A Mestiza in the Borderlands: Margarita Cota-Cárdenas Puppet

A Mestiza in the Borderlands: Margarita Cota-Cárdenas Puppet

Atlantis: Journal of the Spanish Association for Anglo-American Studies
Volume 34, Number 1 (June 2012)
pages 47-62

Ana María Manzanas Calvo
Department of American Literature and Culture
Universidad de Salamanca, Spain

The article explores the formal and conceptual complexities of a novella that has so far escaped wide critical attention even though it tackles similar issues to Anzaldúa’s Borderlands. Like Anzaldúa’s mestiza, Cota-Cárdenas’ narrator finds herself floundering in uncertain territory, for she has also discovered that she cannot hold concepts or ideas within rigid boundaries. That state of dissolution of traditional formations is what Cota-Cárdenas situates at the center of the narrative. Mestizaje in Puppet does not appear as a comfortable and privileged locus, but as a painful ideological repositioning, a third space or element that works against totalizing narratives. The article illustrates how Cota-Cárdenas foregrounds the powerful identitary revision Anzaldúa would carry out in Borderlands, and contributes to the understanding of the self, of culture and the nation from the point of view of borderland subjectivities.

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