Catalina de los Ríos y Lisperguer, best known as Quintrala, is a historical figure of the Chilean Colonial period. Within Chilean culture, she became a myth that developed into a literary character variously portraited as a witch, a murderer, and a parricide. To this day, these remain the portraits that have been reproduced in the literary narrative about the character.
In this work I will analyse the symbolic structures of the witch and the femme fatale, which are essential and reiterative in the construction of the narrative discourse about this literary character. For this purpose, I have chosen the figurative structuralism that views a literary text as a sermo mythicus, that is to say, as a myth in which symbolic structures are a part of the mythical discourse advocated by this theory; this kind of discourse is likewise a fundamental and inherent component of the myth of Quintrala that has not been studied as such.
This work aims to examine these symbolic structures embedded in the myth of La Quintrala by analysing and comparing Gustavo Frías’ latest novels, Tres nombres para Catalina: Catrala (2001) and Tres nombres para Catalina: la doña de Campofrío (2003), the work of Magdalena Petit, La Quintrala (2009), that of Mercedes Valdivieso, Maldita yo entre las mujeres (1991), as well as the historical essay Los Lisperguer y la Quintrala by Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna ( 1944) in order to establish the existence through time of a rewriting and a transfiguration of the symbolic structures in these literary works.
Copyright (c) 2019 Jasmin Belmar Shagulian
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