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Open Access Publications from the University of California


The Proceedings of the UCLA Department of Spanish and Portuguese Graduate Conference is an online academic journal dedicated to publishing the papers submitted and presented at the annual UCLA Department of Spanish and Portuguese Graduate Conference.

Volume 1, Issue 1, 2012

Transnationality in the Luso-Hispanic World

Issue cover


Bilingualism, Desdoblamiento, and Dissociative Identity in Juan Marsé’s El amante bilingüe

The Barcelonese author Juan Marsé has remarked of his 1990 novel, El amante bilingüe, that it is intended to represent the “schizophrenic” nature of Barcelona, referring to what Marsé views as the fundamental cultural and linguistic division of the officially bilingual city’s inhabitants into two national identities: Spanish-speaking “Castilians” and Catalan-speaking “Catalans”. The rhetoric of illness that Marsé uses to describe his novel suggests that the existence of more than one language and cultural identity in Barcelona, rather than a positive force, is actually pathological and can lead to mental illness in its inhabitants. In Marsé’s novel, the plight of the book’s protagonist, an individual who functions in both spheres of Barcelonese society while fully identifying with neither, supports the theory that bilingualism and biculturalism may lead to self-destruction. Forced to choose between his two “identities”, Marsé’s main character irreparably splits himself into two irreconcilable psychological entities: the Catalan Juan/Joan Marés and the Spanish Juan Faneca. Marsé’s novel thus emphasizes the dichotomic nature of Barcelonese society, in which one is forced to choose between two diametrically opposed cultural and linguistic affiliations: one is either Catalan or Castilian, and no allowance is made for an intermediate or dual identity. This paper explores the rhetorical tools Marsé uses to depict the binarism of Catalan society and the adverse effects this “split personality” can have on its inhabitants as well as examining the questions it raises about the possibilities (or lack thereof) for national identity in contemporary Barcelona.

Mediating Language, Translating Experience: Negotiating the Postdictatorial Metropolis in Duas Praças

In his 2005 novel Duas praças, Ricardo Lísias addresses the quotidian violence of contemporary São Paulo, a metropolis increasingly segregated by socio-economic classes, spatial distances, and physical barriers, as well as the concerns of truth, memory and reconciliation haunting Brazil and its neighbors in the postdictatorial years. The novel alternates between the stories of Maria, a resident of the periphery who lives within her mental fantasies, and Marita, an Argentine graduate student and suspected child of the disappeared gone missing within Brazil. While language facilitates the articulation of characters and events within the novel, it cannot render them perfectly and instead breaks down in the face of pain as Elaine Scarry reminds us or begins to stutter in the terms of Gilles Deleuze. Given its possibilities and limitations, language becomes a preoccupation for Lísias and one of the most intriguing ways to enter his fiction. Language plays a critical role in the parallel lives of Maria and Marita as they attempt to impose structure on their thoughts and experiences, a constructed spoken or written order that eventually verges towards collapse. The breakdown of language reveals the psychological states of the characters, while also indicating the limitations of translation and transnational communication between Brazilian Portuguese and Argentine Spanish. Through a closer analysis of language and translation, this paper examines Duas praças as an intervention in and commentary on the disjunctive democracy transforming Brazilian metropolises into cities of walls and the politics of memory continuing to plague postdictatorial societies throughout the region.

Quem dá as ordens? A Imagem Transnacional da Mulher Brasileira em Dona Flor, Gabriela e Tieta

Em três livros de Jorge Amado: Dona Flor e Seus Dois maridos; Gabriela, Cravo Canela; e Tieta, as mulheres são caracterizadas como indivíduos responsáveis pela sua vida sexual e que sabem se beneficiar do seu poder sexual. Os livros adaptados para a televisão e para o cinema, ajudaram a criar e solidificar a imagem da mulher brasileira, em território nacional e internacional. Este artigo irá analisar a construção da identidade da mulher brasileira através da visão da sexualidade na obra de Jorge Amado. Esta imagem é baseada na raça (a mulata), na sensualidade, e no poder, com dimensões transnacionais. Também irei analisar o impacto da obra de Jorge Amado na sociedade brasileira e no exterior, dado o grandioso sucesso do filme Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos e das novelas, Gabriela Cravo e Canela, e Tieta. O filme Dona Flor, se tornou o filme de maior sucesso da história cinematográfica brasileira.

Autor: Eduardo Viana da Silva

Title: Who is in Charge? The Sexualization and Power of Dona Flor, Gabriela and Tieta. The Transnational Image of Brazilian Women through Three Novels of Jorge Amado and their Adaptation for TV

Abstract: In three of Jorge Amado’s novels: Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands; Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon; and Tieta, women are portrait as individuals in charge of their sexual lives and empowered by it. The novels’ adaptation for film and television helped to create and to solidify an image of Brazilian women, nationally and internationally. This paper will discuss the construction of Brazilian women’s identity through Jorge Amado’s approach to their sexuality. This image is ultimately based on race (the mulatto woman), sensuality, and power, with transnational dimensions. It will also analyze the impact of his work in Brazilian society and overseas, given the wide spread success of the film Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands and the soap operas, Gabriela Clove and Cinnamon; and Tieta. The film Dona Flor, became the most successful film in Brazilian history.

Keywords: Jorge Amado, Gabriela, Dona Flor, Tieta, sexualization, Brazilian woman, sensuality, mulatta

Author: Eduardo Viana da Silva

Tomando partido: Soccer and Political Opposition in O Ano em Que Meus Pais Saíram de Férias (Cao Hamburger 2006) and Paisito (Ana Díez 2008)

Cao Hamburger’s O Ano em Que Meus Pais Saíram de Férias (2006) and Ana Díez’s Paisito (2008) explore soccer’s potential to serve the state as a distraction for the masses or conversely provide an opportunity for opposition to hegemonic ideologies. The Brazilian director of O Ano em Que Meus Pais Saíram de Férias and Spanish director of the Spanish-Uruguayan-Argentine co-production Paisito allegorize in sporting terms Brazilian and Uruguayan political turmoil in the early 1970’s. Soccer offensives coordinate with the political opposition to the Brazilian military dictatorship during 1970’s World Cup in O Ano em Que Meus Pais Saíram de Férias whereas citizens most tomar partido, or take sides, in Paisito with either the military or the Tupamaro resistance that culminates in Uruguay’s 1973 military coup.

Vislumbres do exílio na poesia de Cecília Meireles e Florbela Espanca

“Glimpses of the exile in Cecília Meireles and Florbela Espanca’s poetry” The aim of this paper is to analyze the work of two poets, Cecília Meireles and Florbela Espanca, in order argue that being exiled does not, necessarily, mean being geographically dislocated. Although exile has never been imposed to either writers, anguish and suffering, whether in a higher or lower scale, is present in their work. This unpleasant feeling is possibly associated to the harm of being misplaced in the environment they live in. Nevertheless, this statement applies not only to their work but also to their own lives, seeing that they were both women writers, and to the literary period they both created their poetry. Thus, we propose a dialogue between Cecília Meireles and Florbela Espanca’s poetry in the attempt of finding a place where the speakers of those poems belong. Along this path, we are able to catch a glimpse of their displacement as well as their pursuit of belonging or being part of the world.

La heteronimia como ‘gestus’ brechtiano en Los Poemas de Sydney West

Una de las prácticas poéticas más fascinantes de la contemporaneidad ha sido la de la creación de heterónimos, autores imaginarios a los que el autor “real” adscribía parte de su obra. Un nombre se aparta de entre la nómina de ilustres nombres que han practicado este desplazamiento autorial en “otros” (Fernando Pessoa, Antonio Machado, Washington Delgado, Roque Dalton, Eugenio Montejo, José Ruiz Noguera, José Emilio Pacheco, entre otros): el argentino Juan Gelman. En su obra, por razones que analizaremos a lo largo de este breve trabajo, el recurso a la heteronimia cobra especial complejidad. Los Poemas de Sydney West constituyen el máximo exponente de ello. El heterónimo se hace un ser elusivo, un fantasma; la voz de autor alcanza su mayor grado de despersonalización. En este trabajo analizaremos por qué es inadecuado hablar de heteronimia (o al menos heteronimia pura) a la hora de referirnos al supuesto autor americano, así como explicaremos cómo la confluencia de los magisterios de Masters, Pessoa y Brecht gestaron uno de los libros mayores del poeta argentino.

El discurso de Pío Pico de 1847 y los primeros tiempos del español en la California estadounidense

El presente trabajo estudia el español de California en el siglo XIX desde la perspectiva de la sociolingüística histórica. A partir del análisis de testimonios de Pío Pico, se analizan tanto la historia externa y la historia interna del dialecto del español de Los Ángeles como las presiones sociales en torno al choque entre el inglés y el español que, en 1847, estaba a punto de suceder con motivo del Tratado de Guadalupe-Hidalgo.

Dialect Contact in a Los Angeles Public School

As is well known, Los Angeles is home to a large number of Spanish-speaking immigrants from a variety of different countries. Studies on the Spanish spoken in LA County have demonstrated the existence of a distinct dialect, a product of koineization and dialect leveling. In this paper we seek to explore the dynamics of such leveling as it occurs in a public elementary school in this area. Taking into consideration the fact that use of Spanish is not permited in the public school classroom, we choose to observe children’s use of this language during recess, lunch and a structured after school program designed to help Spanish speakers improve their English skills. These observations are further supplemented by answers to informal interviews with students froom the after school program. The evidence that we find provides further support for the validity of LA Spanish as a distinct dialect and serves to illuminate, at least in part, the role that the public school setting plays in the creation of linguistic norms.

La construcción de la comunidad latina de EE.UU.: comunidades voseantes.

El “voseo” es una forma de tratamiento frecuente en América Latina que es característica del habla centroamericana. En este trabajo se investiga de qué maneras el aumento demográfico de comunidades de habla voseantes ha cambiado el panorama sociolingüístico hispano de EE.UU. Con este fin, se entrevistó a ocho estudiantes universitarios de origen salvadoreño, argentino y nicaragüense. Las entrevistas se analizaron discursivamente en el marco de la lingüística sistémica funcional. Los resultados de este trabajo aportan información sobre la identidad y actitudes lingüísticas de la comunidad latina del oeste de EE.UU.

Variation in Loanword Adaptations in the Lebanese-Brazilian Community of Sao Paulo, Brazil

While loanwords typically adopt the phonology of the borrowing language, also semantic, syntactic morphological material from both languages may be present in the borrowed word. A word that has been borrowed by one language in the past can come in contact with a speaker that not only dominates the lending language that of which the loanword originates, but also the borrowing language itself.  Such is the case between Arabic and Portuguese in a Lebanese-Brazilian community in São Paulo.  In this research, social factors affecting variation in the perception and production of Portuguese words of Arabic origin are examined across three generations of Lebanese-Brazilians.