La Rosa Muerta

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libro La Rosa Muerta

Aurora Caceres compelling novel La rosa muerta was set in Paris where it was published in 1914. In a work sharing formal characteristics with modernista prose, Caceres challenged the ideological parameters of the movement. While her protagonist appropriated the modernista precept of women as subjects to male veneration, she also took active control of her sexual life in a world where husbands still treated their wives as objects. The objects in this novel are not people but implements of communication and medicine, reflective of the apogee of the industrial age. The action, which takes place between Berlin and Paris, is representative of the places that the modernistas held dear, but the feminization of the portrayal of male-female relations broadens the scope of the male-dominated modernista literary paradigm. The ideal men in this novel are not the husbands from whom women run, but medical doctors, men of science who are liberated from chauvinist attitudes. The central character of La rosa muerta accordingly falls for one of her gynecologists, allowing for scenes in the Paris clinic that must have been scandalous for the 1914 reading public. This novels author Aurora Caceres (1877-1958) has been unjustly forgotten as an interesting adherent of the modernist movement. This European-based daughter of a Peruvian president wrote novels, essays, travel literature and a biography of her husband, the Guatemalan novelist Enrique Gomez Carrillo. Her life itself is intimately intertwined with Peruvian history, the War of the Pacific (1879-1883), the Peruvian Civil War of 1895, and an intellectuals exile in Paris. Her essays have recently begun to receive critical attention by scholars attempting to understand modernism from a gendered perspective. With its enlightened female protagonist, its scientific men, and its praise of technology (electric lights and pneumatic mail tubes), La rosa muerta appropriates modernista literary traditions and liberates them in a…

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