Rewriting the Biracial Love Story in Rosa María Britton’s Esa Esquina del Paraíso
Author ORCID Identifier
Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies
While nineteenth-century Latin American foundational fictions sought racial and social harmony through the genre of romance, by the twentieth century these biracial love story tropes are subject to intense scrutiny. Panamanian novelist Rosa María Britton’s drama, Esa esquina del paraíso (1986), as analyzed with new approaches, produces a critical reassessment by reframing these established narratives in ways that reveal significant cracks in the creole elite’s optimistic view of romance as a means to bridge social and racial divides. By comparing the play’s biracial protagonist, Eugenia/Jenny, with the tragic mulata heroine prototype of the classic Cuban novel, Cecilia Valdés (1839), differences between the two characters expose crucial shifts and innovative positions. The established tropes that worked so well in the elite’s vision of racial harmony become ineffectual acts of mimicry. With startling frankness Esa esquina del paraíso presents a woman-centered retelling of a traditional male discourse which, while not leading to the proposed goal of economic stability and personal fulfillment for the female protagonist, does uncover significant limitations in nineteenth-century imaginings of race and class.
Contemporary Latin American theater, Gender, Mestizaje, Panamanian literature, Race, Twentieth-century Latin America literature
Jaeger, Frances, "Rewriting the Biracial Love Story in Rosa María Britton’s Esa Esquina del Paraíso" (2020). NIU Bibliography. 254.
Department of World Languages and Cultures