This study of Spanish American autobiography from its beginnings in the post-colonial nineteenth century to the present day concentrates mainly on cultural and historical issues. Spanish American autobiographies are fascinating hybrids, often wielding several discourses at once. They aspire to documentary status while unabashedly exalting the self, and dwell on personal experience while purporting to be exercises in historiography, the founding texts of a national archive. Professor Molloy examines a wide range of texts, from Sarmiento's Recuerdos de provincia to Victoria Ocampo's Autobiografia. She analyses their textual strategies, the generic affiliations they claim, their relationship to the European canon and their dialogue with precursor texts, as well as their problematic use of memory and the ideological implications of their repressive tactics. This method enables her to identify perceptions of self and tensions between self and other, thus shedding light on the fluctuating place of the subject within a community.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press