Confronting HIV/AIDS through an Erotic Rewriting of the Classic Fairy Tale Rapunzel in Andrea Blanqué’s “Adiós, Ten Ying”

By Jodie Parys.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Fiction has often served as a space in which to confront, record and archive the AIDS epidemic in diverse manners. Writers frequently use the pages of their texts to challenge societal expectations and perceptions about the disease. Andrea Blanqué’s short story, “Adiós, Ten-Ying” is one such approach. Through a post-modern, feminist reworking of the classic fairytale, Rapunzel, Blanqué subverts reader expectations about AIDS and sexuality by presenting a protagonist who initially evokes the familiar storyline of Rapunzel, but ultimately becomes an icon of sexual liberation in the face of a patriarchal society that would prefer to negate her existence as an AIDS-infected prostitute. Blanqué achieves this subversion and ultimate celebration of sexuality by using a narrative structure that is reminiscent of the well-known tale, but is manipulated at key moments to challenge taboos about sexuality and AIDS. This presentation will examine this reworking to illustrate how Blanqué produces a novel approach to the classic fairy tale and ultimately provides an enlightened perspective on HIV/AIDS vis-a-vis her feminist interpretation of coming of age in the face of HIV/AIDS.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Fiction, Spanish American Literature, Feminism, Sexuality

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp.105-116. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.222MB).

Dr. Jodie Parys

Assistant Professor of Spanish, Department of Languages and Literatures, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Whitewater, Wisconsin, USA

Jodie Parys is an Assistant Professor of Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Her research interests include the intersection of disease and narrative, gender studies and cultural studies. Her recent publications include several articles that examine the representations of AIDS in Spanish American Literature. In additional to this avenue of research, she is investigating the use of service learning as a pedagogical tool in her Spanish language classrooms, having completed a case study of the impact it has on her students’ perceptions regarding immigration. Further areas of interest include the use of technology in Foreign Language teaching; to this end, she incorporates wikis and podcasts, among other technologies, in her teaching and shares her experiences with colleagues.


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