Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Maria Asuncion Gomez

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Aurora Morcillo

Third Advisor's Name

Ricardo Castells

Fourth Advisor's Name

Santiago Juan-Navarro

Date of Defense



The goal of this dissertation is to explore the use of transgressive language in the works of Juan Goytisolo and Zoé Valdés. This study examines the socio-political and cultural contexts in which the narrative of both authors develops, as well as the textual devices employed by these writers for undermining the "official history" imposed by the dictatorial regimes in Francoist Spain and Castro's Cuba. Furthermore, this dissertation argues that the deconstructing strategies in Goytisolo and Valdés mark their literary trajectory. Their vindicatory standpoints seek an alternative discourse of national identity.

The function of language in demythifying and recodifying hegemonic discourse is examined in Goytisolo's trilogy Señas de identidad, Reivindicación del conde don Julián, and Juan sin tierra; and the novels of Zoé Valdés La nada cotidiana and Te di la vida entera. The parallelisms in the literary works of Goytisolo and Valdés are established by contrasting the authors' revisionist approach to history, the self-reflexivity of their novels, the sexual referent, and the use of irony and parody. The theoretical framework incorporates poststructuralist theorists such as Todorov, Foucault, Lacan, Barthes, Derrida, and Kristeva; the psychoanalytical theory of Freud; and the feminist theories of Cixous and Irigaray. The comparative approach of this study and the interplay of power, politics, aesthetic creation, and author's psychology provide an illuminating perspective that could be of interest to individuals from a variety of disciplines.




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