El Abanico y la Cigarrera: La primera generación de mujeres ilustradas en el Perú- FRANCESCA DENEGRI: Lima, Flora Tristán Centro de la mujer peruana/Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, 1996.

MARY G. BERG

Abstract


This is by far the best and most extensive study to date of the concerns and public presence of women writers in Lima in the mid-19th century. It includes excellent analysis of the overlap between political culture and literary culture during that optimistic era of peace (before the War of the Pacific) and prosperity (guano exports), and the various chapters describe the effects of liberal positivism, the extensive participation of women writers in a new culture of literary periodicals and literary gatherings, and the topics and strategies of women's writing. Also included are fascinating sections on the changing fashions in women's dress (with the disappearance of the traditional tapadas, women uncover their faces as their words, too, are more often exposed to public view), the differences between Andean and coastal Peru, and the opening doors of education for women beginning in the 1870s. Works of fiction by the most prominent women writers of mid-century Lima are analyzed within the contexts of discussion of the inclusion of the traditionally marginalized (Gorriti); polarities of civilization and barbarism, upper and lower class, self and other (Gorriti, González, Cabello); and, finally, a new valorization of indigenous Peru in the writings of Clorinda Matto de Turner.

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