Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Modern Foreign Languages

Major Professor

Luis Cano

Committee Members

Luis Cano, Angel M. Diaz, Euridice Silva, Oscar Rivera-Rodas


This dissertation analyzes the body and the memory of Charlotte of Belgium and Eva Perón in the historical novels Noticias del Imperio (1987) by the Mexican writer Fernando del Paso and Santa Evita (1996), by the Argentine Tomás Eloy Martínez. Through the conformation of these historical characters as literary protagonists, we observe how both are endowed with a new historical meaning from the articulation of fictional narratives that differ from traditional historiographical texts. From the analysis of the corporality and the memory of the female characters, we will attend to the resignification of the historical texts and their fictional ramifications to trace a more human conformation in these characters. This approach will allow us to elaborate the reconstruction of what the historical canonical text is or has been and the interpretive intersections that occur within the so-called historical fiction. This will allow us to explore the ideological and aesthetic concerns of the authors based on the fictionalization of history and its need to be revisited to demonstrate not only that it is not static but that it requires constant interpretation as the years go by. In this way, we observe that history uses the same narrative elements as literature, and that it needs updating based on a critical and demystifying rereading of the static facts presented by the official historiographical discourse. In particular, we will deal with showing how, since this Official History, the female characters have been diminished in their historical relevance, either to reduce their political importance, taking madness as a justification, as is the case of Charlotte, or to mythologize her as an object of worship with the deterioration of the body, as in the case of Eva.

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