Canonization: The Megalomaniac’s Way to Dictate the State | Tahsina Yasmin

Canonization: The Megalomaniac’s Way to Dictate the State | Tahsina Yasmin

Canonization: The Megalomaniac’s Way to Dictate the State
Tahsina Yasmin

Abstract: The Autumn of the Patriarch (1975) by the celebrated Boom author Gabriel García Márquez and The Lizard’s Tail (1983) by the Argentine author Luisa Valenzuela expose dictator/ruler with physical deformity and supernatural power. The first portrays an unnamed dictator in the Caribbean living for ages and the latter the historical López Rega, Isabel Perón’s minister of social well-being in Argentina ruling through sorcery. Within the usual but marvelous Latin American literary framework of magic realism, incoherent narrative, and various perspectives in story-telling, both the novels surprisingly show the use of canonization through which the megalomaniac dictator/ruler dominates the state and its people. García Márquez’s dictator sanctifies his mother, the birdwoman Bendición Alvarado, by false means to maintain power. Valenzuela’s competitor (metaphorical) in the writing of the biography of the Sorcerer, López Rega, first benefits from the canonization of Eva Perón (the Dead Woman) and then sanctifies himself to sustain power. The paper aims to show a comparative analysis of the two Latin American dictator novels in the light of theories on gender studies, power and psychoanalysis in terms of their representation of mother figures and how the process of canonization is used to create an ideological fantasy among the superstitiously manacled, awe-struck people to perpetuate power

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Published in December 2015

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