Arturo Arias is John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Professor in the Humanities at the University of California, Merced. He is the author of Taking Their Word: Literature and the Signs of Central America.
Very little documented evidence is available about Doña Marina. This is the first serious study tracing La Malinche in texts from the conquest period to the present day. It is also the first study to delineate the transformation of this historical figure into a literary sign with multiple manifestations.
Cypess includes such seldom analyzed texts as Ireneo Paz's Amor y suplicio and Doña Marina, as well as new readings of well-known texts like Octavio Paz's El laberinto de la soledad. Using a feminist perspective, she convincingly demonstrates how the literary depiction and presentation of La Malinche is tied to the political agenda of the moment. She also shows how the symbol of La Malinche has changed over time through the impact of sociopolitical events on the literary expression.
Full literary analysis is given for "One Hundred Years of Solitude," as well as "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" (1981), "Love in the Time of Cholera" (1985), two additional novels, and five of Garc DEGREESD'ia M DEGREESD'arquez's best short stories. Students are given guidance in understanding the historical contexts, as well as the characters and themes that recur in these interrelated works. Narrative technique and alternative critical perspectives are also explored for each work, helping readers fully appreciate the literary accomplishments of Gabriel Garc DEGREESD'ia M DEGREESD'arquez.