Sirena Selena vestida de pena o el Caribe como travestí

Barradas, Efraín
October 2003
Centro Journal;Fall2003, Vol. 15 Issue 2, p52
Academic Journal
Mayra Santos-Febres's first novel was received immediately upon publication as a crucial text within Puerto Rican literature. This novel can be read in a variety of ways: as a portrait of a marginalized section of the population; as a continuation of the literary tradition of the picaresca; as an example of Bildungsroman... This essay suggests a reading of the novel as a postmodern allegory of the Caribbean. Under this light, the text could become a re-reading of Eugenio María de Hostos's La perigranación de Bayoán (1863). However, this is not an allegory in the classical sense, as is the case in Hostos's novel. Thus, to understand the text in allegorical terms, it needs to be interpreted as a representation of our history as it has been influenced by the phenomenon of tourism. This industry that feeds the country imposes a transvestism of sorts on its citizens. Touristic Caribbean is a transvestite. The novel is, then, not just an allegory of the Caribbean as a theme park for tourists but also a direct reflection of that industry.


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