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ERIC Number: EJ787947
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 26
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 29
ISSN: ISSN-0005-2604
Prosthesis, Surrogation, and Relation in Arturo Islas's "The Rain God"
Cutler, John Alba
Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, v33 n1 p7-32 Spr 2008
This essay seeks to intervene in critical discussions about Arturo Islas's 1984 novel "The Rain God", as well as to suggest the potential for synthesizing discourses heretofore deployed in disparate conversations about disability, sexuality, and ethnicity. I first demonstrate how the novel's queer characters, Miguel Chico and Felix, pose critical questions about the nature of bodies in relation. These questions are relevant not only to the novel but also to Islas's lived experience and our own relationship to him as readers and critics. Second, I trace a short history of Islas criticism, paying special attention to the way the author's body becomes imbricated with that of his protagonist, suggesting a problematic politics of surrogation. My purpose in tracing this critical history is to indicate how Islas's place in Chicano literary history relates to the shifting contours of Chicano ethnicity. Finally, I return to the novel to offer an alternative reading that can help us appreciate more fully how it envisions bodies coming into relation with one another--a familial love that allows for recognition of difference as something other than abnormality. (Contains 17 notes.)
UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. 193 Haines Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1544. Tel: 310-794-9380; Tel: 310-825-2642; Fax: 310-206-1784; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A