This is the first book to analyze Spanish and Spanish-American literature in light of several theories of sexuality advanced since Freud. Bringing into discussion such writers as Fuentes, Neruda, Garcia Lorca, Galdos, and St. Teresa of Avila, Smith draws on critical approaches derived from Marx, Lacan, Foucault, Barthes, and French theoretical feminism (Kristeva and Irigaray). He argues that in spite of the variety of texts and theories treated, there are three broad areas of coherence or coincidence: the status of women in a male culture; the possibility of resistance to authority; and the role of the body as protagonist in that resistance.
`Sustained by his habitual panache and brilliance [the six chapters] constitute a series of `strong' readings guaranteed to convince young Hispanists of the need to engage seriously with an important body of post-structuralist texts'Malcolm K. Reed, Journal of Hispanic Philology
'The Body Hispanic is an example of the most astute criticism ... It is refreshing to read a book about bodies that doesn't try to answer what women want, but rather addresses Cixous's contention that "men still have everything to say about their sexuality"'
SIGLO XX/20TH CENTURY (1991-92)
'Smith does a very good job of conveying the theoretical material lucidly. The generally excellent calibre of the scholarship is, in turn, what makes one want to struggle with the various theories of gender and sexuality which Smith himself at times describes as 'dense and intricate'. The great diversity of The Body Hispanic assures something of interest to experts in almost all fields of Hispanic studies, and each essay rewards the reader with
observations that are fresh and perceptive.'
C.S. Halka, Randolph-Macon Woman's College, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Volume LXIX: Number 3: July 1992
'without doubt the most radical, ground-breaking work on Hispanic literature published in the last decade (at least), and has Qhanged irrevocably the horizon of expectations of that discipline as a result ... The insights that The Body Hispanic provokes ... are, indeed, radical and far-reaching.'
Stephen M. Hart, University of Kentucky, Romance Quarterly, Spring 1993, Vol. 40, No.2'
'erudite book ... it has brought in an important aspect of getting down to fundamentals and regarded texts with something much more engaging than antiquarianism'
Bibliothèque d'Humanisme et Renaissance, Tome LV, 1993