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Goytisolo, Juan (b. 1931)  
page: 1  2  

Goytisolo's rebellion is against the norms of his own social class; against his own family's reactionary position (particularly the values espoused by his father); against the brutality and demoralization of the society in which he was born; against ethnocentrism, consumerism, and repressed sexuality--issues that are all tied together in Goytisolo's world.

Static cultural institutions, he claims, keep us from truly knowing our genuine selves. His preoccupation is with inventing a self beyond the external social data that he finds oppressive. Because of the defiant position he assumes, many of his books were originally banned in Francoist Spain.

Goytisolo eventually rejects Spain altogether, associating it with decadence, sterility, and death. He sees Spain as a sexually repressed country whose problems are directly related to this repression.

He is in voluntary exile from Spain on ethical grounds, embracing, instead, the Arab world, which he associates with sexuality, fertility, and life. Currently, he resides in Marrakesh. His acceptance of Arab culture is related to its acceptance of homosexuality (particularly in contrast to Spanish ideology).

Goytisolo's novels have become progressively less realistic and more demanding of the reader, who must participate actively in deciphering the text. His literary techniques are innovative and experimental.

Through such devices as interior monologues, chronological and spatial juxtapositions and discontinuities, the contrasting of different voices, sudden shifts in perspective, linguistic experimentation, characters with multiple personalities, and the rupture of grammatical coherence, Goytisolo has created a unique and personal voice within Spanish letters. His style is profoundly critical, darkly cynical, and often humorous.

Maria Dolores Costa

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Burunat, Silvia. "El monólogo interior en Juan Goytisolo." El monólogo interior como forma narrativa en la novela española. Madrid: Ediciones José Porrúa Turanzas, 1980. 113-157.

Epps, Bradd. Significant Violence: Oppression and Resistance in Juan Goytisolo. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Ilie, Paul. Literature and Inner Exile. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980.

Levine, Linda Gould. "La odisea por el sexo en La reivindicación del conde don Julián." The Analysis of Hispanic Texts: Current Trends in Methodology. New York: Bilingual Press, 1976. 90-108.

_____. "Makbara: Entre la espada y la pared--¿Política marxista o política sexual?" Revista Iberoamericana 116-117 (July-December 1981): 123-135.

Pérez, Genaro. Formalist Elements in the Novels of Juan Goytisolo. Madrid: Editorial Porrúa, 1979.

Pope, Randolph. Understanding Juan Goytisolo. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1995.

Romero, Hector R. La evolución literaria de Juan Goytisolo. Miami: Ediciones Universal, 1979.

Schwartz, Kessel. "Stylistic and Psychosexual Constants in the Novels of Juan Goytisolo." Norte 4-6 (1972): 119-128.

Sobejano, G., et al. Juan Goytisolo. Madrid: Espiral, 1975.

Spires, Robert. "Process as Product: Juan sin tierra." Beyond the Metafictional Mode: Directions in the Modern Spanish Novel. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1984. 72-88.

Ugarte, Michael. Trilogy of Treason: An Intertextual Study of Juan Goytisolo. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1982.


    Citation Information
    Author: Costa, Maria Dolores  
    Entry Title: Goytisolo, Juan  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated November 8, 2002  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 1995, 2002 New England Publishing Associates  


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