saw in Hernan Cortes a representation of the semi-god .Quetzalcoatl, and the Spaniards identified the New World with the Garden of Eden. These forms of reciprocal carnivalization, motivated by the clash of heterogeneous cultures, are the base of what came to be a Latin American culture (407). 145 Other Latin American theoreticians, namely Angel Rama, Antonio Cornejo Polar, and Ernesto Garcia Canclini, have problematized the reformulation of an autochthonous literary and cultural critical methodology. They offer alternative approaches based on their theories of "transculturacion narrativa" (Rama); "heterogeneidad cultural" (Cornejo Polar); and "hibridez cultural" (Canclini). Such approaches would be more suited to addressing the trans-cultural, heterogeneous, and hybrid nature of Tapia's works than a fixed model of analysis. In particular, I find Bakhtinian notions of carnivalization and parody especially useful for their openness to the interpretation of nineteenth-century Puerto Rico's displaced culture with respect to the Spanish Peninsular literary canon. Tapia experienced first-hand Puerto Rico's strict censorship under the absolutist colonial regime, thus his writing becomes a space for literary representation and political agency in Spain. This explains, partially, the reason why the setting of the Postumos is Madrid and not the island. In order to avoid censorship, Tapia strategically intersects his political claims with supernatural elements. He finds in the practices of espiritismo a versatile literary vein of topics and of innovative material that enables him to satirize socio-political issues obliquely. In a carnivalesque movement, Tapia appropriates the colonizer's urban centre as a strategy for cultural representation. This literary strategy allows the author indirectly to denounce his frustration with the impossibility of exercising the Liberal progressive ideals that the Enlightenment proclaimed to all men, when in Puerto Rico there reigned a despotic colonial regime within an economy based on slavery and human exploitation. The revolutionary ideas of the Romantic movement added to Tapia's anxiety as a colonized subject who realized perfectly well that the sociopolitical conditions of his country impeded the eventual progress and modernization of the island. 146 Both El transmigrado and El envirginiado illustrate Tapia's concerns with nineteenth-century European Modernity, his proto-feminist ideas, and his critique of what he considered a decadent bureaucratic administration—that of Spain. Tapia manifests in both novels the crisis of self-identity of the colonized subject, as he portrays a dysfunctional character—male and female—who would not be displaced as a non-European-Other, but who would collapse nonetheless under the absurdity of social conventions and the bureaucratic system. Hence, I read Tapia's novels from the Creole writer's viewpoint of cultural displacement. That is, as a carnivalesque movement from the colonized margins (San Juan) to the European metropolis (Madrid) and a literary strategy for representation. As I mentioned previously, in order to launch his sociopolitical and gender claims unnoticed by censorship, Tapia disguises his critique as something else, incorporating elements from the popular practice of espiritismo into his fiction. Moreover, both novels are exemplary in showing how the Creole writer (a colonized subject) articulates literary strategies for self-representation and gender representation in the late nineteenth century. The Postumos bring to the fore most interesting claims about the late nineteenth-century gender crisis. These claims distanced Tapia from his contemporaries, who did not understand his advocacy of the early feminist cause nor his indirect denunciation of Puerto Rico's colonial condition. Notwithstanding their unusual thematic and aesthetic ambivalence, Tapia's Postumos stand as rich and unique literary sources for a myriad of interpretations, and as key late nineteenth-century texts which illustrate Puerto Rican cultural acumen and literary achievement. 147 Alejandro Tapia's Life: The Metaphor of the Double As a white, middle-class criollo living in the remnants of Spain's Latin American empire, Tapia wrestled all of his life with his own contradictory feelings toward Puerto Rico. He lived a strange love-hate relationship with his home island, often expressing in his writings both his heart-rending affection for his proto-nation and his hatred for a colonial system that stigmatized him as a colonized subject. In his unfinished autobiography, Mis memorias, Tapia remarks that his dear affection for Puerto Rico "no me ha impedido llamarme cosmopolita, en el sentido humanitario; siendo para mi, antes que todo, el genero humano" (57). Tapia calls himself a cosmopolitan man, but carefully emphasizes that above all he is a humanitarian, since he was aware that true cosmopolitanism was not possible for a criollo like himself under Spain's absolutist colonial regime and in the teeth of Puerto Rico's slow crawl towards modernization. Assuming a "humanitarian" attitude, he projects his moral superiority and paternalist vision, an attitude typically assumed by the Liberal elite. He sees his home island as weak, defeated, and feminine: Creo que en toda naturaleza bien organizada el amor a la localidad en que se ha nacido es como el amor a la madre. Yo no quiero a Puerto Rico por lo que vale, antes bien, mientras mas necesita de sus buenos hijos, por lo mismo que vale poco y en ella todo esta por hacer, mas la quiero. Mientras mas derrotada y desvalida la veo, mas en debito me creo en ella. (Mis memorias 72) Tapia felt indebted to his homeland, and constantly struggled for its social and cultural development, but the colonial government obstructed or impeded the realization of most of his initiatives. Because of his inner frustration, Tapia describes his conflictual relationship 148 with the island as an ominous and mysterious one, comparable to Quasimodo's love for the bell tower of his cathedral in Victor Hugo's Notre Dame de Paris: A veces he creido que mi amor a este pedazo de tierra tenia algo de fatidico y misterioso como el de Cuasimodo a la campana grande de Notre Dame de Paris, cuando abrazado a ella parecian hombre y campana convertirse en una cosa misma, en un solo cuerpo con dos almas o en un alma con dos cuerpos. Lo que pasa entre mi tierra y yo, no es menos singular y acaso mas extrafio, jamas pudo verse amalgama de cosas mas opuestas. (Mis memorias 5-6) The grotesque image of Quasimodo is Tapia's most suitable self-representational trope—the hunchback is his monstrous double. His appropriation of Hugo's deformed character also suggests a double purpose as a strategy for representation. First, the literary image taken from a recognized French writer places Tapia within ah unquestionable Western European literary tradition (from which he does not want to be displaced). Secondly, his self-representation as a human monstrosity, albeit with a noble soul, sets the anguished tone of his lifetime inquiry into the "vinculo fatal" that tied him to his island. He goes so far as to wish he had been born somewhere else, in another climate, with another people: "sin embargo, encuentro no se que atractivo singular en uno y otro . . . .^Que vinculo fatal es este de que no logro deslizarme?" (6, emphasis mine). This question, for which he never found an answer, tormented him throughout his life: "jAbrazate, Cuasimodo, a tu campana, aturdete con el ronco estruendo de sus bronces, remontate y cae y torna a remontarte con ella y apegado a ella, en vertiginoso giro por los aires; hasta que el hielo de la muerte te afloje los brazos y caigas en los abismos de la rumba...!" (6) 149 Portraying himself as the hunchback (the "yo-colonizado" as a deformed being) and the bell as Puerto Rico (a heavy and static object) embraced together in a sordid dance that will only end with death, Tapia strategically denounces an unequal and imbalanced relationship, that hinders the island's progress and modernization.10 Tapia's double discourse regarding his contradictory feelings for Puerto Rico is the ideal starting point for an examination of how he employed the metaphors of the double and duality as vehicles for the representation of both, the island's colonial condition and his own intimate frustration. Scholars have pointed out that the literary representation of the double was commonplace in nineteenth-century fiction.11 Moreover, the split between body and soul as a metaphor has broad interpretative possibilities; for example, it may also represent the double life of the writer, or the division between imagination and reality (Showalter 68). It is not strange, then, that Tapia articulated the motif of the double to depict his inner struggle, tormented as he was by the stagnation at all levels that reigned on the island. He was torn simultaneously by the realization of his home island's potential for progress and modernization, and by the impossibility of achieving his lofty ideals. Angel Rivera also offers an insightful analysis of Mis memorias regarding the discourse of the construction/deconstruction of the self in his article "Siglo X I X , Alejandro Tapia y Rivera y Mis memorias: tecnologias del martirio y de la con/figuracion del yo," Revista de Estudios Hispdnicos (1996): 275-94. 1 1 For example, in "Dr. Jekyll's Closet" Elaine Showalter points out that "indeed, the fin-de-siecle was the golden age of literary and sexual doubles" (68). Francine Masiello in The Art of Transition states that "[t]he matter of dual identities was central to the debates of nineteenth century republics and the foundation of liberal thought" (56). 150 Representation, Espiritismo, and Sexual Politics in Tapia 's Postumos Postumo el transmigrado (1872) El transmigrado narrates the story of Postumo, a young bureaucrat who works for Spain's Budget Office in Madrid. Postumo dies from a sudden fever immediately before his wedding to Elisa Doble-Anzuelo. Postumo's soul refuses to leave his body even after "un par de cuartillos de cloruro" (15) were implanted in his stomach to preserve the body. The living-dead Postumo escapes from his crypt at midnight, leaving the cemetery guard tied up. He ventures to Elisa's house to find out that far from mourning him, she is going to a masquerade-ball. Postumo witnesses Elisa flirting with Sisebuto, his rival and enemy, whom she later marries. Meanwhile, the cemetery guard invokes a policeman's spirit who captures the fugitive corpse, forcing him to be buried. Postumo's soul is then released and goes to . Limbo, but is desperate to return to Madrid without forgetting his former identity and to take revenge against the unfaithful Elisa and Sisebuto. His wish granted, his Guardian Angel finds him an available body, which happens to be that of his rival and enemy Sisebuto, now Elisa's husband. Postumo transmigrates into Sisebuto's still warm body at the precise moment when a doctor is about to perform the autopsy. The unexpected resurrection of Sisebuto causes great confusion, and he escapes running through the streets of Madrid completely naked. Postumo rejects his host body and refuses to assume the identity of his former rival, telling everybody that he is actually Postumo and not Sisebuto. His contradictory behaviour takes him first to jail and later to a mental asylum. Both times Elisa has him released. As a spiritist-seer, she understands that Sisebuto is indeed Postumo. 151 After much resistance, Postumo "ensisebutado" accepts his new identity and tries to be a good husband to Elisa who gives birth to "Postumito," a terrible child who happens to be Sisebuto reincarnated and proceeds to make their lives unbearable. Meanwhile, Elisa has a relationship with don Perpetuo and flirts with don Cosmico. Postumo is so tormented with his life as Sisebuto, with his impossible child, and his unfaithful wife, that he commits suicide, in part to destroy Sisebuto's body and in part to damage Elisa's reputation. He returns to Limbo promising never to come back to this world. The polysemy of El transmigrado, characterized by its multi-leveled style of organization, Menippean satire, and esoteric symbolism-among other features- renders a rich textual space open to myriad possibilities of interpretation. Aponte Alsina suggests that the traditional analysis at two levels, form and content, does not suffice to decode the discursive complexity of this novel (45). Understanding that both El transmigrado and El envirginiado are highly complex texts, I try to offer sufficient intertextuality and contextualization to follow my interpretation of the texts at various levels. The literary treatment of the transmigration of souls elicits the trope of the double, a useful literary artifice for representing the conflict of self-identity. My analysis explores how Tapia makes use of the metaphor of the double and duality to put into literary representation the fragmented identity of the displaced colonial subject. The text I consulted is organized in sequential chapters of unequal length—twenty-nine and an epilogue in El transmigrado, and thirty-four plus an epilogue in El envirginiado, for a total of 341 pages. El transmigrado is set in a double-plane of existence, the astral and the earthly that mirror each other. The main characters straddle these two planes of existence, one being eminently urban and European- that of Madrid-and the other a metaphysical or 152 astral space represented as "Limbo." The narrative is characterized by extensive dialogues, stage directions, and parenthetical notes that resemble the formal structure of a play. It is important to remember that theatre was Tapia's true love, and that he was the first Puerto Rican playwright to initiate a national theatrical tradition. Therefore, it is not surprising that, in the Bakhtinian sense, Tapia was parodying the formal structure of a play and novelized it. Some of the main themes drawn at first glance from the narrative's diegetic level are the desire for revenge, the transgression of all rules (terrestrial and celestial), the struggle for self-identity, the control institutions exert over the body and mind (the judicial system and the mental hospital), the self-infliction of pain, adultery, and suicide. These themes—woven in the story with humor and keen irony—are highly controversial, particularly i f examined according to the codes of nineteenth-century morality and the convoluted sociopolitical conditions of Puerto Rico and Spain between 1872 and 1882. Tapia deliberately addresses such topics in a double way, lightened with humor but loaded with criticism. This intentional duplicity is reflected at all levels in both novels. At the structural level, there is a series of binary oppositions, namely body/soul; death/resurrection; world of the living/world of the dead; feminine/masculine. At the core of these opposed axes lies the inherent clash between the colony (Puerto Rico) and the mother-country (Spain). Most of the characters' names have double meanings, beginning with the name of the protagonist, Postumo (posthumous), that conveys the idea of the continuation of life after death. Tapia carefully chose this name for his protagonist, and in Mis memorias the author reveals his personal fascination with the term: "pues bien, he amado el renombre postumo, religiosamente, con toda sinceridad. El mundo no habria bastado a mi tonta o loca, pero noble, ambition. Vanidad disculpable en quien cree tener un alma y no ser enteramente 153 polvo" (58, emphasis mine). Tapia was referring to his belief in the Afterlife which drove him to incessant philosophical inquiry about the ultimate meaning of life and death. He could never accept an empty, meaningless existence that would eventually end without leaving any traces behind. From the beginning of the plot Postumo is assumed to be dead. There is a clear intention to establish a level of awareness regarding the double meaning of the noun /postumo/ which functions as a literary artifice for the sake of the narration: "atendido su nombre, parecia destinado a vivir despues de muerto ... y si la muerte se llevo a Postumo traigamosle otra vez a este mundo, aunque solo sea porque asi conviene a nuestra narration" (13). Postumo, while alive, is described as an immature young man, more like a child in the body of a man: Postumo era joven . . . pues por lo que atane al espiritu, el de nuestro heroe estaba llamado a ser siempre nino . . . Era uno de aquellos seres que siempre suenan despiertos, y que parecen dormidos . . . Tenia, pues, los ojos en lo infmito, en el vacio. Esto, por lo que toca a su animo; por lo que atane a su fisico, era Postumo bastante guapillo y agraciado: vistiendo con natural elegancia, aunque un tanto al desgaire, cual convenia a un sonador con los mundos imaginarios. Alguna vez hubo que sacarle de zanjas o pozos, en donde cayera por ir mirando al cielo: verdadero observador de la region eterea. (13-14) Postumo is an isolated subject, a day-dreamer whose romantic spirit lives in "mundos imaginarios." He is represented as a dysfunctional and unsuccessful man who is not in harmony with his own reality: "sus planes no eran para este escenario; pudiendo decirse que, destinado a otro globo, habia venido a este por equivocation" (14). The voice of the narrator 154 echoes Tapia's own dilemma with his contradictory feelings for Puerto Rico, as he expressed in Mis memorias including his frustration at not having been born in a more developed and progressive country than his home island. The use of theatrical language, that compares life to a stage and the role of Postumo in the world as that of an actor, reinforces the idea of life as a masquerade and a spectacle in which Postumo is the tragi-comic protagonist: "Sucediale con frecuencia que creyendo hacer dramas solo hacia entremeses . . . verdadero desproposito para esta mundanal escena, con risa de los concurrentes, que proclamaban su insuficiencia en achaques de caracterizar otro personaje que el suyo"(14). The first five chapters of El transmigrado narrate the misfortunes of Postumo in his ambiguous situation as a dead-man-walking: "jCosa rara! Como Postumo era postumo, despues de dar la ultima boqueada, en que se le atraganto el nombre de Elisa, sintiose como vivo" (15). Postumo's corpse represents the body of Puerto Rico as stagnant and in decay, a metaphor that allows us to associate it with Salas y Quiroga's phrase that Tapia remembered: "Puerto Rico es el cadaver de una sociedad. que no ha nacido" (qtd. in Tapia, Mis memorias 16). The metaphor of Puerto Rico as the corpse of an unborn society might have inspired the first five chapters of El transmigrado. During the course of the narrative, Postumo's corpse is in the process of decay, he smells putrid and begins to lose his limbs: "si este olor es sintoma de putrefaction, pronto vendra la disolucion de mis miembros, ire lanzando brazos y piernas por donde quiera . . . jcomo me voy pudriendo! Exclamo con amargura" (23). And at the end of the fifth chapter, the omniscient narrator adds: "rotos ya los tegumentos que ligaban sus miembros, se estaba desvencijando" (34). According to Bakhtin, in The Dialogic Imagination, M enippean satire is dialogical and its multi-styled form, full of parodies and travesties, serves to ridicule and laugh at our immediate reality: 155 In the plane of laughter one can disrespectfully walk around whole objects, therefore, the back and rear portion of an object (and also its innards, not normally accessible for viewing) assume a special importance. The object is broken apart, laid bare (its hierarchical ornamentation is removed): the naked object is ridiculous; its "empty" clothing, stripped and separated from its person, is also ridiculous. What takes place is a comical operation of dismemberment. (Bakhtin, 23-24) The process of laughter reveals the artificiality of social codes and disrupts the social order as a metaphorical "dismemberment" of the object of ridicule, an image that becomes literally enacted in the dismemberment of Postumo's corpse. This can be interpreted as a metaphorical representation of the sociopolitical stagnation of Puerto Rico in the nineteenth century, and the social life of Madrid in the midst of Carnival is simultaneously represented as a masquerade. The traditional celebration of Carnival provides a real referent that is extended metaphorically throughout the narrative in the carnavalization of characters and events. Madrid's Carnival functions as the ideal background in which the living-dead Postumo passes almost unnoticed: "Llego la noche. Todo Madrid se entregaba a las delicias del Carnaval; epoca seiialada para hacer mas ostensiblemente lo que con disimulo se hace todo el ano; a saber: caretas y embustes, y vestirse cada cual de lo que no es" (17). The narrative launches here a social critique pointing out the hypocrisy and deceit of society through the metaphor of the Carnival and the disguise of identity. In this setting of carnivalesque frenzy, Postumo enters a forbidden space (reserved for the dead), altering the normal course of things in the world of the living. 156 During Carnival, people disguise their identities, assuming supernatural or mythical ones, a most convenient atmosphere to enable Postumo's corpse to blend into the crowd. He also disguises himself in a dark cloak and a mask in order to sneak into the masquerade-ball at " E l Teatro Real." The reader knows that the crowd in the ballroom is composed of ordinary people properly disguised, and Postumo participates in the masquerade-ball's conscious process of disguise, deceit, and recognition.12 The literary representation of a real corpse destabilizes the carnivalesque scene by creating a tension between appearances and reality—Postumo is indeed a corpse and not merely the appearance of one. His supernatural intervention as a living-dead body subverts the apparent normality of the feast, raising confusion and discomfort with his cold drafts and his chloride smell of death. He engages in a frenetic dance with a disguised matron, who screams in horror when she sees a worm coming out of his nose. These amusing scenes combine grotesque images with the excitement of the ball, where Postumo dances "saltando de aqui para alia como picado por la tarantula" (22), spreading chaos everywhere. At the precise moment when Postumo finds his fiancee, Elisa, flirting with his rival and enemy, Sisebuto, he is unmasked in a violent, albeit hilarious scene, while his friends hold a seance that forces him to appear before them. Postumo is so upset that he slaps the faces of his friends one by one: "jzas! jzas! comenzo a repartir bofetones a uno por barba, que, como dados con mano de muerto, es decir, bastante pesada, iban echandoles por tierra respectivamente" (32). The spirits of three policemen materialize at the ball, creating a riot, pulling Postumo by the neck and shouting: "jDifunto profugo, date preso en nombre de la 12 In her study of the vampire novella Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu (which coincidentally was also published in 1872), Tammis Elise Thomas suggests that the masquerade-ball 1 functions as an uncanny space, a topos dominated by supernatural and morbid elements that provide the necessary disequilibrium on which the plot depends (45). 157 Eternidad!" (32). The confused crowd screams in turn: "jUn muerto, un cadaver que se ha escapado de su sepulcro! jacaban de cogerle!" (33). Postumo, unmasked, is then recognized by Elisa who "lanzo una serie de ayes en distintos tonos, y se desmayo en brazos de Sisebuto" (33). The living-dead man does not waste any time cursing them both, Elisa and Sisebuto, while the policemen from the Afterlife take him back to the cemetery. Postumo is securely tied-up and quickly buried to make sure he will not cause more distress. His soul is then released and goes to Limbo. The intervention of real ghosts in the ballroom leaves the stunned participants in bewilderment and confusion, as the spirits disturb the social order and transgress the law on earth. The carnivalesque setting functions as the scenario where the characters move in a sequence in crescendo from the ordinary through the strange to the bizarre, ending in absolute chaos: Grave escena de agitation y de espanto quedo reinando en aquel concurso, en la que tomaban no poca parte los polizontes de Madrid, que, al ver invadidas sus atribuciones, pedian favor para la ley, clamando contra aquellos salvaguardas de la Eternidad. —Si los muertos, decia un cesante, se meten en las cosas de aca, donde no cabemos ya los vivos, jbuenos vamos a estar! jYa que de por si eran tan pocas las tajadas! (33) Thus, the supernatural intervention subverts the logical order of the world and its institutions. It destabilizes conventional social relations and authority, the former represented by the masquerade-ball and the latter by the Madrid police. After he is buried, Postumo's soul finally leaves his body and meets his Guardian Angel—his Custodio. Postumo is enraged about what happened to him on earth, and wants to 158 return to Madrid immediately. The Angel explains to him that everything is part of a predetermined plan. Postumo must wait until the authorities in Heaven find him a new position. Meanwhile, he must drink from the waters of the Lethe in order to forget his past life and be reborn. Postumo does not accept such terms and refuses to forget his former life and to stand in line to be born again. The Custodio tries to persuade him to give up his whimsical wishes by telling him about the extraordinary cases of three intriguing men who also transgressed the natural order of the cycle of life and death. Don Cosmico wished to remember all his incarnations and now he lives under the weight of thousands of past lives; Don Perpetuo Paquidermo wished to be immortal and now has lost interest in life; and Don Horoscopo wished to know the future and lives constantly tormented because he knows what is going to happen. The three are introduced into the plot in three separate chapters narrated by the Guardian Angel. The stories of the three men are examples meant to persuade Postumo from wanting to go back to the world of the living without forgetting his former life, since the three of them have miserable existences for having their wishes granted. Later in the story, Don Cosmico, Don Perpetuo Paquidermo, and Don Horoscopo will play decisive roles in Postumo's life in the body of his rival, Sisebuto. Despite the Guardian Angel's warning stories, Postumo is not convinced, and insists on his desire to go back to earth at the moment he left, without forgetting his past life. Through the intercession of Saint Peter and the Custodio, he is granted his wish to transmigrate back to Madrid, but not without a serious warning: "E l Eterno, en su bondad infinita . . . te otorga la merced que demandas, pero sin ejemplar; desea probarte que 159 volviendo al mundo el mismo, tornaras a ser enganado como lo fuiste antes" (58). Notwithstanding, Postumo is happy to return to earth and disregards the warning. The return of Postumo back in the world mocks the bureaucracy of the Spanish institutions. The Custodio shows the clerk in charge at the "Direction General de Encarnadores" the supreme order from "El Eterno" to help him find a suitable body for Postumo: "Se quiere, expreso el Custodio, un cuerpo recien muerto, sin descomposicion aun, en que la lesion organica, si la hubiese, pueda ser pronto reparada. Ha de ser en Madrid, Espana, y que el difunto haya pertenecido al presupuesto del Estado, en categoria, por lo menos de 30,000" (60). The "Direction General de Encarnadores" parallels a state agency full of ill-tempered clerks. The narrator's voice justifies the rude and unkind manners of the angelical clerk: "Sin duda el oficio era sobrado fastidioso, hasta el punto de haber agriado un tanto el caracter angelical del acomodador" (59), thus implying that bureaucratic perfunctory tasks are the reason why normally pleasant people would turn bitter. The staff at the "Direction General de Encarnadores" is unfriendly and hostile, but they accomplish their job nonetheless: Examino con mal gesto el acomodador de almas los registros terrenales, y ya perdia la esperanza de hallar lo que buscaba, cuando jzas! E l telegrafo que unia misteriosamente aquel lugar con millones de mundos, y que estaba comunicando de continuo los distintos fallecimientos, hasta el punto de no bastar millones de angeles para tomar notas en aquellos registros, transmitio desde la Tierra el telegrama siguiente:— "Espana. Madrid. Sisebuto 30,000 reales; repentina; vaso del cerebro roto." (60) 160 The notion of Limbo as a bureaucratic body of offices, workers, and lines of souls awaiting their turn, mirrors the paperwork—the "oficinocracia" as Tapia calls it—of the state and its public institutions. A l l this functions as a literary strategy to criticize Spanish bureaucracy and its interminable chain of steps and procedures, as well as the rudeness of public employees. It must be recalled that Tapia experienced first-hand the bureaucratic apparatus of the colony when he worked as a public clerk in Havana, Cuba, and as an administrator in Ponce, Puerto Rico. In his fiction, the supernatural setting of Limbo gives him the freedom to parody the system without drawing the censor's attention. Postumo's transmigration back to earth takes place at the precise moment when a doctor is getting ready to perform the autopsy on Sisebuto. The spirit of the famous doctor Dupuytren repairs the broken vein that caused Sisebuto's brain hemorrhage, and Postumo's soul enters the body through an ear. The reference to the French anatomist Dupuytren (Baron Guillaume Dupuytren 1777-1835) once again opens a level of historical intertextuality, an ever-present artifice in the course of the narrative. Sisebuto resurrected (or Postumo transmigrated) escapes from the amphitheatre and runs naked through the streets of Madrid, causing scandal wherever he goes: "En cuanto a Postumo, corria a punto el postre por la calle de Atocha hacia la de Carretas, produciendo por calles y plazas el alboroto que es de suponerse" (68). Postumo, transmigrated into the body of Sisebuto, moves in a real urban geography-the streets of Madrid—that transfers the reader into an ordinary and familiar reality. This literary strategy builds the story's credibility while at the same time underscoring the protagonist's dislocation and estrangement: Era la hora en que la multitud ociosa, que en Madrid no es grande que digamos, suele irse de paseo, hora que se extiende a todo el dia. [Que rubor para tanta senorita casta 161 y tanta matrona pudica, sorprendidas de mala manera en medio de la calle por aquel hombre al natural, verdadero Adan sin atavios! jCuanto grito de espanto! jCuantas Evas fugitivas! jCuantas Evas desmayadas! Desde que por haber comido la manzana homicida perdieron aquellas la inocencia innata, sustituyendola con las rosas del pudor... [que escandalo, que escandalo! (69) Just as Postumo's corpse subverted the order of the masquerade-ball, the public exposure of the naked body of Sisebuto destabilizes everyday reality, disrupting the social order and breaking moral codes. The naked Postumo is compared to Adam, a metaphor that establishes a relationship with the individuality and self-determination of the Liberal man, but that results in the universe of the text in a total absurdity. The reference to Adam deliberately opens a level of intertextuality that parodies European authors and works. The omniscient narrator recognizes a certain similarity with Diablo Mundo by Espronceda: No es pecadillo nuestro si da en parecerse tanto en este punto la inaudita historia que narramos al poema, por desgracia no acabado, de Espronceda . . . Tal podria decirse tambien de la novela de Soulie, j Si la jeunese savait! cuyo protagonista es exactamente el viejo hecho joven del Diablo Mundo. Uno de los dos ha plagiado al otro, o ambos han plagiado a Goethe . . . Nuestro Postumo . . . jOjala pudiera compararse siquiera remotamente a algunas de las infinitas bellezas que a manera de piedras preciosas esmaltan los fragmentos de Diablo Mundo, bellisima corona del Cisne de Extremadura! (70-71, emphasis in the original) Thus, the underlying metaphor of the double provides Tapia with a line of attack for representing the inner struggle for the agency and autonomy of the colonized subject and his identity conflict. This is metaphorically illustrated in the nudity of the body that functions as 162 an imaginary space for political denunciation. Postumo in Sisebuto's body is exposed to the public eye and in this way, as Angel Rivera asserts, the narrator establishes an epistemological gaze in the reader: "recordemos que la mirada, el deseo, el cuerpo y el deseo de conocimiento estan conectados en la narrativa. Los paseantes observan el espectaculo, y en consecuencia los lectores, escrutinan y enjuician la nueva filiation de Postumo" ("Avatares de una modernidad" 107). Postumo/Sisebuto's nakedness can also be read as a representation of the loneliness of the modern subject, and the way in which social circumstances can transform an individual into an outcast in need of disciplinary control. Such discipline can become a general formula of domination that generates policies of coercion that act upon the body. 1 3 Discipline is a type of power which comprises a whole set of instruments, techniques, and procedures that are deployed by specialized institutions: the hospital, the police apparatus, the penitentiaries, and so forth. Postumo "ensisebutado" ends up captured by the police. Control over the body is reinforced by the image of the naked man locked up in a police station where a judge proceeds to interrogate him. The interrogation goes nowhere, since Postumo/Sisebuto cannot provide any form of identification or place of residence, job, or the like. Although he is recognized by Sisebuto's servants, who are horrified to see their just-dead master resurrected, he denies his identity. His identity conflict places him back in Madrid as an outcast of society. Elisa comes to help him, and as she is a medium-seer, she realizes that Sisebuto's body is indeed occupied by Postumo's spirit, and takes him out of jail covered only with a cape. In his well-known study of "discipline," Michel Foucault argues that in the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, methods of control over the body were developed as specific technologies of power: "These methods, which made possible the meticulous control of the operations of the body, which assured the constant subjection of its forces and imposed upon them a relation of docility-utility, might be called 'disciplines'" (Foucault, Discipline and Punish 137). 163 Postumo, resurrected in Sisebuto's body, suffers an extraordinary identity crisis; he resents having to accept that he only came back to this world to be Sisebuto's substitute, as his hatred rival. Each time he curses his body—Sisebuto's body—he feels a thousand pins hurting him: " jYa se ve! como no estoy acostumbra'do a este cuerpo maldito... jay, ay!— grito de nuevo—no conozco sus mafias, que Dios confunda... jay! grito otra vez . . . - Y a econtraras otro infame Sisebuto... jay, ay!... que te consuele... jAdios, adios!" (81). He refuses Elisa's help and goes back to the streets covered only with the cape. This time, his controversial behaviour and semi-nakedness take him to the mental asylum from which he will be rescued once again by Elisa. The presence of Postumo in Sisebuto's body is a transgression that temporarily places the body outside the disciplinary system of control and defies the notion of "docility" 1 4 which assures the manipulability of the body. This also subverts the well-known image of the "docile Puerto Rican" that in the nineteenth century was introduced by the paternalist rhetoric of "La Gran Familia Puertorriquena." The Liberal Reformists' familial imagery was an integral part of the language used to describe ideal social relations that underlined the Liberals' moral superiority. The uncontrollable body of Sisebuto has to be tamed, and the disciplinary machinery of the prison and the mental hospital act as coercive forces over the insurrected body. However, the ultimate coercion to regain total control of the body is performed by Postumo himself, turning the body of Sisebuto into a docile one. This only happens through the act of punishment, or what Foucault calls the "mechanics of power" {Discipline and Punish 138). 1 4 I refer to Foucault's notion of "docility," produced through the application of certain disciplinary methods (Discipline & Punish 135-40). 164 Postumo is first punished by his host body in his own flesh and blood, and secondly by the judicial system and the mental asylum. Postumo/Sisebuto has to assume responsibility for his unnatural transmigration, since he did not wait for his proper turn to reincarnate and refused to drink from the waters of the Lethe. He realizes that to avoid going back to jail or the hospital, his only option is to reconcile himself with his new body, make peace with Elisa, and try to resume his old bureaucratic position at the Budget Office. However, things are not that simple to accomplish. He will confront adversity and deception, just as his Guardian Angel warned him, and he will continuously run into Don Horoscopo, the man who knows the future and torments him with his negative omens. Elisa insistently tries to get him back his former job, but Postumo/Sisebuto is too proud to accept Elisa's help, despite the fact that she is the only one who saves him every time he is in trouble. Postumo "ensisebutado" looks for a job without success: Lo que mas le aguijoneaba era, como debe suponerse, la necesidad de encontrar acomodo que le diese pan; pero estaba en Madrid, y he aqui lo grave. A l i i se cuenta una baraja de pretendientes para cada empleo, y el no conocia otra industria, profesion u oficio que el presupuesto, como acontece a tantos. Helo, pues, alii sin comedero, por haberselo limpiado su reemplazante. Con favor todo se hubiera allanado; pero en su calidad de ex-muerto, el oportuno apoyo le faltaba. (117) The critique of the socio-political phenomenon of the cesante is strongly alluded to throughout the narrative. Postumo "ensisebutado" tries to find a job but instead finds himself wandering the streets aimlessly: "Echose a andar otra vez de calle an calle, flaneur por la fuerza de las circunstancias" (129). The image of Postumo as a fldneur-malgre-soi moves 165 Tapia's satire of urban society to another level. Walter Benjamin, in his study of the Parisian stereotype of the flaneur,15 describes it as a "male urban myth" whose habitat is in the novels of Balzac, Sue, and Dumas. The flaneur is an "urban native," a connoisseur of the pleasures of urban life, a new creature born from the democratic individualism of capitalist consumerism. The intertextuality of the image of the flaneur brings to the fore the author's intention of writing as representation. His literary motifs are interpretations of the late nineteenth-century centres such as Paris and Madrid, where the citizens were exercising new urban pleasures of individualistic freedom. There is an interrelationship between the Parisian fldneur-a legitimate creation of European modernity- and the non-European-Other represented by Tapia, the Puerto Rican author, who is looking for political agency vis-a-vis Madrid. If the flaneur is an urban myth who lives in the imagination of French authors, Tapia invented his own Spanish flaneur with unique Creole overtones. Intersected with the Spanish tradition of the Picaresque, Postumo stands midway between a modern picaro and a dysfunctional flaneur, a unique character who is not only a body-a bourgeois body-but also a soul. Postumo is more than mere flesh; he is an astral entity who transcends matter but who is always lingering and longing to be back in that very flesh. The reader sees through his eyes and lives his adventures-and misfortunes- in the metropolis. Postumo, in his previous life, represented the everyday working middle-class bureaucrat living in a European city, a bourgeois who lost his comfortable status-quo. In his new conflicted life in the body of his 1 5 Benjamin's concept offldnerie is that of an autonomous and personal activity, a leisure act of street-walking closely linked to the social and spatial relations of fin-de-siecle Paris. The flaneur is the new subject of modernity, a product of democratic individualism, bourgeois par excellence, anonymous and autonomous, personal, and masculine.To expand on Benjamin's concepts of the flaneur and fldnerie, see "Paris: Capital of the Nineteenth Century," in his Reflections (1978): 146-62. See also Benjamin's "Convolutes, M [The Flaneur]," in The Arcades Project (Harvard University Press, 1999), 415-54. 166 enemy and rival Sisebuto, he tries unsuccessfully to regain his lost autonomy and individuality. His intention to serve "la patria"drives him to solicit a job at El Palacio de las Cortes which results in an act of deceit: "Nuestro D. Postumo era buen patriota y ardia en deseos de servir a la nation; por eso buscaba empleo. El caso era conseguirlo, con tantos que anhelaban igualmente prestar sus servicios a la patria" (117). Outside El Palacio there is a heated political meeting in which Postumo tries to participate because, he thinks: Esto me orientara en la marcha de las cosas, ya que pienso dedicarme al servicio de la patria por medio de algun empleo lucrativo. Todo empleado cesante o activo, o todo pretendiente, debe hallarse bien orientado en el movimiento de la politica, que es madre entre nosotros de todo medro personal. (123) With much difficulty, he makes his way through the crowd looking for a good place from which to watch. There is a session of the legislative chamber to pass a bill of censorship against the ministry. The anarchist opposition is huge, and the one presiding over the ministry is Don Cosmico, the man of a thousand lives, who is vociferating incongruent arguments to agree with the opposition. In short, the meeting ends up in a riot: gunshots, screams, and protests for freedom ring through the streets, and Postumo is shot in the forehead. Postumo finally obtains an interview with Don Cosmico in order to get back his old job, and showing him his patriotic bruise, tries to flatter his ex-boss. Don Cosmico is reluctant and determined: "Motin desgraciado, incalificable; manera de proceder que hace despues dificil el restablecimiento del orden y la buena marcha de la administration. Anarquia y demagogia que no deben mencionarse nunca, sistema ilegal que arruina al 167 pais"(144). Don Cosmico's ambivalent posture parodies the fluctuations of the Spanish political system, the demagoguery and opportunism of the politicians in times of turmoil and confusion. Even though Postumo eventually gets his job back and reconciles himself with Elisa, the Angel's warning, voiced again through Don Horoscopo's evil omen, will catch up with him. Elisa gives birth to a sort of spawn of the devil, who is Sisebuto's soul reincarnated. The terrible child, born hairy and with teeth, is a monstrosity. Postumito learns to speak very early and tells his father about Elisa and Don Perpetuo's illicit meetings while Postumo is at work. Postumo is so desperate and unsatisfied with his life in the body of his enemy that he decides to end it, but not without harming Elisa's reputation. He commits suicide, leaving a dreadful letter implicating Elisa. The series of awkward relationships between Postumo and the other characters leads to his inevitable self-destruction. His relationship with the Custodio is contentious. His relationship with his own body—Sisebuto's body—is one of rejection, self-punishment, and domination. Elisa is unfaithful both as a bride and a wife. Don Horoscopo constantly harasses him with evil omens. Postumo's ex-boss, Don Cosmico, denies him a position in the government. His son Postumito, l'enfant terrible, brings to the fore his dysfunctional fatherhood; and lastly, Don Perpetuo emerges as a rival more powerful than Sisebuto. A l l these conflictual relationships represent the impediments that the individual faces on the path to self-development, suffering constant repression from disciplinary methods of control that strive to make a misfit out of him. His ultimate act of defeat is to terminate his miserable double life. 168 Postumo's suicide evokes an intertextual reference to Victor Hugo's character Claude Frollo, in Notre Dame de Paris. In Hugo's novel, Quasimodo pushes Claude Frollo from the Northern Tower of Notre Dame cathedral, provoking a spectacular fall that leads to his death on the Paris pavement. This reference to Hugo's character is not casual in El transmigrado. Postumo's soul takes the place of Quasimodo, who pushes Sisebuto's body through the window, becoming a "Segundo Claudio Frollo": Pero salir protestando, dejando con su tragica muerte una mancha sobre la reputation de aquella mala mujer: una muerte que fuera sonada... ,^Que mas ruidosa que arrojarse de un segundo piso?... Asi lo penso, y asi lo llevo a cabo... Segundo Claudio Frollo, cayo a la calle, aunque no de tan alto, y casi a su gusto (164). The intertextuality established by Tapia's dialogical imagination provides a narrative closure open to multiple levels of interpretation. The self-destruction of Postumo/Sisebuto could be interpreted not only as a suicide but as a murder. Postumo must kill Sisebuto in order to liberate his soul and free himself from the martyrdom of his life in someone else's body. It seems evident that when a man transgresses the celestial law merely to fulfill his own egotistic desires for hate and revenge, his end has to incorporate a moral lesson. Postumo in Sisebuto's body is an aberration that needs to be destroyed, as Dr. Frankenstein must destroy his creature, as Dorian Gray must destroy his portrait and die, as Dr. Jekyll must kill himself to get rid of his evil double Mr.Hyde. In this respect, the protagonist's death functions as both martyrdom and retribution. However, Postumo does not die-cannot die—since it is central to Tapia's artifice to have his character return to perform his deceiving games of duplicity once again in the sequel published ten years later. 169 Postumo el envirginiado (1882) The story begins with a terribly bored Postumo in Limbo who decides to take a stroll back to the streets of Madrid. Spotting a very attractive young andaluza, Virginia, he desires to occupy her body in order to see the world through a woman's eyes. Postumo forcibly penetrates Virginia's body, chasing away her legitimate soul. In the body of Virginia, Postumo has to marry an old Duque for the sake of convenience. The day of the wedding s/he feels attracted to Segismundo Salazar, the reincarnation of Elisa Doble-Anzuelo, Postumo's former wife. Virginia surprises her husband flirting with her young seamstress, which provides her with the perfect pretext to distance herself from the Duque. One night Salazar sneaks into Virginia's bedroom and the jealous Duque attempts to shoot Virginia. S/he flees incognito, with her best friend Matilde, to the Paris Demi-Monde where Virginia becomes a bohemian singer known as frivolous, cold, and calculating. After the suicide of Alfredo, a young poet who was her most fervent admirer, s/he decides to change, and makes a commitment to the struggle for women's rights. Virginia abandons her career as a singer, and under the protection of an Englishman, Lord Berckley, travels to the United States where s/he becomes involved in the North American women's emancipation movement. Back in Madrid, Virginia realizes that Spanish society is too backward to absorb her modern ideas. After much struggle, Virginia is shot in a barricade during the 1868 September revolution in Madrid and dies a pseudo-heroine. Once again in Limbo, the disobedient spirit of Postumo is imprisoned in solitary confinement to make sure he will never be able to talk to anyone or leave again. In Postumo el envirginiado Tapia presents an agenda on sexual politics that challenges nineteenth-century literary representations of gender difference, since the 170 protagonist is a man in the body of a woman. El envirginiado represents the feminine body as a space available to be taken by assault for a spiritual transmigration that leads to a transgendered reincarnation. Virginia is portrayed as a strong character who fights for egalitarian rights, however, she is not just a woman but rather a man inside a female body. Tapia, the writer, creates an androgine who is able to experience the world simultaneously as male and female. Postumo's spirit exercises the power of self-transformation through a spectacle of domination and control by means of desire and violence. In spite of his supposedly spiritual nature, Postumo is bored to tears in Limbo and longs for the sensuality of female forms; he lustily describes how much he misses "los espiritus encarnados en bien torneadas, graciosas y expresivas formas mujeriles, coronadas por sedosas cabelleras, con ojos de fuego, labios de coral, dientes como perlas, cuellos de cisne, menudos pies y sandunguero andar, envueltas en vaporosas gasas, luciente seda y encajes primorosos" (179). He escapes to Madrid, where he spots a beautiful woman: "Caspita jque hembra!—exclamo arrebatado el espiritu de Postumo ... Una vez lanzada por nuestro heroe aquella exclamation, piisose a caracolear en torno de la dama a guisa de moscon"(179). The choice of vocabulary elicits erotic images of the feminine as an aesthetic object of pleasure, agreeable to the senses with delicate round shapes and soft textures. Postumo's opportunity to transmigrate into such an appealing body is particularly pleasant, since his former transmigration was into the abhorred body of his rival Sisebuto. Furthermore, his reasoning is justified by his innate male curiosity: "Asi podria comprobar y saber lo que pasa dentro del cuerpo de la mujer, sobre todo si es hermosa" (180). Metaphorically, Postumo rapes the body of Virginia in an act of possession; he plays a 171 double game, not only to satisfy his curiosity to explore a woman's body from the inside out, but also to understand her and be in solidarity with her. I read this paradox as follows: Tapia, the author—a man—grants representation to a woman from the perspective of a "masculine-I" (or a "masculine-eye"), in his hope of legitimating the claims for women's rights by occupying the mind and body of a woman. This is not an innovative artifice in Tapia's writing. He already used it as means of representation of the female subject in his newspaper La Azucena (1870). Tapia created three imaginary women friends, Graciela, Julia, and Ysaura, who exchange letters that defend women's intellectual capacity to learn hard sciences, such as mathematics, or "difficult" languages such as German. These fictional letters provide a platform to criticize patriarchal assumptions about women's inferiority. The Liberal Reformists still felt committed to dictating moral prescriptions and norms of conduct for women in the late 1800s in Puerto Rico. Liberal men wrote exhortations to bourgeois women to reject frivolity, implying that women's problems were a result of their immorality, vanity, and inability to distinguish right from wrong. This rhetoric was in consonance with paternalist approaches that nineteenth-century male writers shared in Europe and America towards the education of women and their controlled incorporation into the national life. The violent occupation of Virginia's body can also be interpreted as the representation of a colonized space. Similarly, in El transmigrado, the decaying corpse of Postumo represents the stagnant body of colonized Puerto Rico (which connects with Salas y Quiroga's metaphor of Puerto Rico as "el cadaver de una sociedad que no ha nacido"), and the naked body of Sisebuto exposed to public scrutiny illustrates the vulnerability of the 172 colonized subject. In El envirginiado, Virginia's body suffers a brutal violation of her physical autonomy and identity. These metaphors of the body parallel the loss of autonomy and displacement of the colonial subject, conceived as a territorial space to be dominated and exploited. Despite the Custodio's warnings, and without God's permission, Postumo sneaks into Virginia's body through her mouth. The forcible occupation of Virginia's body is depicted in an almost surrealistic scene of convulsive violence. Once again, Postumo perturbs Madrid's ordinary urban life, and this time right in the middle of the "Paseo de la Castellana" at the most crowded hour: Supongase el lector, con todo un diablo que se le habia metido dentro del cuerpo. La joven cayo desamayada en brazos del primer galan que de tal quiso servir en aquella escena ... Virginia era presa de espantosas convulsiones. No podia menos al verse con dos espiritus en el cuerpo y espiritus que comenzaron lucha tenaz y revolcona, verdadera lucha por la vida. (182) Again, the transmigration of Postumo raises scandal and confusion. Virginia's mother takes her daughter's spastic body home, where a team of doctors is appalled by such extraordinary events. The body of Virginia—the female body—is not only represented as a battlefield, but also her beauty is desecrated in a carnivalesque manner in the presence of the "body" of doctors (Rivera 119): Lo cierto es que los medicos observantes no sabian a que atenerse, puesto que a la tos siguio un ruido de tripas algo prosaico en el cuerpo de una bella, efecto sin duda y por simpatia, de la agitation que debio producir en el apigastrio y estomago la entrada del turbulento espiritu asaltante. Sinapismos volantes—dijo uno. (184) 173 The woman's body, previously represented as desirable and voluptuous, is thus degraded to an animal state. The degradation of the object of representation is both erotic and humorous, blending beauty with vulgarity and the sacred with the profane. This bizarre occupation of the female body by a male psyche functions as an erotic masculine fantasy that is at odds with middle-class nineteenth century moral codes and sexual taboos. In parody, as Bakhtin states, it is possible to desecrate the lofty aspects and models of the dominant culture, as Tapia does with the medical institution. One of the instances where this artifice is illustrated, is when the Custodio invokes the spirit of Virginia with such force that she is dragged out violently from her body in the form of a loud sigh, precisely at the moment when one of the doctors is testing on her a vial of smelling salts of his own invention: El doctor que aplicaba al olfato de la ex-Virginia un porno de esencias, especifico de su invention para estos casos, al ver que el cuerpo con aquel suspiro abrio los ojos mostrando que recobraba vida y sosiego, exclamo con entusiasmo: ~i,Que decis? «i,que decis de mi especifico? Recibiendo de los admirados concurrentes la tacita certification de su eficacia. (185) This is how Postumo's soul installs himself in the body of Virginia. The voice of the narrator now calls him " E l Envirginiado" or "Virginia Postumica," wry epithets that add humor to the narration. Under his new identity, Virginia/Postumo has an amusing conversation with Dona Flora, Virginia's mother, and learns about Virginia's planned marriage to the wealthy Duque de la Verbena, lord of almost half of Castile. After his bitter experience in Sisebuto's body, Postumo opts for docility as he tries to accommodate himself to his new life in the body he has invaded, not without some resistance: "Pues no creo que este obligada a casarme con un 174 viejo por mas duque y rico que sea" (188). And " E l envirginiado" almost dies again when s/he meets the Duque: " E l duque de la Verbena era un viejo de mas de 60 anos que harto se conocian en lo rugoso de sus facciones agraciadas y hasta hermosas en otro tiempo. Trataba de disimular este abuso de primaveras con el peluquin, la pintura de las cejas y bigote, y la postiza dentadura" (190). "E l envirginiado" must marry the Duque, because Virignia's mother is bankrupt and the marriage would secure a social position for her as the Duquesa de la Verbena. S/he realizes that the marriage is a matter requiring urgency, and "El envirginiado" changes his mind: Luego que Postumo se quedo solo en su alcoba con su nuevo cuerpo, contemplolo a su sabor y vio que era cabal, hermoso y digno de ser amado. No sabemos si lo examino con ojos de hombre, pues de tal debia su alma tener resabios. Solo asi se explica que cayese en el desvanecimiento de Narciso, enamorandose de lo que de alii en adelante habia de constituir su persona. Narciso se vio en una fuente, y el o ella en un espejo. La nueva Virginia sintiose hermosa, y esto no es extraflo, porque rara es la mujer bella que no esta enamorada de si propia. (193) The narcissistic and erotic contemplation of the feminine body convinces " E l envirginiado" that s/he deserves the best. The action of looking at his image as a woman in the mirror opens an intimate erotic space to the reader's eye, a sort of voyeurism. Postumo enters into a state of aesthetic ecstasy through the reflected image of his new body. The mirror also symbolizes a cherished feminine space that not only reflects her image but also represents a confined space in women's lives. The mirror acts as a doubly cathartic element in the narrative: it is both an instrument associated with female vanity and a philosophical riddle: who is that "being" that looks at herself in the mirror? The real object is confronted with its own 175 reflection and the world is reversed in the mirror. The naked feminine body in El envirginiado acquires a singular power of self-representation that does not exist in El transmigrado. The naked male body exposed to the public eye in El transmigrado represents the conflict of self-identity and the estrangement of the individual, while the naked feminine body reflected in the mirror, within the intimate space of the female bedroom, represents the confirmation of self-identity. It is through the mirror that Postumo recognizes the "womanness" of his new body and decides to assume responsibility for his invasive transmigration. This act of self-recognition places Postumo in the body of Virginia as an autonomous subject who is eager to exercise the power of Virginia's status-quo, that is, to become La Duquesa de la Verbena. In Tapia's terms, Postumo in Virginia's body comprises an androgynous whole, which in Tapia's sexual politics is a gender representation connected to the late nineteenth-century agenda of social progress and modernity: Asi tendremos el fecundo hibrido bisexual, tan conveniente y hasta indispensable para las producciones del alma y del espiritu, o sea del corazon y la inteligencia, tal como la admiramos en la organization de los verdaderos poetas y artistas, cuyas producciones revelan los elementos predominantes en cada uno de los dos sexos: fuerza y sensibilidad moral, virilidad y gratia, vigor y ternura al mismo tiempo, conjunto armonico que es el ideal de la personalidad humana. (296-97) Although the appropriation of Virginia's body is violent and even offensive, it was for Tapia a the most viable literary strategy through which bestow representation onto women. The literary tropes of androgyny and travesty were thought to empower woman, although she remained under the guidance of the man; in this case, the man is her very mind. In several 176 parts of the novel, however, Tapia insists on the corporeal feminine power over which the male mind does not have complete control: "Aquel suspiro y tales emociones venian de su alma o del cuerpecillo meridional y tiranuelo que solia revelarse entre sus discursos y propositos" (280). Postumo/Virginia must conform to the social demands of his/her new body and marries el Duque for convenience. The day of the wedding, "el envirginiado" feels a powerful attraction for a handsome man, Segismundo de Salazar y Mendoza. Their mutual attraction becomes obvious to all the wedding guests: "jComo chispearon y se hallaron los ojos entre Virginia y su Romeo en los lanceros que bailaban frente a frente! Para no llamarle Romeo tendriamos que expresar su verdadero nombre: Segismundo; pero no el de La vida es sueno sino de Salazar y Mendoza" (200). In order to justify to the reader Virginia and Salazar's fatal attraction, Postumo's Guardian Angel explains that Salazar is the reincarnation of Elisa Doble-Anzuelo, his (Sisebuto's) former wife. The intertextuality again comes to the surface level in the narrator's voice, and like the many other intertextual references in the narrative, this one is not casual. The allusion to Segismundo, the protagonist of Pedro Calderon de la Barca's La vida es sueno (circa 1634 ), links Postumo's situation with that of Rosaura, a woman who dresses like a man. In El envirginiado's plot, Elisa is "dressed" not with male clothes but with a man's body. Thus, Postumo/Virginia is cleared of any possible allegation of homosexuality. But this travesty goes even further; since the spirit of Postumo "envirginiado" has the reminiscences of a man, he/she also feels attracted to a young woman, Matilde, la Condesa de Cierzo: 177 Originado todo ello por la anomalia postumico-virginiana: que no asi de cualquier modo puede cambiarse de sexo o asaltarse en cuerpo ajeno. Dios no ha hecho las cosas para que los noveleros como Postumo traten de trastornarlas sin consecuencia. Postumo vio entre las damas a la joven Matilde, Condesa de Cierzo: parece que la vio con los ojos de hombre que habia sido, y jchas! nuevo flechazo. (200) The recognition of Postumo's anomalous situation is constantly underscored throughout El envirginiado''s narrative. The Guardian Angel gives him an ultimatum before he walks out on Postumo, leaving him to his own fate. The Angel warns him that he should make good use of the body he usurped or he will suffer terrible punishments. For the first time, Postumo is terrified of the consequences of his acts, which entails a moral lesson. From this moment on Postumo "envirginiado" tries to behave in compliance with the social conventions demanded from him/her, falling however into the trap of maintaining false appearances: La monita de las mujeres es habil en esto de dar al deber la apariencia y al gusto el alma, como suele acontecer a todo esclavo: al amo la apariencia; el pensamiento y la voluntad intima a su deseo. Esta moral es muy acomodaticia . . . En una palabra: el fingimiento. Olvidaba Postumo-Virginia que este abre la puerta y luego se cuelan el engano y las traiciones. (207) There is a moral voice behind these statements that warns against simply keeping up a