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