ERIC Number: EJ919721
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
The Theme of the Sightless Asexual as Seen in the Novels "Santa" by Federico Gamboa and "El tunel" by Ernesto Sabato
Hunter, Robert A., Jr.
Hispania, v92 n4 p664-672 Dec 2009
The most cursory examination of literary depictions of the physically blind reveals a myriad of colorful, diverse and often odd characterizations. Portrayals of the sightless typically present them in roles overwhelmingly unflattering and flawed. In Federico Gamboa's "Santa," the blind piano player and coprotagonist, Hipolito, is cast as pathetic and physically repulsive. Despite becoming Santa's loyal friend and confidant at the "prostibulo," he can never be accepted by her in amorous or sexual terms because of his hideous, sightless state which renders Hipolito as romantically and sexually neutered. The enigmatic, sightless Allende, in Ernesto Sabato's "El tunel," exhibits similar parallels in his relationship with Maria, his adulterous, ill-fated wife, remaining totally devoted to her until Maria's death at the hands of her psycho-neurotic lover. Notwithstanding different scenarios and time-frames, Hipo and Allende share certain traits frequently associated with the fraternity of the literary blind: both are attracted to dysfunctional women who reject them sexually and amorously to pursue other men. Notwithstanding their loyalty and support, the wives find their respective husbands repulsive and inadequate, favoring other men more suited to their sexual dalliances. Ironically, the blind state of the male protagonists endows them with quasi-mystical power that draws their women back to them. Santa and Maria recognize the sincerity, depth of understanding and security that the blind husbands offer and the profound trust that these women cannot find in others. Though Hipo and Allende are never considered sexually attractive, their sightlessness empowers them to veritably "see" into souls and to extract the essence of worth, an insight that neither Santa nor Maria find in physical relationships with other men. Ironically, their sexual preference for others dooms both Santa and Maria to perish at the hands of their illicit lovers.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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