Confluencia - Revista Hispanica de Cultura y Literatura vol:29 issue:2 pages:61-69
Rosana Blanco Cano, in her book 'Cuerpos disidentes del México imaginado' (2010), analyses how Mexican and Chicano artists, since the end of the twentieth century, have been working with national myths and symbols. Many of them explicitly question or deconstruct these images, or even subvert their meaning in parodies. The Mexican background, with a great variety of national symbols and images, has indeed been very important for Chicano writers in their search for identity. But at the same time, for Chicano authors who write mainly in English, there is undoubtedly the desire to transfer and integrate these Mexican images into their own specific context, as a minority group in the U.S., and to “translate” these images to their English-speaking readers, whether they are Chicanos or not. In this study of inter-linguistic and inter-cultural transfer of national images, I refer to five books of Rudolfo Anaya: 'Bless me, Ultima' (1972), 'The Legend of La Llorona: a Short Novel' (1984), 'Lord of the Dawn' (1987), 'Alburquerque' (1992), and 'The First Tortilla' (2007). In many of Anaya’s works appear the Mexican mythical and historical figures that have become stereotypes in Mexican and Chicano culture. The focus of this article will be on three icons: Quetzalcóatl, La Llorona and La Virgen de Guadalupe. I analyse how the paradoxical dynamic of mythification and de-mythification is reflected, and how the transfer into English-written texts either consolidates the stereotypical views on these images or, on the contrary, transforms them. Actually, in Anaya’s work it is not so much about the national images, but about what is hidden behind them. In his work, there is a strong desire to discover and “translate” the secret myths from pre-historical times, those that cannot be understood anymore by contemporary man.