La novela del burdel: Hacia una poética del espacio prostibulario en la narrativa hispanoamericana

Maria Messulam, Florida International University


The brothel, as a ‘symbolic location’ was the object of analysis in this dissertation, ascribable to its unusual and recurrent presence in Latin American narrative. The brothel was presented as a scenario, with polyvalent implications of both the space itself, as well as the different archetypes of the characters who occupy it. Our analysis showed how the brothel functions as a cultural entity, social archetype, power center, mythical place and symbolic space, where man plays out his utmost dominant self. To achieve this, the analysis focused on sifting through the concepts of machismo, economic and political power, and the configuration of the ‘house’ as emblematic elements of Latin American culture. The four novels chosen to underwrite this analysis were representative of the historical time frame, from Colonial times to the present, highlighting all the most distinctive features. These, in turn, led the reader to the inescapable fact that owing to certain characteristics of Latin American culture, the brothel maintains its raison d'être as a space that represents existential situations, and that far from converting itself into an anachronism, it will continue to thrive in the most significant achievements of Latin American prose.

Subject Area

Latin American literature

Recommended Citation

Messulam, Maria, "La novela del burdel: Hacia una poética del espacio prostibulario en la narrativa hispanoamericana" (2004). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3165143.