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

Reading Guide to Puig #2
The Kiss of The Spider Woman

  1. Where does power reside within the world depicted in The Kiss of The Spider Woman (KSW)?
    A. How is power (physical, political, sexual) reflected in the human relations represented?
    B. Are the dynamics of power susceptible of being subverted? How? (153, 156)
    C. What "tools" or narratives are deployed against the prevailing narrative of power and surveillance?

  2. How is sexual identity/gender elucidated or problematized in KSW?
    A. Is compulsory heterosexuality part of the prevailing narrative of power? (65)
    B. How is compulsory heterosexuality maintained and questioned? (29, 63, 175-181, Chapter 15)
    C. How does Molina destabilize the normative margins of gender and sexual orientation? (205, Chapter 16)
    D. What roles are appropriated by Molina in his interaction with Valentín? (120, 139, 142)
    E. What is sodomy? What are its implications in the text? (214-219) How is it deployed against the prevailing narratives of power? (235-236)

  3. How do you read the following texts within KSW?
    A. Cat People
    B. Her Real Glory (Leni's movie)
         1. Press release on Her Real Glory
    C. "The Spinster, the Ugly Maid, and the Disfigured Soldier"
    D. "The Zombie Woman"
    E. "The Singer, the Tycoon, and the Journalist"
    F. Footnotes on Freud (100-101), Altmann, Marcuse (195), Roszak (196), etc.?
    G. Chapter 15: "Report on Luis Alberto Molina . . ."

  4. How do these texts play with each other and all together with the main diegesis (story)?

  5. What is the Spider Woman?
    A. How does it relate to Valentín, Molina, Marta, movies, etc.?
    B. How does it relate to gender bending and the destabilization of the prevailing narratives of physical, political, and sexual power?