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The Northamerican Metaphor: Film, Literature, and Society in the Chronicles of Elisa Lerner

Cecilia Cuesta-Velez, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Own to a long tradition in Spanish America, the Venezuelan feminine chronicle production takes a greater consideration and interest in the last decades. In this sense we present Elisa Lerner who constitutes an indispensable presence when we need to talk about Venezuelan chronicle. This research is directed to the chronicle corpus of that writer in order to establish a tentative pattern, necessary for its study an analysis. That pattern is conformed by five groups, literary chronicle, mass media chronicle, sexual gender chronicle, cinema chronicle, and autobiographies chronicle. Each one of them can be analysed independently and represent a particular study object. However, we have verified that lernereanas chronicles have an axis which unified them such as the concern for women in the modernization process, which has Hollywood cinema influence. In particular we take cinema chronicles, because in them we have observed that the life in the United States, as it is presented on the screen, is a systematic reference for Lerner when she speaks about women, modernity, and their compulsive conflicts. The cinema then is a metaphor in order to do cultural critic when we refer to more problematical aspects of Venezuelan culture and society. At the same time, she comments, socially and ironically, about the North American society and the strategies related to feminine aspects in that area. We analysed some of this chronicles in a cinema temporal curve in Hollywood from 1920's to 1960's. When Lerner filters her critic through Hollywood, she readapted herself inside the masculine hegemonic speech without using the political speech of their like kind. This cinema mediation allows offering her point of view in the face of modernity, the feminine liberation, the Venezuelan society, and the international politics without being put apart from the circle she belonged at that time. While many of the intellectual people enjoyed a privileged situation own to their hegemonic situation, Lerner's writing continued constantly and secretly emergent in the Venezuelan society.

Subject Area

Latin American literature|Cultural anthropology|Womens studies|Film studies

Recommended Citation

Cuesta-Velez, Cecilia, "The Northamerican Metaphor: Film, Literature, and Society in the Chronicles of Elisa Lerner" (2007). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3318670.