FL 380: An Archaeology of the "Boom": Modern Latin American Prose Fiction

Reading Guide to Puig #1

The Kiss of The Spider Woman

  1. 3 On being a man or a woman: "that she's not a woman like..."
  2. 3 A panther's ugly instincts: "he's driven by some, still uglier..."
  3. 4 Valentin's censorship: "Look, remember what I told you..."
  4. 8 Valentin's values: "But I'm getting into bad habits."
  5. 8 What film?: "Just that I get sleepy and forget the film..."
  6. 9 Reading, Listening & the Imagination: "I didn't say that..."
  7. 13 A warning to panther women, etc.: "to remember who she was..."
  8. 14 Valentin's censorship: "Don't talk about food."
  9. 15 Two schools of though: "You get what's going on, don't you?"
  10. 15 The Reader/Listener's plight: "No, I like... but you have the fun..."
    A. 17 "I'd like to discuss things a little..."
  11. 17 Molina as consumer of his own fictions: "Look, I'm tired..."
    A. "Why break the illusion for me, and for yourself..."
    B. "I guess I have to draw a map..."
  12. 17 Valentin's queer anxiety: "Afraid to talk about such things?"
  13. 18 A problem of interpretation:"But that's all your own concoction..."
    A. A problem of performance: "Then you're inventing half..."
    B. Molina's justification: "I have to embroider a little..."
  14. 19 On being a man or a woman: "Yes, and my answer is this . . . great!"
  15. 23 Valentin's justification: " If you embroider, why can't I too?"
  16. 27 Molina's philosophy or justification: "You're crazy, live for..."
    A. On torture and imagination: "No, you can't imagine..."
  17. 27 Valentin's social & political philosophy: "there's a purpose behind it.
    Social revolution..."
    A. 28 "I've put myself at the service of what's truly noble..."
  18. 29 A whole in the theory: "And what about being soft like a woman?"
    A. "You've got a point there..."
  19. 31 On the film: "It makes sense . . . the woman's fear of giving in..."
  20. 35 A curious transposition: "When you started telling how the girl..."
  21. 37 Homage to Cortázar: "I don't know if that's happened to you..."
  22. 38 A spirited defence: "And don't call me Valentina, I'm no woman."
  23. 41 Literature and its discontents: "I'm sorry because I've become..."
    A. "It's. . . as if the mind had to secrete affection..."
  24. 43 A movie in the making: "Jane Randolph in. . . The mystery of..."
  25. 56 Another movie: "But why? It's a piece of Nazi junk..."
    A. "Of course you're offensive the way you. . . you think I don't even . . . realize what Nazi propa . . .ganda is..."
  26. 58 Valentin's views: "Look, you're a man just as much as I am..."
    A. "Curiosity, that's all you feel."
    B. 59 "I know very little about people with your type of inclination."
  27. 61 Valentine inquires: "And what's masculine in your terms?"
  28. 62 The problem of power & masculinity: "Okay, so he gives you that impression, but inside..."
  29. 62 Molina's view: "See how you react (...) You men are just as competitive as women."
    A. "What's this level bit..."
    B. Valentin's defence: "Because you can't carry on a discussion..."
  30. 63 On masculinity: "Well. . . Why don't you tell me what it means to you..."
    A. Valentin's definition: "...not letting the person next to you.."
    B. Molina retorts: "That sounds like a saint."
  31. 65 In ignorance of queerness: "Christ! you don't know very much..."
  32. 69 Molina's real life fiction: "That he might come to live with..."
  33. 71 Ironic twist: "See how life is, Molina, here..."
  34. 76 A pointed barb: "One of these days they'll realize who's..."
  35. 78 Molina argues: "Well, it's just that the film was divine..."
    A. "That you'll let me escape from reality once in a while..."
    B. Valentin replies: "you can drive yourself crazy here in other ways..."
  36. 84 A curious matter of meal portions....
  37. 84 Molina wakes up in pain.
  38. 87 Layers:
    A. Leni betrays the French resistance (MAQUIS) by cooperating with Werner and the Nazis out of love.
    B. Valentin accepts jail and torture, and does not betray the struggle even though he is in love with his "girl".
    C. Molina: ???