Writing AIDS

(Re)Conceptualizing the Individual and Social Body in Spanish American Literature

Jodie Parys

Transoceanic Studies


Literary Criticism/Spanish & Portuguese
199 pp. 6x9

$55.95 cloth 978-0-8142-1204-2
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Table of Contents


“While reading Writing AIDS: (Re)Conceptualizing the Individual and Social Body in Spanish American Literature, one can be transported throughout a history of perceptions and biases that have structured the way ill subjects and their surroundings have constructed forms of relations that include revenge, exile, rehabilitation, and solidarity. Jodie Parys is right when she expresses that there is a void in Latin Americanist scholarship regarding this topic. Hers is a cutting-edge project of literary criticism that makes of the close reading an important instrument for understanding cultural and political implications of the representation of the diseased body and its stigmatizations.” —Hector Dominguez Ruvalcaba, associate professor of Latin American Literature and Culture, The University of Texas at Austin

“This is the first critical study of literary representations of AIDS in Spanish American literature. Jodie Parys’s book significantly takes literary criticism to new cultural arenas by introducing a vastly understudied topic into existing scholarship on this literature. This is a book of great value to humanities scholars seeking to understand the interplay of aesthetic, moral, gender, and political discourses in Latin America and to a more general reader interested in exploring the cultural impact of AIDS in the region.” —Ignacio Corona, The Ohio State University

Writing AIDS: (Re)Conceptualizing the Individual and Social Body in Spanish American Literature by Jodie Parys examines the ways in which AIDS has pervaded the personal and social imaginings of the body by highlighting textual representations found in Spanish American literature where AIDS has a significant role. This book addresses the current void in literary theory about HIV/AIDS in Spanish America by drawing together diverse literary texts to illuminate how these Spanish American writers have chosen to depict this disease and how their texts will be archived for future generations. All of the works are united under the broad topic of the body, conceived of as the individual comprising a physical, emotional, and spiritual entity both in isolation and in communion with others. Because HIV and AIDS are physical viruses that attack real bodies, it is the initial portal of entry into the exploration of the notion of identity and how it is impacted and altered by the arrival of AIDS. However, each individual is also a part of a larger community, and the virus itself impacts society as well as individuals. These separate but related concepts—the individual and social bodies—are the uniting themes that are woven throughout the entire study.

Jodie Parys is associate professor of Spanish in the Department of Languages and Literatures at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.