Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Theses that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Access Type

Open Access

Degree Program

Comparative Literature

Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Puerto Rico, translation, nineteenth-century literature, gender, modernity


This thesis establishes a biographical and critical context pertaining to the life and work of the nineteenth-century Puerto Rican author Alejandro Tapia y Rivera (1826-1882), and presents a proposed translation of his final novel, Póstumo el envirginiado o la historia de un hombre que se coló en el cuerpo de una mujer (1882). In a discussion of Tapia’s life and work, I highlight important historical factors for comprehending the text’s and Tapia’s relatively obscure status. Then I turn to the text itself to analyze key themes and narrative techniques, referring to literary scholars of Póstumo in order to provide a general interpretive frame work for contemporary readers of the text in translation. Next, I address the functions and metaphors of translation in the novel, and how these relate to discussions in translation theory around the metaphorics of fidelity, gender, and cosmopolitanism, before finally presenting my translation of the novel itself.

First Advisor

Edwin C. Gentzler