Ana Clavel’s Las Violetas son flores del deseo and Peritextuality

Lavery, Jane Elizabeth (2013) Ana Clavel’s Las Violetas son flores del deseo and Peritextuality Hispanic Research Journal, 14, (2), pp. 159-174. (doi:10.1179/1468273712Z.00000000044).


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Taking my cue from a number of theories on paratextuality and specifically peritextuality, this essay argues that the hitherto unaddressed peritextual features of Ana Clavel’s Las Violetas son flores del deseo (2007), including illustration, title, jacket copy, and epigraph are central in understanding the strong reactions which the image on the front cover provoked. I argue that the peritextual dimension, which ambiguously anchors but also disrupts meaning(s), works to underpin the novella’s central themes of paedophilia, rape, and questions of reader-viewer collusion. Even as we are forced into the position of accomplice, our awareness of the constructedness of the peritextual devices functions to relinquish us from becoming mixed up directly in the brutality which the image suggests. Nevertheless, the peritextual also alerts us to the view that the implied crime is not merely the product of artfulness but also the result of our own imagination and longing for that violence. It will also be argued that the erotic content of the image, which implies both a knowing and an unknowing, perturbs the viewer-reader’s comfort zone. Indeed, the image ambiguously plays upon a perceptible incongruity between innocent childhood and sexualized child-teenager and thus disturbs any possibility of offering a safe interpretation.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1179/1468273712Z.00000000044
ISSNs: 1468-2737 (print)
Keywords: mexico, ana clavel, las violetas son flores del deseo, paratextuality, peritextuality, (semi-)nudity, paedophilia, rape, violence, reader-viewer complicity
ePrint ID: 191659
Date :
Date Event
April 2013Published
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2011 09:08
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 01:54
Further Information:Google Scholar

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