Citation
Amazons and artists

Material Information

Title:
Amazons and artists : a study of Ecuadorian women's prose
Creator:
Handelsman, Michael H., 1948- ( Dissertant )
Schulman, Ivan A. ( Reviewer )
Wershow, Irving R. ( Reviewer )
Renner, Richard A. ( Reviewer )
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publisher:
University of Florida
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
1976
Language:
English
Physical Description:
viii, 208 leaves ; 28 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Authors ( jstor )
Gender equality ( jstor )
Gender roles ( jstor )
Latin American culture ( jstor )
Literature ( jstor )
Novels ( jstor )
Short stories ( jstor )
Women ( jstor )
Womens studies ( jstor )
Writers ( jstor )
Dissertations, Academic -- Romance Languages and Literatures -- UF ( lcsh )
Ecuadorian literature ( lcsh )
Romance Languages and Literatures thesis Ph. D ( lcsh )
Women authors, Ecuadorian ( lcsh )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Abstract:
Despite current efforts to analyze the role of women in Latin America, only minimal information is available about Ecuadorian women. Excluding traditional references to such vaunted national heroines as Manuela Saenz, Manuela Canizares, and Mariana de Jesijs, little is known about the principal concerns and aspirations of Ecuador's women. Similarly, because literary critics rarely have offered more than a cursory mention of the works published by Ecuadorian women, there is a dearth of information on the extent to which female writers have participated in national letters. The purpose of this dissertation, therefore, is to fill these voids by analyzing the essays and fiction Ecuadorian women have published to date. More specifically, attention is given to what women have said about their role in society, about male-female relationships in Ecuador, and about their chief aims, problems, and fears. In short, this study is primarily concerned with two major goals: (1) to refute traditional claims that women have not written prose literature in Ecuador; and (2) to demonstrate that the major themes found in their works offer a penetrating view of the female's place in Ecuadorian society. Regarding the first objective, after considering the authors and works analyzed, it is apparent critics have neglected many women writers who have turned to literature as a means of expressing themselves. Their numbers might be larger were it not for the fact that they have been "victimized," so to speak, by a body of literary criticism that overlooks their work and denies them artistic status. The few writers who have overcome this prejudice and have ultimately been recognized in anthologies and literary histories (i.e., Dolores Veintemilla de Galindo, Marietta de Veintemilla, and Blanca Martfnez de Tinajero) have nevertheless been treated as secondary figures whose works are assumed to be of scant importance or undeserving of serious critical attention. Thus, in our study we have shouldered the burden of reexamining women's place in national letters, with the express purpose of demonstrating that a meritorious literary tradition exists among Ecuador's women writers. Some major figures examined are Zoila Ltgarte, Rosa Borja, Hipatia Cardenas, Eugenia Viteri, Lupe Rumazo, and Alicia Yanez Cosslo. The treatment of female images in Ecuadorian women's prose demonstrates that women have not been totally satisfied with their secondary role in national development. Contrary to Benajmfn Carrion's belief that Ecuador is a "pueblo hi jo de mujer" (i.e., a country which has depended heavily on its women throughout the course of national history), women's literary works point out that the female has had to fight continually against male domination — political, cultural, and sexual. Thus, Ecuador's women frequently have used prose literature to champion feminist issues, reject inequities, injustices and sources of repression. The writers' comments about women in Ecuador presented in this study only reflect the viewpoint of the urban middle-class female intellectual. Up to the present, Indian women, the montuvias (rural women from the coast), and marginal women from the city have yet to describe their own situation. Similarly lacking are studies on women journalists and poetesses; the image of women in male writers' works; a reevaluation of women's participation in history; sexual attitudes among women; and women in the labor force. In short, because much work remains to be done in terms of investigating the attitudes and problems of the Ecuadorian female, it is hoped that this dissertation will underscore the voids in our knowledge and stimulate the continued redressing of traditional prejudices about Ecuadorian women through studies on their numerous and diverse contributions to society.
Thesis:
Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography:
Bibliography: leaves 191-207.
Additional Physical Form:
Also available on World Wide Web
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Michael H. Handelsman.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright [name of dissertation author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
026305174 ( AlephBibNum )
04041082 ( OCLC )
AAX3530 ( NOTIS )

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AMAZONS AND ARTISTS: A STUDY OF ECUADORIANr
WOMEN'S PROSE


















By

MICHAEL H. HANDELSIAN


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLItENT OF THE REOUIREItENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY








UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1976





































Because of all their love and the many sacrifices they have

made for me during the years. I dedicate this dissertation to my

mother and father.













AC KNOWLEDGEMENTS


I wish to express my sincere appreciation to my supervisory

committee chairman, Dr. Ivan A. Schulman, for his valuable insight and

guidance during the preparation of this dissertation; to Dr. Irving R.

Wershow, for his continued support during my graduate program at the

University of Florida; and to Dr. Richard R. Renner, for having served

as a member of the supervisory committee.

In addition, a special note of thanks must be extended to the

Organization of American States for having funded nine months of doctoral

research in Ecuador (December 1974 to September 1975).

Because successful completion of this study would not have been

possible without the assistance of many Ecuadorian friends and acquaint-

ances, I also would like to thank the following people: Manuel Almeida,

Benjamin Carrion, Zoila Marfa Castro, Laura de Crespo, lireya de Insua,

Piedad Larrea Borja, Germania toncavo de lionge, Isabel Moscoso

Dcvila, Francisco Perez Febres Cordero. Angel Rojas, Lupe Rumazo,

Eugenia Viteri, and Alicia YAnez Cossfo.

Finally, a special note of gratitude is extended to my wife, Toya,

for her constant encouragement and understanding.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS


ACKNO LEDGEMENTS . . . . . . . . . .

ABSTRACT . . . . . . . . . . . .

I NTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . .

Notes . . . . . . . . . . .

CHAPTER I HISTORICAL HEROINES AND PROSE WRITERS: A
CONTRAST IN FEMALE IMAGES IN ECUADOR . .

Notes . . . . . . . . .

CHAPTER II EARLY FEMALE VOICES IN ECUADORIAN PROSE LITE


Notes.


RATUR


. . 20

E . 23


. . . . . 3 2


CHAPTER II I













CHAPTER IV






CHAPTER V




CHAPTER VI


THE FEMINIST JOURNALS: A SOURCE OF LITERARY
DEVELOPMENT. . . . . . . . .

Early Feminist Magazines: The h ~.fi'a:ita
Era (1895-1912) . . . . . .
Major Feminist Journals Published During
the Years 1917-1928. . . . . . .
Feminist Magazine Literature and the
19 30 's . . . . . . . . .
Notes . . . . .. . . . .

THE ESSAY . . . . . . . .

Women Writers: 1922-19 5 . . . . .
Women Writers: 1945 to Present . . .
Notes . . . . . . . . .

THE NOVEL . . . . . . . .

Notes . . . . . . . . .

SHORT STORY . . . . . . .

The Short Story as a Reflection of Women's
Women's Concern for Urban Problems . .


S. 34



S. 37

. . 46

. . 50
S . 61

. . 66

. . 67
. . 84
. . 97

. . 102

. . 143

. . 146


Problems.


The Indian Motif


The Theme of Contemporary Anguish in the Short Story
No te s . . . . . . . . . . . .


. . . . . 170









CONCLUSION ........................... .. 137

Notes . . . . . . . . . . . 190

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF WORKS CONSULTED. . . . . . . . . . 191

Works by Ecuadorian Women . . . . . . . 191
Works About Ecuadorian Women . . . . .. .. . . 201
General Works About Women and Feminism . . . . ... 204
Other Works Consulted. . . . . . . . .... .206

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. . . . . . . . . . . .208











Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

AIAZONS AND ARTISTS: A STUDY OF ECUADORIAN
WOMENI'S PROSE

By

Michael H. Handelsman

June, 1976

Chairman: Ivan A. Schulman
Major Department: Romance Languages and Literatures (Spanish)


Despite current efforts to analyze the role of women in Latin

America, only minimal information is available about Ecuadorian women.

Excluding traditional references to such vaunted national heroines as

Manuela Saenz, Manuela Canizares. and Mariana de Jes6s, little is known

about the principal concerns and aspirations of Ecuador's women.

Similarly, because literary critics rarely have offered more than a

cursory mention of the works published by Ecuadorian women, there is a

dearth of information on the extent to which female writers have

participated in national letters. The purpose of this dissertation,

therefore, is to fill these voids by analyzing the essays and fiction

Ecuadorian women have published to date. More specifically, attention

is given to what women have said about their role in society, about

male-female relationships in Ecuador, and about their chief aims.

problems, and fears. In short, this study is primarily concerned with

two major goals: (1) to refute traditional claims that women have not








written prose literature in Ecuador; and (2) to demonstrate that the

major themes found in their works offer a penetrating view of the

female's place in Ecuadorian society.

Regarding the first objective, after considering the authors and

works analyzed, it is apparent critics have neglected many women writers

who have turned to literature as a means of expressing themselves. Their

numbers might be larger were it not for the fact that they have been

"victimized," so to speak, by a body of literary criticism that over-

looks their work and denies them artistic status. The few writers who

have overcome this prejudice and have ultimately been recognized in

anthologies and literary histories (i.e., Dolores Veintemilla de Galindo,

Marietta de Veintemilla, and Blanca Martfnez de Tinajero) have neverthe-

less been treated as secondary figures whose works are assumed to be of

scant importance or undeserving of serious critical attention. Thus,

in our study we have shouldered the burden of reexamining women's place

in national letters, with the express purpose of demonstrating that a

meritorious literary tradition exists among Ecuador's women writers.

Some major figures examined are Zoila Ugarte, Rosa Borja, Hipatia

Cardenas, Eugenia Viteri, Lupe Rumazo, and Alicia Yanez Cosslo.

The treatment of female images in Ecuadorian women's prose

demonstrates that women have not been totally satisfied with their

secondary role in national development. Contrary to Benajmin Carrion's

belief that Ecuador is a "pueblo hijo de mujer" (i.e., a country which

has depended heavily on its women throughout the course of national

history), women's literary works point out that the female has had to

fight continually against male domination--political, cultural, and

sexual. Thus, Ecuador's women frequently have used prose literature









to champion feminist issues, reject inequities, injustices and sources

of repression.

The writers' comments about women in Ecuador presented in this

study only reflect the viewpoint of the urban middle-class female

intellectual. Up to the present, Indian women, the mon'ztlvias (rural

women from the coast), and marginal women from the city have yet to

describe their own situation. Similarly lacking are studies on women

journalists and poetesses; the image of women in male writers' works;

a reevaluation of women's participation in history; sexual attitudes

among women; and women in the labor force. In short, because much

work remains to be done in terms of investigating the attitudes and

problems of the Ecuadorian female, it is hoped that this dissertation

will underscore the voids in our knowledge and stimulate the continued

redressing of traditional prejudices about Ecuadorian women through

studies on their numerous and diverse contributions to society.


v i ii













I ITRODUCTIO'J


In spite of current efforts to interpret and understand clearly

the role of women in Latin America, researchers have offered minimal

information about Ecuadorian women. Consequently, the purpose of

this dissertation is to fill this void, to study the Ecuadorian woman's

role in society by means of a detailed analysis of the prose works

(essay and fiction) that Ecuadorian women writers have published to

date. Attention will be given to what the women have said about their

own role in society, about male-female relationships in Ecuador, and

about their chief concerns, aspirations, and fears. In short, the

following study of Ecuador's women writers will achieve two goals:

(1) establish the extent of women's contribution to Ecuadorian letters;

and (2) illustrate women's position in Ecuadorian society.

With respect to the first objective, because few critics have

been a..are of the existence of female wr.'ters in Ecuador, critical

attention devoted to women's literary production has been rare. Even

such leading scholars of national letters as Benjamin Carrion, Isaac

Barrera, Angel Rojas, and Edmundo Ribadeneira have done little more than

acknowledge some names and titles in their general comments about

Ecuadorian literature. Furthermore, although critics occasionally have

alluded to women's limited participation in national letters when

explaining the absence of research on female writers, at no time has

anyone attempted to analyze the complex reasons which account for this

scarcity. In effect, due to the overall lack of interest in investigating









women's place in literature, current knowledge about the female writers

has been based on a series of suppositions which people through the years

have considered conclusive.2

While it would be incorrect to suggest that women have been prolific

writers in Ecuador, this dissertation will demonstrate that they have

written more prose than is generally assumed. Indeed female literary

production goes Far beyond the critics' traditional, limited references

to Marietta de Veintemilla (1858-1907) and Blanca Martinez de Tinajero

(1897).

Regarding Ecuadorian women and their place in society, the female

writers frequently have used prose literature as a platform for their

major concerns and problems, offering the reader a clear idea of many of

the realities that characterize women's lives in Ecuador. In short, the

importance of literature when studying certain aspects of a society

becomes evident upon reading Erich Koehler's assertion that "es possible

partiendo de la literature explicar una sociedad, es decir, conocer su

espfritu y los hechos que constituyen su.caracter fundamental; una de

las funciones de la literature en la historic del espiritu es el explicar

la sociedad de su epoca." Hence, a clear understanding of Ecuadorian

women writers and their prose is essential when attempting to ascertain

women's role in society. John Stuart Mill has noted that "we may safely

assert that the knowledge which men can acquire of women, even as they

have been and are, without reference to what they might be, is wretchedly

imperfect and superficial, and always will be so, until women themselves

have told all that they have to tell."

In general, the dissertation will be developed in the following

manner: Chapter I will discuss the paradox of Ecuadorian women's dynamic








participation in the country's history and their lackluster role in

literature; Chapter II will present briefly the major pre-twentieth

century women writers, paying particular attention to Marietta de

Veintemilla; Chapter III will study the importance of Ecuador's feminist

journals; Chapter IV will treat the essayists; and Chapter V (novelists)

and Chapter VI (short story writers), the prose fiction writers.

It should be added that this dissertation does not claim to include

all names of women who have written prose in Ecuador, nor all the works

published by the writers. A great deal of material has been lost and/or

misplaced because of limited circulation between provinces and traditional

difficulties in publishing, two major problems which make impossible a

complete study at the present time. Nevertheless, the analysis and

bibliography which follow are extensive enough to introduce future

researchers to the most important prose material readily available in

Ecuador, and moreover, to open the way to future studies on female

writers, in general, and Ecuadorian women, in particular.









Notes
Introduction


See: Benjamin Carrion, El. nI:.e-', :-eato ect.uatoria' .: C tica
a'tcLoQf'a., 2nd ed. (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana,
1958); Isaac Barrera, Histc':ria, de .:aZ `,e-a.-t '.-,a ve:1at r?:iona,. (Quito:
Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1960); Angel Rojas, La r.:vla
ec uatr i'v :.an, Bibl ioteca de Autores Ecuatorianos. No. 29 (Guayaqui 1:
Clas i cos Ariel n.d.); Edmundo R badeneira. La m'd ? 'l.a n3v-:ela e, c:-z atoz'ia:'.7z-
(Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1958).

Critical perspectives on Ecuadorian women writers also are limited
because the last important study on Ecuadorian literature was published
in 1960 (Barrera's literary history). Women writers have been quite
active during the contemporary period; nevertheless, their latest production
has not been analyzed outside of several book reviews and prologues.

Erich Koehler. "Las posibilidades de una interpretation sociologica
ilustradas a traves del analysis de textos literarios franceses de
distintas epocas," in t-lier.t-.o a e da : P !c- e 'i e: "e. tod o ia
e: c..oC:'.:..1 z.: d.. la i~:tera u a, ed. Roland Barthes, Henri Lefebvre. and
Lucien Goldmann. trans. R. de la Iglesia. 2nd ed. (Barcelona: Ediciones
Mart;nez Roca, S. A.. 1971). p. 72.

John Stuart Mill. "The Subjection of Women." in "Fh.' '~ ':': .T:e?
EL- rti..al- h :'.tof1 ca t.ii'a:', ed. i liriam Schnei r (Nlew. York: Vin age
Books, 1972), pp. 172-173.













CHAPTER I

HISTORICAL HEROINES AND PROSE WRITERS: A CONTRAST IN
FEMALE IMAGES IN ECUADOR


Although very little research has been done on Ecuadorian women's

social, economical, and political situation, numerous scholars have

studied women from an historical point of view, frequently glorifying

female participation in national history. Manuela Saenz, the "Libertadora

del Libertador," for example, is often cited to illustrate the active

role women presumably played during the Independence period. Unfortunately,

these historical references to Ecuadorian women usually create an idealized

female stereotype that "obscures the actual social condition of women and

induces them to seek consolation in myths rather than work for social

change." Indeed while many writers seem to hold Ecuadorian women in

high regard, their comments and conclusions about women's place in history

rarely give insight into the major problems and concerns females have

struggled with during the years.

Curiously enough, however, whereas the gallery of Ecuadorian

heroines seems to suggest women have enjoyed considerable prestige and

status in society, the often-neglected group of female writers intimates

that, for the most part, Ecuadorian women have been victims of long-

standing prejudices and taboos. Consequently, before analyzing the major

themes found in the female writers' prose works, this chapter will con-

trast the optimistic view common to the principal concepts and ideas

published about Ecuadorian women, in general, with the pessimistic









image that arises when considering the problems and injustices suffered

by the writers. As will be noted, the chasm that exists between these

two diverse female models is closely related to the sharp contradictions

Virginia Woolf referred to when comparing women in literature with women

in daily life: "Some of the most inspired words, some of the most pro-

found thoughts in literature fall from her lips; in real life she could

hardly read, could scarcely spell, and was the property of her husband."2

Turning specifically to Ecuadorian women and history, Benjamfn

Carrion, Ecuador's foremost twentieth century essayist and literary

critic, a man whose opinion is always taken seriously in Ecuadorian

circles, maintains that women have been his nation's principal heroes.

In fact, Carrion has written categorically that Ecuador's main contri-

butions to history have been made by its heroines, and therefore, has

described the country as a "pueblo hijo de mujer."' According to his

interpretation, Ecuador's first important women were the Amazons, the

female warriors who fascinated western man's imagination almost from the

time Columbus discovered the Flew World. They, along with the wondrous

flora and fauna, the abundance of precious metals, and the mysterious

primitive peoples, were part of the long-desired Utopia which Alfonso

Reyes later called La it a T'', e.

Significantly, in the midst of the explorers' marvelous, magical

and unreal accounts of America, some of the earliest references to

Ecuador were primarily concerned with the Amazon women. In this respect,

Carrion claims: "Esas, las Amazonas de Orellana--el hombre que desde

Quito march, guiado por la fabula tambi6n, en busca del rfo mar--.

Esas son las genitrices de la patria. Ellas el comienzo de nuestra








levenda de pueblo con rafz en la tierra." Hence, for purposes of

national history, the Amazons--Ecuadorian women who used men for their

own sexual pleasure, free women who controlled their own world--are

important for two reasons: (1) they are basic to Ecuadorian legend

and folklore; and (2) they constitute one of Ecuador's first contributions

to Latin American historiography. Glorifying his supposed ancestors,

Carrion writes:

No. Nosotros no tenemos un don Rold~n, un Cid
Campeador, un Parsifal: tenemos unas mujeres i .2la: ,
muy hembras, muy mujeres en lo de grandes amadoras y
multiparidoras. Estas mujeres guerreros, [sic] las
amazonas, han sido combatidas por aquellos que, a
tftulo de historiadores, hubieran querido que en los
archives helenos quedara un ..do- z2' l:' legalizado sobre
la existencia de la Esfinge y la Leyenda de Edipo; o en
los archives germanos se encontrara una documentacion
j']iOa.o:tfe sobre el Oi.lo eo ': c 7:w0; . y
sobre todo, que en los archives hispanicos existiera en
legajos bien encuadernados los documents relacionados
con la Leyenda y Poemas dl Cid y las sinverguencerlas
de los Condes de Carri6n.5

In similar fashion, because she married Huayna-Capac and gave birth

to Atahualpa, Paccha is claimed to be an early national heroine who was

instrumental in determining the major events that occurred before and

during the Conquest. According to historians, Huayna-Capac could not

control the region north of Quito until he married the Shyri princess

who, in turn, convinced her followers to accept the Inca's supreme

authority. Carri6n exclaims: "Entonces, Paccha, la quitena, es la

creadora del Imperio del Tahuan-tin-Suyo. La restauradora de la unidad

del mundo. Ella, la india quitena, todo amor y sexo, es la verdadera

madre, la autentica matriz." Ironically, ho.-ever, besides helping the

Inca extend his empire through northern Ecuador, Paccha's relationship

with Huayna-Capac greatly intensified the rivalry between Cuzco and









Quito. The subsequent civil war between Huascar and Atahualpa destroyed

Inca unity and favored considerably Pizarro's conquest of the region.

Later national heroines of Ecuadorian history, appeared during the

Independence period, and the most important figures were Manuela Saenz,

the Marquesa de Solanda, and Manuela Canizares. As in the case of

Paccha, love and passion were the key to these early eighteenth-century

women's fame: Saenz captivated Bolivar, Solanda enchanted Sucre, and

Canizares, a madame, supposedly plotted with revolutionaries when allowing

them to conspire in secret rooms of her brothel.

Generally speaking, during the revolutionary period there were no

Ecuadorian military leaders comparable to Bolivar, Sucre, Paez, or San

Martin. Consequently, since Ecuador's chief heroes of the period (Bolfvar

and Sucre) were Venezuelans. Carrion, among other national writers,

attempts to fill the void by extolling women's participation in the

struggle against Spain: "IJo tuvimos heroes con espada en las luchas

por la libertad. Tuvimos, si, heroinas con abanico y mirinaque, ojos

asesinos y valor para dejarlo todo, para ir por sobre todo--en una

sociedad hipocrita, tragahostias y cuentachismes."

Accordingly, Saenz was swept away by her passion for Bolfvar,

and despite heavy social criticism, she sacrificed her reputation and

honor when deciding to abandon her husband and follow Bolfvar. Later,

in a letter addressed to her legal spouse, she explained: "Se muv bien

que no puedo unirme a el [Bolivar] por las leyes del honor, como tu

llamas, pero, Lcrees que me siento menos honrada porque sea mi amante

y no mi marido? ;Oh! No vivo para los prejuicios de la sociedad, que
8
solo fueron inventados para que nos atormentemos el uno al otro." In








effect unlike other passionate relationships, many Ecuadorians believe

Saenz's love for Bolfvar was noble and of heroic proportions, particularly

because the romance made her a firm believer in Bolivar's ideals which

she relentlessly fought to establish in Latin America.

Mariana de Jesus is another major figure in Ecuadorian history;

she is Ecuador's patron saint who renounced her wealth and noble position

in society/ in order to dedicate herself totally to Christ and the Church.

Moreover, in 1645, a year in which Quito was beset by a series of earth-

quakes and a mysterious epidemic, she is said to have saved the city from

disaster when, during a Church service, she publicly offered her life

for the well-being of Quito. Several da/s later the crisis ended, and

at the same time, Mariana de Jesus became seriously ill and died. In

conclusion, "Mariana de Jes6s puede ampliamente ser llamada patriota,

porque ofrecio su vida por la patria, y paso en diario sacrificios

implorando a Dios felicidad para ella."

Up to this point, the discussion has concentrated on Carrion's

interpretation of women's historical importance, not for lack of other

sources, but because of his unique ideas. While other Ecuadorians know

about their heroines and have written about them, the striking aspect of

Carrion's thinking is his belief that women represent the ssanwe of

Ecuadorian national history: "Nluestra participacion central a la

historic, ha sido la accion y la pasi6n de las mujeres. Mas passion que

action." 0 Thus, the Amazons, Paccha, Saenz and her contemporaries, and

Mariana de Jesus are not only national heroines who have contributed to

Ecuador's growth and tradition, but according to Carrion, they are also

the nucleus of this "pueblo hijo de mujer."








Whether or not heroism can be defined in terms of love and passion,

in terms of a madame who allows her clients to conspire in her world of

sexual merrymaking, is not of interest here. The chief concern is how

a small country in search of national heroes has turned to its women, a

phenomenon which might suggest Ecuador has maintained certain traces of

a matriarchal society in which women have attained positions of equal

prestige to those of men. This concept has been advanced in several

studies, particularly in those works already cited which deal with the

Independence era.

Turning to the twentieth century, Morayma Ofyr Carvajal offers a

similar view of women's supposed significance in modern Ecuadorian society;

-L .. e ia del lspi,'r t,: ji:s *:. p, r Iia is an extensive collection

of biographical sketches of the nation's most important women: historical

figures, social workers, educators, artists, poetesses, and prose writers.

In general, Carvajal points out that women have been principal leaders in

the fields of education and social work during this century: they have

founded orphanages, hospitals, public educational programs, and patriotic

organizations.

This same optimistic and favorable description of female involve-

ment is seen in Piedad Larrea Borja's essay, "Biograffa de la mujer en

el Ecuador": in Isabel Moscoso Davila's Aba.,ic d- e 'eczeedos,; and in

Zoila Rendon's "La mujer en los diversos organismos humanss" By and

large, as Rendon explains:

No nos falta en nuestra historic las patricias que
ayudaron a nuestra emancipacion poiltica y son la gloria
de la Patria; /, despues, en cualquier conflict guerrero,
mujeres valientes que no se intimidan, ni con el estruendo
del canon, ni el crepitar de las ametralladoras, dejando








asf ver que la mujer ecuatoriana, es tan apta y valiente
como el hombre. Tenerrcs doctors en jurisprudencia,
medicine, farmacia, adontologos, [sic] ingenieras y
contabilistas tituladas, aparte de bachilleres en ciencas
de educaci6n y ciclo general de cultura.13

Notwithstanding women's supposed importance in Ecuadorian history,

it has been generally believed that the' have n.t contributedd significantly

to national letters. Besides the chapters of poetesses and prose writers

in Carvajal's GarIi'a de' e.sprzit: A ijrde de 'n patria, and several

articles written by such people as Zoila Maria Castro, Alejandro Andrade

Coello, Vfctor Manuel Rend6n, and Mary Coryle, most critics and scholars

have foregone studying at length the women writers. Indeed it seems

paradoxical that women should occupy such a prominent position in

history and such an inconsequential one in literature. Moreover, whereas

women's reputed involvement in Ecuador's history would suggest the

existence of an atmosphere in which they could function and assert

themselves fully, the void found in literature tends to negate, in

part, the "pueblo hijo de mujer" concept.

If as Lucien Goldmann has said "la obra [literaria] forma parte
14
del conjunto de la realidad,"1 it can also be assumed that the absence

of a significant body of literature debilitates the portrait of that

society's reality. With respect to Ecuador, it would appear the dearth

of female authors offers a more accurate description of women's place in

Ecuadorian society than their vaunted historical role in shaping the

nation. It must be borne in mind that many of the so-called heroines

did not participate in history with a conscious notion of their roles or

because of an atmosphere that encouraged women qua women to take an

active part in society. Rather, female presence and involvement in








Ecuadorian history were frequently chance occurrences. Paccha, for

example. was not concerned about unifying her people with the Incas in

order to avoid jwar when she fell in love with Huayna-Capac; nor were the

Amazons identified exclusively with what are presently Ecuador's boundaries.

In effect, while the historical figures have been able to achieve fame

without any specific preparation or training, the women writers have not

realized their potential because they usually have been denied indis-

pensable opportunities. Hence, women's limited literary production

suggests that their past has not been as glorious as some people would

like to believe. The answerr to w.hy there are no great women artists,

or so few- w-omen artists at all, lies not in the nature of individual

genius or the lack of it, but in the nature of given social institutions

and what they forbid or encourage in various classes or groups of

individuals. ''

Generally speaking, the problems faced by women writers have been

the same ones all women have had to confront at one time or another:

lack of education, social prejudices, church domination, and women's

ignorance of their own plight. In 1952, Mrara Piedad Castillo de Levr,

a journalist and the ex-president of the Inter-American Commission of

Women, complained about Ecuadorian women's lack of political power.

Despite constituting the majority of the population, and despite having

been the fire women in Latin America to receive national suffrage

(1929), female voters continued to be ignored by male politicians.

Moreover, their names remained absent from party ballots, and there

was no official representation of the country's female interests.1








In 1963, a group of Ecuadorian women attended the Segundo

Congress de Mujeres de Toda America in Havana and criticized sharply

women's situation in Ecuador. The delegation condemned male employers

who abused legislation to exploit the woman worker; domestics and rural

workers were described as unprotected, underpaid, and often sexually

assaulted by their bosses. In addition, illiteracy was claimed to be

highest among women, "lo que paraliza el ascenso de nuestro sexo a la

amplia cultural y a la concepcion real de los problems generals que

particularmente nos afectan."17

The problems have continued as in other countries: Ecuadorian

society still insists that women be mothers above all else; there are

still limited day care centers for the children of working-mothers;
1I
married women are still legally inferior to their husbands; and social

class differences continue to make difficult the creation of a united

feminist organization. Moreover, although Ecuadorian laws frequently

have favored and protected women, particularly labor legislation, women

have not attained their equality: i.e.,. laws are decreed but rarely

enforced. In effect, despite certain legal reforms, greater educational

opportunities, and liberal influences from abroad, Ecuadorian women go

on living in a world similar to that of other females, a world beset by

numerous contradictions: "on the one hand, they [have] most of the

legal freedoms, the literal assurances that they [are] considered full

political citizens of society--and yet they [have] no power. They have

educational opportunities--and yet [are] unable, and not expected, to

employ them."19

If Ecuadorian women, in general, have suffered because of the

many inequities and contradictions inherent in society, the female








authors have been the victims of a more stifling plight--not only have

they been oppressed as women, but also as professional Iwrters. One

key factor which helps explain the dearth of women writers in Ecuador

is the long tradition of limited education for school-aged girls, a

reality sharply criticized by Juan Leon Mera during the nineteenth
20
century. Unfortunately, change and improvement have occurred very

gradually. Although before the turn of the century, and especially

during Eloy Alfaro's liberal movement (1895-1912), women were supposedly

granted greater educational opportunities (admission to the universities

was opened to women in 1896), little progress was realized. It is

important to note that the first normal school for women was founded in

1901 (Colegio normal flanuela Canizares. Quito), and in addition, it was

not until 1935 that Ecuador established its first non-religious all

girls high school which awarded the .a.2'~l eatlo (Colegio Nacional

24 de Mayo, Quito).21

Clearly, social prejudices and stereotypes have been the main

obstacles to developing women's education in Ecuador. Indeed, since

female roles were traditionally limited to that of daughter, wife, and

mother, sewing and cooking were considered more suitable for omen than

science, philosophy, and mathematics. Also, the importance of virginity

and honor in Latin American society, in general, and in Ecuador, in

particular, convinced many of the need for women to stay at home.

Essentially, then, as pointed out by Hipatia Cardenas de Bustamente,

social attitudes have long been instrumental in limiting women's cultural

growth: "Aqu' en el Ecuador la mujer ha vivido siempre relegada

exclusivamente al hogar, cohibida y amedrentada por la preponderancia y

pretension del hombre."22








In short, for many potential authors the lack of education coupled

with required motherhood were and are presently too much to overcome.

That is to say, while the uneducated female rarely has perceived her

latent talents, the intellectual woman, the one aware of her abilities

and capable of becoming a writer, usually has accepted the roles imposed

by society because she has lacked the moral and economic support necessary

to resist successfully the dominant social pressures of her day. With

regard to women writers, in general, Anna Garlin Spencer has observed:

Anyone can see that to write Ulc -'e Tc::'s Cabin on the
knee in the kitchen, with the constant calls to cooking and
other details of housework to punctuate the paragraphs, was
a more difficult achievement than to write it at leisure in
a quiet room. . No record, however, can even name the
women of talent who were so submerged by child-bearing and
its duties, and "general housework," that they had to leave
their poems and stories all unwritten. Moreover, the
obstacles to intellectual development and achievement which
marriage and maternity interpose . are not the only ones
that must be noted. It is not alone the fact that women
have generally had to spend most of their strength in caring
for others that has handicapped them in individual effort;
but also that they have almost universally had to care
wholly for themselves.23

Eugenia Viteri and Alicia Yanez Cossio, two contemporary Ecuadorian

authors, also refer to the writer/mother conflict as a major obstacle to

their literary development. They both have complained about insufficient

time, fatigue, domestic responsibilities, and in the case of Yanez,
24
children's resentment at being ignored while their mother writes. In

addition, another complication for the contemporary woman writer in

Ecuador is her frequent need to work outside of the home to supplement

her husband's income. Consequently, in terms of role conflicts, the

female author's current situation in many cases is worse than that of

past generations because she is now confronted with a triple role in

society rather than with a double one.









Of course, since Ecuadorians form a society in which people spend

a great deal of time gossiping and criticizing others, the most serious

obstacle women writers in Ecuador have had to overcome has been fear.

It should be borne in mind that traditionally women were supposed to

exemplify morality and virtue at all times, and therefore, those who

were fulfilling their domestic duties were assumed to be unaware of

certain social evils, and incapable of describing the crude scenes of

rural and urban Ecuador that writers of the 1930's were producing. More-

over, since authors have frequently been identified with their works,

many women realized that certain themes and literary characterizations

could threaten their social reputations. Consequently, to avoid being

misunderstood by the reading public, and subsequently ostracized by

society, many women simply have discounted the possibility of a writing

career in Ecuador.

While the lack of education, the writer/mother conflict, and

fear of social opinion are three basic reasons which help explain the

absence of greater female participation in literature, a discussion

about the problems which beset women authors would be incomplete without

referring to the difficulties all Ecuadorian writers must face. With

the possible exception of a few writers (i.e., Montalvo, Carrera Andrade,

Icaza, de la Cuadra), Ecuador has not produced great names in literature

comparable to such outstanding Latin American authors as Darfo, Marti,

Borges, Paz, Cortazar, or Carpentier. The first factor which accounts

for this lack of greatness is the dearth of publishing houses in Ecuador,

an obstacle to literary development which has stifled all national

writers. Since many authors have been forced to publish their own








works, and because few have possessed the necessary capital, a
25
significant amount of literature has remained unpublished." Even

today authors find it difficult to publish; the Casa de la Cultura

Ecuatoriana, Ecuador's major publishing house since 1944, presently

charges the writers for the paper used because of limited and inadequate

budgets. Thus, even when books are printed the number of copies of each

edition is greatly reduced, a fact which implies that authors cannot

live from their writing career alone. Angel Rojas has commented about

the absence of professional writers in Ecuador:

La notoriedad alcanzada por el relate ecuatoriano y la
consiguiente acogida de la production de nuestros cultivadores
de la obra de ficcion no permit, con todo, el nacimiento del
escritor professional. Asr, citando solo los mas notables,
Jose de la Cuadra vivfa de ;u profesi6n de abogado, Humberto
Salvador de su catedra, Jorge Icaza de un pequeno negocio de
librerra, Demetrio Aguilera de la fabricaci6n de fideos, .
La novela ni siquiera a Icaza el mas lefdo de todos nuestros
escritores, le da para vivir.

A second major problem for writers has been the small number of

people which make up Ecuador's reading public. Currently, for example,

in Guayaquil (the nation's largest city which has approximately 300,000

inhabitants) there are only three bookstores that sell primarily works

that are not of a purely technical (i.e., law, engineering, medicine) or

commercial (i.e., detective stories, magazines, "pulp" literature)
27
nature. Unfortunately, the present situation has changed very little

since 1948, when Rojas wrote: "El mercado del libro casi no exist'a

entire nosotros. En Guayaquil, ciudad de mas de cien mil habitantes,

hubo, durante largos anos, una sola librerfa, y esa, extranjera. Y
28
en Quito, una tambien. Del mercado del libro national, ni que hablar."









In short, an attempt to be a professional writer in Ecuador has

been an heroic task: the lack of publishers, a reduced reading public,

and the economic needs and obligations in life make it virtually impossible

to write regularly. With respect to women writers, their situation becomes

even more discouraging when keeping in mind that, besides the difficulties

common to their profession, they also must deal with the injustices suffered

b/ their sex: "iTriste es decirlo! Aquf, en el Ecuador, la literature

de los nacionales esta muy a la baja. Y si la produce una mujer, a

quien, con un concept errado, solo se le concede primacia 'en el arte

de hacer hijos,' peor todavfa. Por eso ella tiene que sostener toda

una lucha, con un ambiente enteramente hostile, . para poder

destacarse, para poder sobresalir i mirar, mas de cerca, la aurora

anunciante del sol prometedor.''29

To sum up, this chapter has presented briefly two contrasting

views of Ecuadorian women: their role as historical heroines and that

of writers of prose. The women of history described by national writers

represent a vital part in Ecuador's past, and might suggest that they

traditionally have occupied a position of glory and high esteem--though

somewhat idealized. As several writers have explained, women have con-

tributed significantly to the nation's organization and development, and

during the present century, have been instrumental in promoting social

programs and reforms. Upon considering the realities of the female authors,

however, one encounters the suffering and injustices women in Ecuador

have always experienced. From this point of view, Ecuadorian women no

longer appear as central figures in society, but rather as victims of

limited opportunities and social prejudices. Indeed the paradox of




19



women's importance in history and their assumed insignificance in

literature is a vexing reality whose nature will be examined in the

following chapters that deal specifically with women writers and their

perceptions of the Ecuadorian female's actual place in society.








Notes
Chapter I


Cheri Register, "American Feminist Literary Criticism: A
Bibliographical Introduction," in Fer,~iist Literzar Cri'tiis:r,:
Explorat:: iois un Tieory, ed. Josephine Donovan (Lexington: The University
Press of Kentucky, 1975), p. 6.
2
Cited by Register, "American Feminist Literary Criticism: A
Bibliographical Introduction," p. 5.

3E7Z &ncto de la p.acia: EreI'.e historiLa del Ecido'', 2nd ed.
(Quito: Editorial Casa de la Culcura Ecuatoriana, 1973), pp. 79-120.
The following comments on female historical figures, in large part, are
based on Carrion's discussion in Chapter IV ("Pueblo hijo de mujer") of
the cited work. Originally, this chapter was published as an article:
"Pueblos hijos de mujer," Cuadi eris Ar,~Tericaios, CL/XI/, 6 (November-
December 1971), 76-86.

ilbid., p. 85.

5 b ,id. p. 81.
6
bid. ., p. 98.
7-
I7.bi., p. 94-95. Some other writers who have written about
Ecuadorian heroines of the Independence period are: Augusto Arias, "Las
mujeres de la independencia," EZ L::erta., do (April-June 1945), pp. 41-42;
Piedad Larrea Borja, "Biograffa de la mujer en el Ecuador,' in EDis.auos
(Quito: "Fray Jodoco Ricke," 1946), pp. 51-89; Raquel Verdesoto de Romo
Davila, 2'li_ el Sei'~,', 2 vols. (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura
Ecuatoriana, 1963); and Alfonso Rumazo Gonzalez, 2i.'Zi'la Fsezn.: La
L.ibertado,' del L'ib .rt.a' J Biblioteca de Autores Ecuatorianos, lo. 32
(Guayaquil: Clasicos Ariel, n.d.).

Cited in Matilde de Ortega, "Manuela Saenz y su epoca," Let's ,del.
Ec!ado: r, XII, 106 (April-December 1956), 10.

Victoria Vasconez Cuvi, i'Vida d, M'a2.iana Jesus (Quito: Imprenta
"Bona Spes," 1940), p. 35.
10_
El cmiehto de la pati'a: EeP histori.L del EciOdir, p. 79.

Quito: Editorial "Fray Jodoco Ricke," 1949.
12
Isabel Moscoso Davila, A-.banco de rcuerdos, 2 vols. (Cuenca:
Editorial Monsalve, 1970; 1974); Zoila Rendon de Mosquera, "La mujer en
los diversos organismos humanss" Previsi'az social, 22 (September-December
1948; January 1949), 150-162.








"La mujer en los diversos organismos humanss" p. 162.
14a
Barthes, Lefebvre, Goldmann et a._l., Lite'atua y sociedad,
P. 73.
15
Linda Nochlin, "Why Are There No Great Women Artists?." in
'oma:n in Sexist Soc.ie t,: Studies ii F:w'r a d eFo. erzicssns., ed. Vivian
Gornick and Barbara K. Moran (New York: New American Library, 1971), p. 493.
16
6iarfa Piedad Castillo de Levf, "Las proximas elecciones y la
actuacion de las mujeres," E2 T -le"r"fo, 31 May 1952, p. 4.

7"Informe national del Ecuador," O'bera r'e;.'ol:c:ioaL IIa, II (January
1963). 98. The Assembly took place on January 11, 1963. Ecuador was
represented by the Union de lujeres de Guayaquil, El Comite de Auspicios,
and the Asociacion Femenina Universitaria. Marta Feijoo was president of
the delegation.
18An interesting stud on married women's legal status has recently
An interesting study on married women's legal status has recently
been published by Jorge Maldonado Rennella: I El C'l digc' Ci.i- d.: Ec:.do'

II La s t:.ac -i, dA ..i rn, i', c.is.ad:.i en ,i leg. :.sL, ,7e z c.:.:'i (Guayaqui :
Departamento de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Guayaquil, 1974).
19
1Shulamith Firestone, "On American Feminism,'' in hWo''.an ; Sexist
Society: St:des PoPer- aid Powuer esse;icE, pp. 677-678.

0Cited in Angel F. Rojas, La noi a::Z.-7 cuatotria'.: a, p. 25.
21
See Alejandro Andrade Coello, "Cultura femenina: Floracion
intellectual de la mujer ecuatoriana en el siglo XX," El LibcFEtado' V,
71-73 (July-September 1942), 317.
22
c -', ro o i-.7 (Quito: Editori'al Artes GraFicas, 1943), p. 40.
23
2"Woman's Share in Social Culture," in Feni ';ism: Theii,- entia'
Historical ,'riitinzs, p. 284.
24
2These comments were made during two separate interviews with the
authors while researching in Ecuador: Eugenia Viteri, March 13, 1975;
Alicia Yanez Cossio, March 20, 1975.
25
25Many works written by women have gone unpublished. Some examples
are: Zoila Rendon de Mosquera's Expacianz (novel). El do or de anar
(novel), Ley~.idas ec.mit.oii.inas (short stories); Aurora Estrada y Ayala's
EU c.Z j.'e"t: (novel): Mary Coryle's Co.scriptos (novel) Ho.b'e (novel);
Laura Perez de Oleas Zambrano's El rostrao del. s.lenCi (novel), Del su, 'o
Sia vi2,7 ia (short stories).
26
La.7 novel sa.ctori.na, p. 223.




22


27
2The three stores are: Libreria Cientffica, Librer;a Cervantes,
and Su Libreria.
28
La 2novela ecuatoPi ana, p. 95.
29
Jose Ayala Cabanilla, "Mireya Romero Plaza de Bravomalo, poetisa
y novel ista," ri La peo..a. fuli t, 3es '.ecs-tras, lMireya de Bravomalo (Guayaquil:
Imprenta Municipal, 1953), pp. 1-2.












CHAPTER II

EARLY FEMALE VOICES INl ECUADORIAN PROSE LITERATURE


Before the mid-nineteenth century, the principal women known to

have written prose in Ecuador were three nuns who described at great

length their mystical experiences and overall struggle against worldly

temptations. However, since Teresa de Jesus Cepeda (1566-1610), Sor

Gertrudis de San Ildefonso (1652-1709), and Sor Catalina de Jesus tlarfa

Herrera (1717-1795) limited the focus of their writing to a totally

religious context, they offer little information about colonial Ecuador,

in general, and the problems common the the period's women, in particular.

The only exception to this observation seems to be a comment made by Sor

Catalina de Jesus who briefly alluded to the need for women to write

despite apparent ridicule and discouragement from men:

A las mujeres me parece que hace mas impresi6n lo que
han escrito sus semejantes; y tambien porque son las mujeres
mas allegadas a la sencillez y Ilaneza de las razones: v
per ellas principalmente me parece que ha querido Dios que
escriban tambien mujeres: tambien para confusion de los
hombres doctors del mundo, como se lo ha dicho a sus Siervas
su Divina Majestad; pero ellos, no se quieren confundir,
sino burlarse; aunque esto no sucede en los hombres
verdaderamente espirituales, sino en los doctors presumidos
que no aprenden en la escuela del Espfritu Santo, sino en
la escuela de su ingenio meramente human.

Naturally, because these early writers confined themselves to the

Church, and because they were never interested in communicating with a

large general reading public, their diaries and autobriographical pieces

had ver little impact on later female authors in Ecuador. Therefore
had very little impact on later female authors in Ecuador. Therefore,








it is not until several nineteenth-century women experimented publicly

with literature (i.e., theatre, short story, essay, and poetry) that one

can refer to the actual beginnings of a literary tradition among female

writers. For the purposes of this study, then, the first major female

writers to appear in national letters were Dolores Veintemilla de

Galindo (1829-1857), principally a poetess who introduced romanticism

to Ecuadorian literature, and Marietta de Veintemilla (1858-1907),

Ecuador's first well-known and prominent woman prose writer.

With regard to Veintemilla de Galindo, in addition to having

written ten poems and three prose compositions, she is especially

significant in national literary history because the tragic events which

led to her suicide illustrate some of the chief obstacles women writers

traditionally have confronted in Ecuador. Turning specifically to her

prose pieces, "Recuerdos" and ";i fantasfa" were romantic works: the

first evoked her happy childhood; the second exalted the imagination's

powers to isolate her from life's daily sorrows: "Entonces, absorta de

felicidad, vuelvo en las alas de mi ilusi6n hasta tf [la fantasia], y

allI en los cielos donde la felicidad y las miserias de la tierra no

existen, soy feliz como los angeles delante del trono de Dios, pasandome

anonadada delante de tf [sic] y deslumbrada con tu brillo."3

Of greater importance, however, was "Al publico" a public letter

written in response to a wave of social criticism directed against her,

and in which she defended her right to become involved in important

social matters. According to historical accounts, because Veintemilla

de Galindo openly supported Tiburcio Lucero, an Indian accused of

parricide and sentenced to death, Archbishop Solano and numerous








contemporary writers saw fit to question publicly her behavior and

motives. In reply to these attacks, she wrote:

He aquf lo que puede hacer una mujer calumniada. cuando
como yo tiene el derecho de levantar su frente pura, ante
todos los hombres sin temor de que haya uno que tenga la
facultad de hacerla doblar ruborizada;--he aquf lo que
hago en cumplimiento del deber que tengo, como mujer de
honor, de justificarme ante la sociedad digna, cuyo juicio
y opinion tan solo temo y respeto. Asf, pues, si en adelante
se vuelve a atacarme bajo la capa del anonimo y permanezco
en silencio, espero no se crea callo porque acepto mi
infamacion, sino que, me content con entregarlos a sus
remordimienhos, maldicion ererna, verdadero castigo de los
criminals.

Similarly, in a poem entitled "A mis enemigos," she implored: "LPor

que, por que quereis que yo sofoque/Lo que en mi pensamiento osa vivir?"5

In effect, Veintemilla de Galindo's confrontation with adverse public

opinion reflects how society traditionally has opposed women's efforts

to challenge the stta.s qic and/or participate in controversial socio-

political issues. Moreover, although her literary career was short-lived,

and her prose extremely limited, her suffering and eventual suicide clearly

point out the hostile environment in which free thinking women had to work

and struggle in Ecuador.

Notwithstanding Veintemilla de Galindo's failure to overcome the

social pressures which eventually destroyed her, and despite the general

belief that women should stay at home, the latter part of the nineteenth

century did produce one woman in particular who succeeded in breaking

with traditional stereotypes and taboos. Indeed Marietta de Veintemilla

became a dominant force in Ecuadorian society, particularly during her

uncle's dictatorship (General Ignacio de Veintemilla, 1876-1883).

According to Enrique Garces:








Ella es la que insisted en el arreglo del parque
quiteno Ilamado "La Alameda." La sociedad era muy
timorata y no permitia que las senoritas salieran a
la calle sino acompanadas de sus padres y por lo menos
unas tres criadas. Dona Marietta arremeti6 contra esta
costumbre y valiendose del apoyo que le prestaban unas
seis o diez chiquillas de las "mejores Familias," hizo
la campana en Favor del paseo en la Alameda. Fueron
ellas, con trajes Ilamativos y sombreros de models
extranos, a dar vueltas y vueltas por el jardin quiteno.
S. Dona Marietta habfa realizado una verdadera revolucion
en 1878 con estas armas singulares: paseo en los parques
; vestidos ligeros sin ese pesado tejido negro que la
beaterfa imponfan [sic] a las senoritas; posibilidad de
que la gente joven se re6na, haga amistades y surja el
amor.7

With respect to politics, because she was her uncle's most loyal

and Faithful supporter, the General entrusted her with many political

assignments; for example, during the General's absences From Quito, she

was Frequently left in charge of government business. Also, it was

she who directed the armed Forces on two occasions when defending the

regime against General Veintemilla's enemies. In short, according to

Pareja Diezcanseco who has commented on Marietta de Veintemilla's

participation in Ecuadorian politics:

En Quito, lo hizo todo Mari'eta [sic]. Desconfiaba
ella del Ministro de Guerra. Dejolo entonces que pusiera
al ejercito en las calls, y, de pronto, en la madrugada,
delante de las tropas. lo llama traidor, lo hace preso, y
proclama la dictadura de su tfo. Los soldados, embriagados
por su valor y audacia, la proclaman Generala. Desde
entonces, Marieta de Veintemilla [sic] es la Generalita que
sabe c6mo combatir y mandar tropas, ademas de como seducir
en los salones con su singular belleza.

En esta batalla de Quito [la del 10 de enero de 1833],
fue nuevamente la herofna Marieta de Veintemilla [sic]:
asumi6 del mando de las tropas y organize la defense como
un soldado veteran. Ella dirigi6 el Fuego de los caiones.
Ella manej6 el Fusil. Morfan en sus brazos los soldados,
estimulados con la prueba de su belleza.








Jadeante y mas hermosa se la vela, cuando cay6
prisionera. En la carcel permaneceria ocho meses, y
luego al destierro, al que march orgullosa de habej
sabido defender al t'o, que Ilamaba "papa Ignacio.".

Above all, however, Marietta de Veintemilla was the first Ecuadorian

woman to play a dominant role in literary circles: "Marietta es el centro

galante de la sociedad quitena. Sus habitaciones en Palacio [sic] se

convierten en un cenaculo literario. Ileno de poetas ecuatorianos,

colombianos, peruanos y de otrns parses. Personaje intellectual que

arriba a Quito, ingresara a -u; salones."9 Furthermore, she was the

first woman prose writer to be accepted by critics as a significant

and influential figure in national letters. Angel Rojas, for example,

besides claiming Veintemilla was one of the four major Ecuadorian writers

of the nineteenth century (the other three were: Juan Leon Mera, Juan

Montalvo, and Carlos R. Tobar), also comments that "Ricardo Palma express

la admiracion que le causaba el estilo de Marietta de Veintimilla [sic],

al cual encontro algo de la sobriedad de Tacito."l

Clearly, her most important work was P, i':: s de, Ec :i.i1., 1 a long

polemical essay she wrote after being releas-d, from prison and exiled to

Peru. Similar to Sarmiento and Montalvo, Vein.riililla was a political

liberal who used her essay to attack the period's social and political

ills, and to analyze the determining factors in her nation's development.

Interestingly, because of her romantic spirit, she disregarded the

traditional literary rules of order and form, and presented her ideas by

combining such diverse elements as first person narration, third person

commentary, and highly emotional attacks against her political enemies.

Upon beginning P .wina d. z Ecuado',, she wrote: "Mi empeno es algo

mas elevado, pues conduce a hacer luz sobre acontecimientos polfticos









del Ecuador, en los que si me cupo una pequena parte, no puedo menos

que consagrarles este recuerdo, haciendo un Ilamamiento a la verdad,
12
a la justicia . Further on.she continued:

Amalgama de hechos heroicos y maquinaciones ruines;
auroras de libertad con crepusculos de humillaci6n
esclavocrata; santo anhelo de mejoramiento national y
postracion de fuerzas por la lucha entire lo bueno y lo
malo: he allf el resume de esa historic que todavfa
no se ha escrito con la entera independencia que se
demand, y a la que es just tender con unas paginas
siquiera, que banana sirvan entire documents mil de su
especie, para el sereno juicio de la posteridad. 3

It should be pointed out that due to her use of first person

narration when referring to her own participation in Ecuadorian history,

Isaac Barrera and Angel Rojas have included Piginas del EEcJuac'r in their
14
discussions on the Ecuadorian novel. Indeed the work acquires a

semblance of fiction as the numerous metaphors and constant use of the

imperfect tense decrease the distance between the narrator and the material:

Mis obedientes servidores no se movfan de sus puestos;
el fuego que nuestros enemigos hacfan desde la torre de
San Agustrn sobre el portal del Palacio, era tenaz y
destructor. CaFan al lado Tfo los soldados, pasando
silenciosos de la vida a la muerte. Agitabales un
extremecimiento [sic] instantaneo, sin que me fuera
dado recojer las ultimas miradas de esos heroes. El
dolor mismo pasaba fugaz en mi espiritu, anestesiado
por emociones tan variados como terribles.5

El silencio y la lobreguez reinaban en torno. De
cuando en cuando, los silbadores projectiles iban a
clavarse en los muros del edificio. Parecfa que el angel
de la destruccion buscaba entire las tinieblas a quien
senalar con sus caricias de muerte; sintiendo yo, en los
revueltos giros del plomo, algo como el chasquido
siniestro de sus alas.16

Notwithstanding the novelistic elements, however. Pai?..?s del

Ea.2dCo offers many penetrating observations about the problems that

have beset Ecuador and other Latin American countries. Upon concluding


her study, she observed:








Los pueblos hispano-americanos, arrastran casi todos,
una existencia identica.
Hay cualidades y defects comunes de raza, que no les
permiten entrar de leno en el camino del orden. Siguiendo
el paralelo de sus volcanoes, viven con extremecimientos [sic]
revolucionarios, peri6dicos y fatales, que van sin embargo,
disminuyendo en intensidad conform se ilustran las masas,
cuya quietud y habitos de trabajo correspondent al enfriamiento
gradual de las materials terrestres en ignicion.
El Ecuador, aunque desgraciado hasta el dfa, no tiene
sin embargo, por que perder la Fe en sus destinos futures.
Los pueblos mas grandes y pr6speros hoy, han tenido
tambien su noche negra de horrorss.7

Besides her political and historical concerns, Veintemilla also

wrote about women and the need For them to accept the challenge of being

active citizens willing to defend their human rights and ideals. In

"Madame Roland," a short feminist essay, the author presented Madame

Poland as a symbol of women's potential to participate directly in

society and to contribute significantly to history. Similar to her

own life, the French revolutionary was an example of what women could

do if they would free themselves from the social roles imposed upon them

by a male-dominated society. In effect, Veintemilla categorically

rejected man's supposed superiority over. women:

Esta noble fiqura [Madame Roland] de la revolution
Francesa, se elevara siempre como una prueba de que el
espiritu no se conforma a las circunscripciones de la
material, y que para elevarse muy alto no necesita los
musculos vigorosos que ostenta el hombre. Propio es,
sin embargo, de la vanidad masculina near en lo absolute
a la mujer ciertas cualidades, y, var6n hay de buena fe
que se cree superior a la Roland, a la Stael, o la
Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda, solo porque levanta un
peso de doscientas libras l esta dispuesto a dejarse
matar en cualquier lance.

Generally speaking, although she was optimistic about the literary

efforts being made by her female contemporaries abroad and their promising

future, Veintemilla deplored the South American woman's overall situation:








A despecho de nuestra civilizaci6n, la mujer sudamericana
es la esclava recien manumisa que ensaya sus primeros pasos
en el terreno de la literature, donde felizmente ha
cosechado ya grandes triunfos precursores de otros de mas
valia con el transcurso del tiempo. Ella no puede a6n
aventurarse en el campo especulativo sin la obligada
companfa de un hombre; ella en el aislamiento, no encuentra
ni siquiera respeto fuera de su hogar, pues le asechan por
una parte al brutalidad [sic] callejera y por otra la
murmuracion social, cuando no las feroces dentelladas de
la calumnia. Para llevar al poder una idea, aunque sea
la mas pura y desinteresada, se expone al miserable
tratamiento de favoritea." No tiene, en una palabra,
la culta, racional independencia que la mujer de Europa
o Norteamerica, sus impetus generosos, mal comprendidos
ante los ojos del vulgo, la empequenecen.20

Finally, Veintemilla also utilized the essay as a means of

demonstrating her broad culture and vast knowledge of philosophy and

science, publishing such works as Co'fer'enc-i' a sobre pic'logia. modera21
S22
and a brief composition dedicated to Doctor Aqustfn Leonidas Yerovi.22

In short, her dynamic and unorthodox role in history, her creative

efforts in literature, her feminist ideas, and her understanding of

scientific topics that were normally associated with male thinkers

all point to Veintemilla's extraordinary ability to compete successfully

in a society traditionally dominated bv.man. Jaime Chaves Granja

summarizes her achievements as follows:

Una mujer culta, destacadamente culta, con un rico
conocimiento de los progress de la literature, del arte y
de la ciencia en el Viejo y sabio Continente: eso fue
Marietta de Veintemilla. Un caso singular y singularisimo;
v no solo para el medio ecuatoriano, sino para el que habfa
en todas las latitudes de America. Se puede comprender
facilmente que una excepci6n tan descomunal, tenfa que ser sin
remedio el blanco de la incomprensi6n. Com6o podian
comprender a dona Marietta las gentes de ese tiempo aferradas
al tradicionalismo mas tenebroso, a las formulas sociales
de convento y mojigaterra? Si aquella Mujer se mostraba
libre de prejuicios, valerosa en la expresion de sus
conocimientos e inquietudes, temeraria en las actitudes
que asumra, no podia ciertamente ser perdonada por una
sociedad que todavua suponia que era un delito para la








mujer saber leer y escribir, un delito para la
santidad conventional.23

In conclusion, although women's literary production before the

twentieth century was scarce, the writers discussed in this chapter

were important antecedents and precursors who initiated the gradual

development of women's prose in Ecuador. More specifically, it is not

surprising that the first three women who attempted to write were nuns

during the Colony since education, an essential for almost all aspiring

artists, was controlled by the Church. Later, in the early years of the

Republic, when Dolores Veintemilla de Galindo tried to move away from

the religious themes usually associated with women, Ecuadorian society

still proved to be unwilling to accept women's efforts to become involved

in more secular, worldly affairs. However, with the advent of political

liberalism during the last few decades of the nineteenth century,

Marietta de Veintemilla was able to challenge the status quo and help

usher in new opportunities for women. In effect, she may be thought of

as a transitional figure who led Ecuadorian women into the twentieth century,

a modern world seemingly more tolerant of women's professional and

cultural aspirations.









Notes
Chapter II


Cited in Fray Alfonso A. Jerves, ed., F ..rr: 'e io ic. tri~c i l. det la
ue:rn t'er le .. '7.:? C ta.:l L... de ".Tcst' i H&.2 r r e iC:.? Z;CSQ. ,;
: .aster ic' de Santa Catal.'ua:7 Id S:,na. de Q' it. (Quito: Imprenta de Santo
Domingo, 1932), p. 15.
2
It should be borne in mind that their prose did not circulate out-
side of the Church until this century, when several scholars began
publishing the works. Manuel lrarfa Polit has made the most significant
contributions regarding Teresa de Jesus Cepeda: besides studying her life,
he also has published some of the nun's letters. See: fanuel liarfa P6lit,
"La primera escritora ecuatoriana," La. niu. Lti :te ri a, VI, 2 (July 1916),
49: L,: tC "'i .i1.-:. de Sa.:1 ta T a-. : C e .', ,',c [.,a p2.1 ',"r 'a ,'., l, t
m.'if.Lona (Friburgo de Brisgovia, Alemania: B. Herder, 1905). With
respect to Sor Gertrudis de San Ildefonso, see selections in: Padre
Miguel Sanchez Astudil lo, ed. P'reistc.s de la cot.u'n': SUlos XV'-XVIII,
Biblioteca Ecuatoriana Mlnima (Mexico: Editorial J. 11. Caj ica Jr., S.A.,
1960), pp. 217-223. Interestingly, her work was compiled in 1700 by her
confessor, Padre Ilart n de la Cruz, and entitled La. p.er'i 'istici'
:sond,.da.U e ce.uc i-a de la 1: ; mil:.d.d. According to Sanchez Astudi llo,
however, the three volumes which make up the work were never published.
Turning to Sor Cacalina de Jesus flarfa Herrera, Fray Alfonso A. Jerves
has been the major scholar responsible for making her work known.
Besides the work cited in the previous note, Jerves edited Sor Catalina's
autobiography: Sc'etec eItre el alo ['c .: tc'i d.e l
l'enera-.e !,,adre S..C r C,,tali,-: na de su T'r.'.:a Her.e ,a-. (Quito: Editorial
"Santo Domingo," 1950).
3 ,u. q _-, _. .
3Prod,: c-c-O. .elitelr'iocs, ed., Celiano flonge (Quito: Editorial de
Proano y Delgado, 1903), pp. 19-20. This collection contains Veintemilla
de Galindo's entire literary production*(ten poems and three prose
compos it ions).

4Ibd. pp. 22-23.

5Ibid. p. 7.

Aside from her overbearing personality and a growing tendency toward
liberalism in late nineteenth-century Ecuador, one must not overlook her
uncle's political power as a key factor in explaining her ability to
dominate the social pressures which earlier had destroyed Veintemilla de
Galindo. In effect, her uncle's political position gave Veintemilla a
power base unknown to most women in Ecuador.

Marietta de [ei:nte,: il.: (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura
Ecuatoriana, 1949), pp. 62-63.




33


8Historia de 7la Rept bica: El Ecuador desde I8 0 a nuestros diUs.
I (Guayaquil: Comograf, S. A., n.d.). 153-156.

Enrique Garces, Mcaitetta de 1'e nt tnila, p. 60.
10
L0o novela ecua.toritC'a':a, p. 66.

Lima: Imprenta Liberal de F. Masfas y Companfa, 1890.
12
Ibid., p. 3.
13
Ib'id., p. 6.
14
See: Rojas, La cve.o a ccntort'i'.:a; Barrera, HistCor'-ia d, la.
z.e' t ul'a c-czcCtor1tfl'V2.

15Pa i. s ,de Ecl-:do2-, pp. 201-202.
16
ILid., p. 225.

1Ibid., pp. 409-410.
18
Reproduced in Enrique Garces, .!avi'etta de l'e ne'nIilla, pp. 165-
173. This essay was originally part of a series of short essays entitled
DiL7 'iiesinore Zlibes; "Madame Poland" was first published in ,oc:'.':dd
i:,dico'-Litrci'a fia, 24 (June 1904), n.p.
19
9Ibid., p. 167.

20Ibid., pp. 170-171.

21(Quito: Imprenta de la Universidad Central, 1907). This lecture
was first presented on February 10, 1907 at the Universidad Central in
Quito, during an assembly sponsored by the Sociedad Juridico-Literaria.
22 ..
Dit''Z csio:es li"bres: .1 la i me'nc'll del Doctor Ag .;ist..'i Le.,onidos
Ye-ouvi (Quito: Imprenta Municipal, 1904).

23El drama de una mujer escrito por la noble pasion de un hombre,"
introduction to Enrique Garces, Marietta de Y'entemr'Z ia, pp. xiii-xiv.













CHAPTER III

THE FEMINIST JOURNALS: A SOURCE OF
LITERARY DEVELOPMENT


Although there were female intellectuals and writers in Ecuador

before the twentieth century, these women were from well-educated, and

often, wealthy families capable of providing cultural opportunities

unknown to most Ecuadorian women. It was not until Eloy Alfaro

(Ecuadorian president during 1895-1901 and 1906-1911) and the political

liberals instituted numerous reforms in female legislation that greater

numbers of women Found themselves sufficiently prepared cultural, to

begin writing steadily, conscious of specific objectives. Whereas most

females of the past were consigned solely to their domestic duties, the

advent of Ecuadorian liberalism made possible modern women's fuller

participation in the mainstream of social and political realities: "Fue

el Partido Liberal que, reformando la Constituci6n del 84, que prohibfa

a la mujer el ejercicio de sus derechos polFticos, le abrio las puertas

de las Universidades, le concedi6 el libre ejercicio de la administration

de sus bienes como mujer casada; le concedi6 a la madre patria potestad;

y en sus trascendentales Asambleas del 97 y del 29, aboliendo su

incapacidad de deliberate y de votante, le concedi6 espontaneamence,

carta de ciudadania."2 Moreover, female education wSas a serious concern

for Alfaro who stated before the Constitutional Assembly of 1896-1897:

'Justo es tambien ensanchar la esfera de protection abriendo a las mujeres

las universidades de la Republica, a fin de que puedan dedicarse al








studio de profesiones cientificas y proporcionarles, igualmente,

talleres adecuados para el aprendizaje de artes y oficios.''3

Naturally, in spite of Alfaro's efforts to improve women's con-

ditions, many traditional problems and injustices continued to victimize

Ecuadorian females. Since political support for women's progress often

failed to change people's concepts and prejudices, the well-intentioned

laws did not reflect completely the social realities of the times. It

was one thing to open the universities to women, but another to prepare

them to compete successfully in higher education, and above all, to

convince them of the need to continue their learning. Indeed much of

society continued to believe that motherhood was a woman's principal

purpose in life, and consequently, saw no need for most of the proposed

liberal reforms. In fact, many Ecuadorians viewed the liberals' efforts

to improve women's status in society as a direct attack against an

established social order that had long been considered sacred (i.e.,

marriage, motherhood, and virginity).

Notwithstanding public opposition and resistance to official

policies, however, the government's apparent interest in and support of

women did draw attention to the latter's needs, and more importantly, it

set the stage for a major literary awakening among women writers. In

effect, with gradual gains in education and considerable governmental

backing, scores of females made a conscious effort to express their ideas

in writing, and to communicate with a reading public for the first time.

Specifically, beginning with the alfariista era (the period of Eloy

Alfaro's political dominance in Ecuador, 1895-1912), female activity

in prose literature increased dramatically as a group of early twentieth-









century women writers began to publish a series of feminist reviews in

which they championed such issues as equal rights and better educational

opportunities. Moreover, besides serving as a forum for women's needs

and interests, these journals also made a concerted effort to encourage

aspiring female writers to express their views and to make known their

literary talent.

Bearing in mind the difficulties all Ecuadorian authors have

experienced when trying to publish, particularly before the Casa de la

Cultura Ecuatoriana was founded in 1944, it is not surprising these

early women writers first turned to journalism as their principal means

of expression. It should be remembered that articles prepared for

newspapers, literary supplements, and the like did not require the same

amount of dedication and continued effort as did creative fiction, a

factor which traditionally has influenced in no small measure Ecuadorian

letters: "La mayor parte de nuestros escritores rehuyo la obra continuada,

que exigfa constancia y dedicacion, . Se content con la obra

fragmentaria que no se oponfa a la actualidad, a la atencion del
4
problema inmediato."

In short, the feminist journals were vital to women's literary

development in Ecuador because they created an atmosphere of female

solidarity and unity in which women writers were able to overcome the

doubts and fears which previously had discouraged many of them from

publishing. Furthermore, in terms of content, besides having been a

detailed testimony of women's major preoccupations during approximately

four decades, the magazines were also an extremely important documentary

of the way women saw themselves and their roles in society.








With regard to this chapter and its concern with the feminist

journals as a source of women's literary development, it should be

pointed out that the writers produced ten such publications (i.e.,

La ihi,iei,'1 El Ho'i.:i1 Cil" '.ta 'c' La dO',iiz,.- dC Gia.e ,a La, /Aije?' Ecuato:.r'ina,

Fora, Bris,-,a d, .. Ca.:rcqh'1, A,'.eq'ui, N '.,os Ho0 izcits, ic"acb:c : .as)

during three periods: (I) the alfarista era, (2) 1917-1928, and (3) the

1930's. Thus, the following discussion will analyze the magazines from

each period to illustrate the similarities and differences characteristic

of Ecuadorian women's concerns through the years. Also, after offering

a variety of general observations about the magazines' stated objectives

and their relevance both to Ecuadorian feminism and women's development

as prose writers, the chapter will conclude its study by commenting on

the financial crises which eventually limited the journals' public
6
exposure and growth.


Early Feminist Magazines: The A Z.far-i, ta
Era (1895-1912)

La AihJe (Quito, 1905)

La A ,a:.j ei apparently, was the first feminist journal published,

prepared in Quito in 1905 and subtitled: "Revista mensual de literature

y variedades." Each issue contained poetry, short stories, articles,

and essays written by Ecuadorian women eager to express publicly their

ideas and literary aspirations. Interestingly, the importance of .L

injesr was immediately commented upon: "La aparicion de la revista, la

primer en su genero que saldra de las prensas de Quito, es realmente

un acontecimiento transcendental."









Recognizing the limited opportunities available for women to develop

their abilities outside of the domestic sphere, the editors clearly

explained their objectives:

Seriamente preocupados del porvenir y el adelantamiento
de la mujer ecuatoriana hemos venido acariciando, desde
hace algun tiempo, la idea de fundar una Revista, como un
medio para dar a conocer, el talent y las dotes de nuestras
literatas, y abrir ancho campo a los ensayos de las que por
modestia o timidez, no han dado hasta ahora a la publicidad
sus labores intelectuales.
Hluy poco ha mejorado entire nosotros la condlci6n de la
mujer, quiza porque educada en un rutirarisno fatal, rara
vez ha osado levantar el vuelo por las vastisimas regions
de la inspiracion y el studio.

Of course, at no time did La M.A:j.i' advocate destroying the traditional

fani ly:

No queremos decir con esto que la mujer deje de ser
el angel del hogar como madre y como esposa, no; pero sus
atenciones creemos que no deben limitarse unicamente al
estrecho circilo de la familiar, dotada como esta de
inteligencla y exquisite sensibilidad que le hacen apta
para contribuir con eficacia al mejoramiento social.10

Women, obviously, were aware of the dangers of antagonizing

society and, consequently, emphasized consistently that their goals

were harmonious with society's well-beiig and future progress. Never-

theless, many Ecuadorians criticized severely feminists' efforts, as

evidenced by the following affirmation:

De Marzo [sic] para aca se han propuesto tres patriots
y entusiastas jovenes editar un periodico mensual . .
La z :;i^.', en el cual no luzcan sino las aptitudes del
bello sexo ecuatoriano. [Pero] . .que podre decirte,
. de la especie de trastorno, y aspaviento, y bulla
levantados en nuestra sociedad por esta novedad?
Acostumbrados como estamos a ver que nuestras pacrficas
mujeres no han desempenado nunca otro papel que el de
cosa o adorno en el hogar, tal atrevimiento ha caldo
para ciertas y ciertos, en particular, como si de
improvise hubiera aparecido el sol por el occidente.








The principal editor and voice of this magazine was Zoila Ugarte

de Landivar, one of Ecuador's leading female intellectuals during the

twentieth century who began writing for newspapers in 1890 (El Tes.-'c'-

deZ H 'uar'); from 1906 to 1912 she supported ardently political liberalism

in La Prensa' and L&, PaFtria, signing articles with her pen name, Zarelia.

According to Mary Coryle, another prestigious Ecuadorian intellectual and

writer, Zoila Ugarte's life

se eleva enhiesta y luminosa hacia dos motives supremos:
el Ideal y las Letras. .. NIo sabemos cual de ellas
[sic] tenga primacia en el alma diafana y tersa de esta
Mujer. . De Dona Zoila Ugarte de Landfvar repetimos
con el Dr. Luis F. Chives: "Un talent pujante como el
suyo, el relato de la vida admirable de una mujer
admirable, merece un estudio que nos la muestre en
sus multiples facetas de artist, de escritora, de
periodista, de luchadora political, de educadora, de
batalladora en la palestra de la accion femenina y de mujer
de encantadora feminidad en el hogar y en los circulos
sociales.''12

La A,4jer offered Ugarte the opportunity to present her feminist

views and to publicly defend women's human rights. Education was a vital

concern which she frequently emphasized, explaining that a woman's

schooling was essential since men constantly depended upon her: "La

ignorancia femenina es contraproducente para el hombre [sic] .de quien

[sic] depend su bienestar desde que nace hasta que muere sino de la

mujer?"13 However, because of their lack of education, she pointed out

that women had been forced to be sex objects dedicated to satisfying men's

carnal desires:

Si la mujer es frivola, casi tiene derecho a serlo,
cno es eso lo que se exige de ella? .no se la vitupera
si por acaso se atreve a pensar en algo serio?
,.Que educaci6n se la [sic] da? ,Qu6 send se la [sic]
senala? cJo est6 obligada como las hetairas griegas a
cultivar gracias fisicas, para agradar al hombre?









Este, por lo comun, busca esas gracias pasajeras que
marchita la vejez o las enfermedades: la pobre mujer
lo sabe y hace de estas armas su poder, poder effmero,
puesto que no se basa en las cualidades del alma que son
las unicas duraderas. q

Feminism, according to Ugarte, was women's basic mean; of solving

her problems and becoming self-sufficient:

El feminismo no es una doctrine caprichosa y sin
objeto, es la voz de la mujer oprimida, que reclama aquello
que le pertenece, y que si no hoy, manana o cualquier dfa
lo conseguira, siendo por lo tanto inutil ponerle trabas.
La mujer ecuatoriana siguiendo el movimiento universal,
sale de su letargo, protest de su miseria y pide conocimientos
que la hagan apta para ganarse la vida con independencia; pide
escuelas, pide talleres, pide que los que tienen obligaci6n
de atenderla se preocupen de ella algo mas que hasta aquf lo
han hecho.15

As for society's belief that women had attained sufficient improve-

ments during the A'ft.'i.3ta period, she quickly reminded her readers that

the so-called progress left much to be desired. In L.a ,! 6. she explained:

Se nos observara que al present goza de ventajas que
no ha tenido nunca; cierto es, pero estas ventajas
podrran contarse en los dedos y no tienen el fin
practice que ambicionamos. Se la emplea en las oficinas
de correos, pero todos sabemos que el personal de dichas
oficinas no lo componen muchas; se ha abierto tambien
un curso de farmacia, y hay la esperanza de que dentro
de algunos anos obtendran tftulos las que se han dedicado
a ese studio; pero serfa de desear que se las facility
ademas, otras profesiones, pues si Ilega a haber
farmaceuticas, como abogados, m6dicos y sacerdotes, seran
estrechas las boticas para contenerlas.

By and large, the feminist themes presented by Zoila Ugarte reflected

the general content found in [L A;(,'ljz,, as seen in the articles written by

Josefina Veintemilla, Isabel D. de Espinel, Dolores Cabrera Egas, and

Dolores Flor. In short, L.a 'leij continuously urged women to recognize

their intellectual potential, and stressed the need for them to actively


complement men's efforts in developing society:








La genesis mitol6gica de algunos pueblos ha pretendido
dar a la mujer un origen inferior al del hombre; pero lo
ha pretendido en vano, porque al dotarla de inteligencia
el mismo Ser que la form, quizo [sic] hacer de ella su
igual, su companera. Por eso cuando la mujer cometi( su
primera culpa Dis permitio que el hombre cometiera su
primer pecado; . .
En efecto, el hombre y la mujer son dos parties igualmente
importantes, igualmente necesarias, para la formacion de
ese ser social fundador de la familiar y de la raza.17

Apart from these consciousness raising-type articles, La uj. also

published numerous short stories written by Mercedes Gonzalez de Moscoso,

Marfa Natalia Vaca, Josefina Veintemilla, and Antonia Mosquera A.

Generally, speaking, these compositions were sentimental love stories

concerned only with entertaining the reader. Josefina Veintemilla's

"Rita la loca,"l for example, narrates the tragedy of a young bride who

went mad after learning her husband had been killed at war. One night,

during a full moon, she jumped into a lake believing her husband had been

calling to her, and consequently, drowned. The story ends with the

explanation that with each full moon, the two dead lovers have a

rendezvous in the very same lake. Obviously, this sort of narrative

offers very little in the way of ideological or aesthetic innovation.

On the contrary, it reveals the considerable influence of late

romanticism characteristic of Ecuador's literature at the turn of

the century.

Perhaps the most interesting story published in this journal was

"Los zapatos de boda," a feminist allegory written by Mercedes Gonzalez

de Moscoso. The story's protagonist, Grimanesa, was a wealthy girl

being pressured by her parents to marry since she was of age and expected

to fulfill her obligations as a woman. However, Grimanesa was a very

special kind of woman, one not representative of society's traditional









feminine stereotype. That is to say, in spite of her wealth, she was

ugly, of simple and modest tastes, highly cultured, and extremely

astute. As Gonzalez de Moscoso explained, Grimanesa "no usaba sino

sencillos vestidos de percal, slendo sus joyas las hermosas flores que
19
brotaban bajo su cuidado en el exienso jardfn de la casa de sus padres."

With regard to her interests in art, music, and literature, "Grimanesa

pasaba la mayor parte del dfa entregada a lectures series que a la par

que deleitaban su espfritu, robustecian su inteligencia poderosa."20

In short, Grimanesa was the feminist prototype many women

intellectuals were hoping to form by means of much of their journalistic

activity in Ecuador. The moral of the story was women will find

happiness only when they abandon their frivolous ways, and begin to

control their own destinies with their intelligence and good sense.


El H' c;'a C ati.: c' (Guayaquil, 1906-1919)


The second monthly journal found during the alfit:.sta period was

El Hc-.ar Ca3t.":ic~, directed by Angela Carbo de Maldonado and "las

Senoras de la 'Asociaci6n de la Prensa Catolica' de Guayaquil.21

Unlike L.a Ai.E7. El Hogar Cii3tia.zn was not a literary review, but rather

a religious magazine concerned with teaching women, in general, and

mothers, in particular, their moral responsibilities as nuclei of the

family. In general, the journal's religious concerns and strong church

ties were clearly reflected in the large number of articles and poems

dedicated to such themes as: the life of Jesus, the importance of

catechism, the dangers of atheism, the need to strengthen marriage,

and the teachings of numerous saints.








Whereas La Vujer, and other feminists journals to be studied in this

Chapter, were directed by liberal women who supported Alfaro and his lay

reforms, El Hiogar Cr~istian was conscious of its mission to defend many

of the traditional institutions against such secular trends as legal

separation, public education, and in general, against the period's

anticlericalism. With respect to feminism, the conservative females

feared women would misconstrue their new freedomes and opportunities

and become libertines, a reaction strongly influenced by events in Europe:

Utopicas y enganadoras teorlas de un mal entendido y
peor comprendido feminismo, que jamas la podra enaltecer
ni honrar, ha invadido desgraciadamente muchos cerebros y
sino [sic] basta echar una mirada hacia Inglaterra, donde
un considerable numero de mujeres. queriendo usurpar
derechos incompatible con su sexo y condici6n, emprenden
una campana violentisima. que llama la atenci6n del mundo
encero; forman escandalos, atacan y rompen los vidrios de
los Ministerios; incendian los teatros de Dublfn; . y
otras mil barbaridades, .
No se diga jamas a una mujer, que su puesto esta en los
comicios populares.
Desde el hogar puede triunfar: he ah' su lugar; he ahi
su santuario.

No se pretend pues, inculcar en el corazon de nuestras
mujeres, esas enganadoras y perjudiciales ideas.22


1, Ondia del ca.as (Guayaquil, 1907-1910)

The third magazine in this initial period of modern Ecuadorian

women's prose activity was La Ozndin: a del G:iaae, a monthly literary

review subtitled "Revista femenil mensual de literature y variedades,"

directed by Rosaura Emelia Galarza, Teresa Alavedra Tama, and Celina
23
Marfa Galarza.23 Each issue contained poetry and articles written by

women, feature articles about Ecuadorian heroines and leading female

intellectuals (i.e., Dolores Veintemilla de Galindo, Zoila Ugarte de

Landfvar, and Manuela Canizares), and suggestions about feminine








fashions in dress and cosmetics. The journal's commitment to promoting

female literary activity becomes evident upon reading the editorial state-

ment published in the first issue, in 1907:

Sin pretensiones literarias . hemos emprendido en
esta publication por solo [sic] el deseo vehemente de que
la mujer ecuatoriana tenga en ella uno como interpreted de
los bellos y tiernos sentimientos que se anidan en su alma.
La mujer, en nuestra Patria, siempre se ha distinguido por
su priJilegiada inteligencia y su aficion a las letras, pero
las preocupaciones de la 4poca, o la excesiva timidez de
su caracter, le han impedido, con frecuncia [sic], hacer
conocer al public las delicadas flores de su ingenio,
resultando de aquf que hay verdaderas joyas literarias
desconocidas casi de nuestra ilustrada sociedad .
La O6.'udi. 7a del G ?.s es, pues, la revista del bello sexo:
sus columns de honor estan a la absolute disposicion de
las ilustres damas que con tanto lucimiento manejan la
pluma entire nosotros.

However, despite efforts to foment literary production among women,

and attempts to inspire women to take advantage of their own capabilities,

.La Od:,na ide7, Guay? never sought to change significantly existing social

roles:

Somos las mujeres, con raras excepciones, debiles por
naturaleza y sentimentales por instinto. Sin ser feministas
en la extension que hoy se da a esta palabra, sF nos gusta
que el bello sexo ilustre su entendimiento y levante su
caracter; pero sin apartar jams la vista del hogar, el
cual debe ser en todo caso el centro de sus aspiraciones
e ideales. . Escriba para el hogar y por el hogar. . .
Dejemos la arida y esteril polftica para el sexo fuerte.
Nuestra femenina inteligencia no quiere ni debe penetrar
esos misterios. Sensibles sentimentales como somos las
mujeres, nuestra imaginaci6n debe inspirarse solo [sic] en las
purisimas e inagotables fuentes de la virtud, de la belleza
y del amor.25

In effect, the journal's conscious policy of defining feminism in

terms of acquiring better female education, but without disrupting

traditional family structures (just as in the case of L.a A;.,je'), sounds

very much like the conservative view expounded in EZ Ho.oa .f Cetgoo:








El hogar le impone una mission mns noble, mas augusta,
mis digna, como hija, esposa o madre y si se quiere en
la evoluci6n actual, que el adelanto de la mujer, marque
otro rumbo para la march rdpida del progress human, que
sea en buena hora. Que se le seiale un camino mas amplio,
mas seguro, para que escape desde el hogar hasta donde le
sea possible, los tabernAculos del saber, porque una mujer
de pluma, una mujer artist, que manceniendo su alma buena
y su coraz6n sensible, tremola muy en alto el pend6n del
saber y de la ciencia,--la luz de la idea, reflejada en la
gracia femenina . es un espectaculo muy hermoso digno
de figurar en el concerto de la civilizaci6n y del
progreso.2

Consequently, the only significant difference between the three journals

was that La P!z:oieT and La O ndia del ,Taw!. encouraged women to actively

collaborate and develop their literary skills, while El H3ar i' 'i't-ano

was a purel'. didactic review concerned only with religious doctrine and

moral edification.

Another interesting feature common to these early journals was the

absence of material relevant to contemporary political events, i.e.,

boundary disputes with Colombia and Peru, and the power struggles between

Ecuador's liberal factions. According to Pareja Diezcanseco: "Duelen

estas paginas de nuestra historic: estan llenas de sangre, de verguenza,

de humillacion.27 Yet, women intellectuals only concerned themselves

with their immediate feminist preoccupations, and appear to have been

disinterested in those important events which supposedly pertained to
28
men's dominion. This silence probably indicates women still did not

consider themselves a significant force in Ecuadorian politics, and

consequently, preferred to go about their own business while men took

charge of national issues.








Major Feminist Journals Published During the
Years 1917-1928

Flora (Quito, 1917-1920)


Between 1917 and 1928 the most important feminist journal was Flra,

published in Quito and subtitled "Revista feminil ilustrada de literature,
29
artes y variedades." Since Posaura Emelia Galarza and Celina Maria

Galarza, the editors of [.a Ozdi'na deZ .uayas, also directed FZl'~ a, it is

not surprising to find many similarities between the latter and the

.2 Lfar t.a publications. As in the past, each issue contained poetry,

photographs of distinguished Ecuadorian women, feature articles about

leading female figures, advice about fashions, and in general, while

the review's chief objective was to serve women's intellectual interests,

at no time was it suggested they seek fulfillment by renouncing their

domestic and maternal obligations.

Nevertheless, there were certain features which indicate Fc.lra

attempted to broaden its range of concerns so as not to limit its focus

solely to women's immediate problems. The editors, for example, besides

including in each issue special articles about particular cities or

provinces, and briefly studying famous Ecuadorian poets and writers (i.e.,

P.emigio Crespo Toral, Gonzalez Suarez, Luis A. Martfnez), at one point

demonstrated a growing interest in Ecuador's social problems:

Por eso seguimos con empeio las labores de la Legislatura
actualmente reunida; porque tiene que resolver el problema
terrible de la subsistencia de las classes menesterosas, dar
incremento a la instruccion pdblica, asegurar la march de
los establecimientos de beneficiencia y hacer inalterable
la paz: porque un pueblo pobre y debil, la necesita para
su desarrollo, para los progress legFtimos, para no perecer
cuando tiene apenas vigor para los primeros pasos.30




47



In effect, Rosaura and Celina Galarza recognized the need for women to

be better informed about the world in which they lived, and explained

in the first issue of Flora:

Hace algun tiempo, siguiendo los impulses generosos
de la juventud, fundamos La Ou2.di. de. Gaa.s, peri6dico
literario de la mujer;
Hoy el prop6sito es mas grande que el de cultivar las
flores de la literature: ante el advance prodigioso que
ha tomado la mujer en todas parties, no puede la ecuatoriana
permanecer inerte, viendo las cosas sin seguir su corriente,
dejando pasar los acontecimientos sin asirse a ellos para
conseguir los bienes nuevos, y ensanchar su esfera de
action.
La guerra europea ha sido varilla magica que ha llamado
a la mujer a todos los terrenos, a todas las faenas; y ella,
bajo muchos respects, no solo ha reemplazado a los hombres,
sino que los ha sobrepujado; y lo que importa es que no viva
de parasita, que no se crea impotence para ganarse la vida, que
deje de ser eterna pupila. Que sea companera, pero inteligente,
libre, carinosa; que ayude al hombre en lo mas que puede, y
que vea s 1porvenir no solo circunscrito al matrimonio o al
claustro.

Of course, one must not be misled by the vigorous tone of the above

affirmation which urged Ecuadorian women to cease living as parasites, and

to plan their future in terms that went beyond marriage or the convent.

Apparently, the editors, carried away with their own rhetoric, contradicted

themselves in the same article: "Queremos a la mujer ante todo en el

hogar, pues para esto la form la naturaleza; pero para embellecer y

perfeccionar ese mismo hogar, le es precise estudiar los nobles ejemplos,

criar aspiraciones, y ensanchar el ideal de las hijas, de las esposas y
,,32
de las madres. Further on, they continued their opening statement by

commenting, "FeoC'a es, pues, vocero de la mujer ecuatoriana, no solo

para sus pensamientos bellos, sino para toda idea que tienda a su

mejoramiento en todo terreno. La mujer es el amor, tiene necesidad

de mantenerlo con la belleza y el encanto; es el ser mas considerado




48

en la sociedad, le es precise hacerse, por solida educacion, merecedora

de ese sentimiento; . Para ser buena esposa, buena madre, tiene

que ser instruida, prudent, several y adorable siempre.3

Hence, once again, education was considered vital, but only as a

means of preparing women to be good mothers and homemakers. On the one

hand, FC.lra's directors talked about representing Ecuadorian women in

their quest for "mejoramiento en todo terreno;" and on the other hand,

they limited women's aspirations to a very traditional framework which

perhaps tended to negate F i,..:'s supposed goals of attaining women's

independence and self-sufficiency. In short, it is apparent Ecuadorian

feminists did not define their needs in the same way as their counterparts

in Europe or the United States: "Hi sugragistas, ni polfticas, s6lo

mujeres en su derecho; es decir, instrufdas, laboriosas, dignas del

amor, la familiar y la sociedad; aptas para sus multiples deberes,

hermanando siempre las gracias, la belleza y la virtud: he aqui el

campo de acci6n a que aspiramos conducirla, \ del cual es organo esta
,,34
modestfsima publication."


La lnh,e- Eco ,atcoiriana (Guayaqui 1918-1923)


La ,~f- ,ier Eeato'j.iaa, published in Guayaquil and edi ted by Clara

Aurora de Freire, Dolores 5. Pacheco G., Rosa Angelica Pena, and Rosa

Isabel Nieto, was the monthly journal of the Centro Feminista La

Aurora, founded by Augustin A. Freire. The format and objectives were

similar to those of the previously mentioned magazines. Of particular

interest is an anonymous composition which plainly revealed the bitterness

felt by many Ecuadorian women conscious of social injustices and inequities:








,Por que naci mujer? He ahf la causa de tanta exclavitud.
El hombre se forma en el mundo su cielo o su inferno:
pero no pasa lo que nosotras: nos tienen preparado un
limbo para cuanta sea la duracion de la tristrsima, inutil
vida. A la mujer no [sic] siquiera se le reservan grandes
luchas, 6xitos o derrotas de magna escala; para ella todo,
hasta el dolor es mezquino; se desliza sin ruido y acaba
sin gloria, sacriffquese o no, de antemano esta sacrificada
a la inacci6n, la rutina, "el que [sic] diran, en
una palabra a la mas ruin desgracia. LPesimismo? No:
realidad.35


Brioa3 u.ie. Car-c1 i (Tulcan, 1919-1921)

Bri'as J.el Carchi. a literary review from Tulcan, was not a

feminist journal, but rather a monthly review whose editor was a woman,

Mercedes Martinez Acosta. Despite its inclusion by Zoila Maria Castro

in her list of feminist magazines ("Presencia femenina en la literature

ecuatoriana"), its pages contain no material to support such a classifi-

cation. It was simply a regional journal published chiefly for the

c2ar iases': "Pone sus cdumnas a disposicion de las personas que

quieren honrarle con sus colaboraciones, y publicara, de una manera

especial, las producciones de los carchenses que se encuentren dentro
,.36
o fuera del pals.

Arl:eq: i (Quito, 1928)

Ar.leq.la~, directed by Rosa Saa de Yepez in Quito, was similar to

Briasa-s d.-.1 Cari'i in its lack of interest in women's concerns. The maga-

zine offered a variety of articles on literature and the plastic arts,

and in terms of this study, its chief importance (as in the case of

BrisasJ der Carchi) lies in its female editorship.

In short, during this second period of women's journalistic

activity, female intellectuals continued campaigning for better education









and more opportunities in literature for women. FZc'.'ra, despite its

obvious limitations, represented an attempt to expose women to a more

general corpus of knowledge and information by moving away slightly

from purely feminist themes. With regard to Bi'isas, del Carcl and

Arileqi these reviews may very well reflect an important step forward

in Ecuadorian women's intellectual development, particularly since they

seem to suggest that some women were gradually being accepted in positions

of authority outside of solely female undertakings.3


Feminist tiagazine Literature and the
1930's

Turning to the 1930's, women writers in Ecuador continued using

magazines as their principal means of literary expression, and as a basic

instrument in reaching large sectors of the female population. Aside

from championing feminist issues, writers began paying more attention

to the longstanding social problems men were incapable of resolving.

Economically, Ecuador suffered greatly from the effects of the Depression:

"En 1930. la crisis mundial deflacionista llego a nuestras puertas.

Cayeron los precious. Se acabo, como por encanto, el ensueno del dinero

por el dinero. Ilinguna cosa valfa nada." Politically, Ecuador still

could not find the long-sought after formula needed to stabilize

conditions. In effect, during this period women writers recognized

men's failures, and therefore, implored their readers to vigorously

assume greater responsibilities in society.


iV' e ,-? 'HoCi,' i t.,s (Guayaqui Il, 1933-1937)


iN:evc's Hc'izc:ntes, published in Guayaquil for four years,39 clearly

reflected the new directions adopted by women writers and intellectuals








in their efforts to secure a more meaningful place for females in

Ecuadorian society. This journal was the official voice of the Legion

Femenina de Educacion Popular, a social organization committed to

improving human conditions: "La Legi6n Femenina de Educaci6n Popular

tiene por objeto combatir al analfabetismo, proteger al nino y

estimular la cultural national por tods los medios que se hallen al
40
alcance de la mujer." Both the organization and A'; .' HNri'. n' te.,

were directed to Rosa Borja de Icaza and her staff members, Mlarfa

Barredo de Castillo, Amarilis Fuentes, and Marfa Esther Martinez II.

Rosa Borja de Icaza was one of Ecuador's key feminists who enjoyed

international prestige in literary and social circles, and brought to

Ecuadorian literature her universal, humanistic outlook. The recipient

of numerous national and international honors (i.e., Member of the

Academia Ecuatoriana de la Lengua, Directora de la Biblioteca Municipal

de Guayaquil, Directora del Centro de Estudios Literarios de la Universidad

de Guayaquil, Presidenta de Honor de la Sociedad Bolivariana de Guayaquil,

Vocal Fundadora de la Sociedad de Beneficicencia Ajuar del rJino, Presidenta

del Consejo Nacional de la Union de Mujeres Americanas, and ex-Consejera

Provincial), she has been described as a woman who "logr6 atraer hacia el

Ecuador la atencion de los circulos literarios de toda America e,

incluso, de Europa. Tan vasta y apreciada es la obra realizada por la

Senora Rosa Borja de Icaza que . ha trascendido las fronteras de su

pals y es asi que, en Chile, existe una Biblioteca Infantil que lleva su

nombre como expresi6n de reconocimiento por su encumbrada contribuci6n a
41
la cultural de Ecuador y de America." It should not be surprising, then,

that NueZv HoC''.cantes was characterized by a broad range of concerns which








included literacy campaigns, special legislation to protect women and

juvenile workers, female education, Pan Americanism, and world peace.

Each issue of ,':weo.', Hoi,,.:c'anit,, & contained, basically, six sections:

(1) short stories and poetry by Ecuadorian women and foreigners; (2)

articles on feminism: (3) social problems; (4) education; (5) articles

on foreign women; (6) letters to the editor (often from foreign women

leaders expressing solidarity with the editor and the aims of the

magazine). Perhaps the most striking feature of Borja during her

editorship of ,':.-.'.* Is it. L,'-,: t._- w.as her close association with other

Latin American women leaders, and frequently, with their feminist

magazines. From the very first issue, she demonstrated her Pan

Americanism by publishing a letter she had written previously to

Chile's Isabel Morel, editor of ,V.;otr'a: "Interesada como vivo en las

conquistas del femenismo en el mundo, he lerdo con today atencin .

c,''otas, y desde el primer instant he querido comunicarme con Ud.

para laborar en armonia por la cultural y elevacion de la mujer en el
,42
Continente." Similar references to other women leaders, and numerous

literary and journalistic contributions sent by foreign women to kne':o

i/Hoi"'.;'i:t, filled the journal's six sections: Victoria Ocampo, editor

of S\.,- (Buenos Aires); Nel ly Merino Carvallo, editor of ,.:<,'.,P ae

...r -'..;: (Buenos Aires); Zulma Nunez. editor of .11.i.",:' .c .V:(e..'; (Uruguay);

Pilar Lana Santillana, editor of Sc,- :'Z (Lima); Gloria Dall, Presidenta

de la Federacion Nacional de Empleadas de Bogota; and Abigail Nejia de

Fernandez. Director del Museo Nacional de Santo Domingo were some

examples of this intercontinental collaboration women's groupsof this

period succeed in establishing.








In effect, the solidarity which existed among women writers and

intellectuals throughout America has highlighted as an unprecedented

achievement in a world marred by political conflicts and economic

crises. Women were proving to society, and to themselves, that they

were capable of resolving many of the problems created by men:

En medio del desenfreno de las pasiones de los hombres,
entire la lucha contradictoria del hambre y la guerra que
aniquilan la vida political y economic de los pueblos, se
levantara el emocionado clamor de la mujer, defendiendo
con decision hist6rica la corriente saqrada de la
existencia humana, quizas por representar el sentido mas
intimo de ella, por sobre los primitives procedimientos de
la fuerza sangriente y la abominable polrtica del dinero.
La mujer cerebro, la mujer coraz6n, la mujer pensante
de estos dfas, liberada y de viejas tradiciones exclusivistas,
pero conservando siempre un espfritu cristiano, puede con
sus enormes fuerzas vitales, destruir todas las contradicciones
sociales que obstaculizan el camino para orientar una
sociedad menos egofsta, mezcla de avanzada y primitive.
iJegros nubarrones en medio de la incertidumbre,
amenazan devastar America, pero la unidad spiritual
de las mujeres no permitira en ninqun tiempo que ellos
engendren una tempestad. 3

Since female leaders in Ecuador were convinced women had the

potential to participate significantly in society, they continued to

focus on the feminist themes which urged all women to reject traditional

servile roles and become more involved in national development. Carmen

de Burgos, in an article entitled "Misi6n supreme," explained:

La mujer, por pasividad, por bobaliconerra. por respeto
a una tradici6n que la hace sumisa, se doblega servilmente
y cree que su misi6n es la de obedecer, la de aplaudir, la
de aceptarlo todo en una estupida molicie; sin raciocinio
ni voluntad, como si su papel en el mundo fuese el de las
comparsas o la clac que ayuda al exito de la comedia. . .
Ella ha de pensar, no en acrecentar su belleza. sino en
acrecentar su interest de un modo que siendo com6n a todas
sea personalfsimo en cada una.
De este modo, la mujer no sera una cosa inconsistent,
y hasta poco real, sino algo muy firme, completador, que
compensarfa al hombre entendiendole, silencio, ahogado,
sin esa falta de fantasia con que convive ahora con el.









It is clear, of course, Ecuadorian feminists still insisted on the

need to complement men's efforts, and to play a supporting role which

allowed men to maintain their authoritative position over women. Maria

Esther Martinez 11., for example, in her "El problema feminista en el

Ecuador," emphasized the need for women to organize and join together

to "evitar la disgregacion y el aislamiento de sus cormponentes que

necesariamente levan al fracaso; no por falta de capacidad, sino por
45
falta de direction." Moreover, she urged the government to establish

labor unions For women workers and Asociaciones de Empleadas which would

concentrate on defending exclusively women's rights, as opposed to mixed

groups which normally fought for "la solution de muchos problems

,46
concernientes al element masculine, que se encuentra en mayoria."

Also, the article stressed the need For female representation in govern-

ment, as well as equal salaries for woomen. Nevertheless, despite these

liberal proposals, MartFnez too felt it essential to assure her readers

feminism was no threat to men:

Iio planted el problema desde el punto de vista de un
feminismo egofsta, del predomi-nio absolute de la mujer
con pretensiones al desplazamiento del hombre, . o,
proclamo en primer lugar, una situacion, para la mujer,
mas de acuerdo con su ser inteligente: el derecho a su
desenvolvimiento cientffico y cultural, pero dentro de
una organization social viciada por su conformaci6n
economic, dentro de la cual se ha hecho imprescindible
la presencia de la mujer hasta en las fabricas y des-
tinada a las labores mas rudas para asegurar su derecho
a la 'vda, . 47

Referring to the meaning and problems of Ecuadorian feminism, as

expounded by many women writers, Delia Ibarra de Duenas wrote:

El feminismo en el Ecuador esta en panales, .
Nos asusta la palabra como algo insolito, algo normal,
algo que nos inspira temores y recelos. Y es que del
Feminismo tenemos la idea mas peregrina. Creemos que









consiste principalmente en que la mujer haga alardes de
maneras bruscas; que fume, que juegue el bridge, que tenga
modales hombrunos, . Creemos que Feminismo es sfmbolo
de revolucion de trastorno, asf como comunismo, como
bolchevismo, y naturalmente hacemos un movimiento como
de tortuga, que ante algo inusitado se esconde bajo su
concha. En verdad, es una concha impenetrable ese tejido
de prejuicios, logico resultado de nuestra education y de
nuestras costumbres impregnadas a6n de las modalidades
coloniales. Concha fuerte y resistente formada por un
acumulo de ideas y de practices por las que la mujer en
nuestra sociedad ha vivido cohibida, restringida en sus
funciones, sin mas perspective que el matrimonio o el
convent y sin mas aspiracion que ser parasita del
hombre.

However, she concluded:

El principio filos6fico del Feminismo trata de
alcanzar para la mujer un nivel moral, politico / social
.7.:Z'.:led 'te al del hombre, no superior ni enteramente igual;
ya que no es superior ni enteramente igual a la de aquel,
la function que debe desempenar en el mundo. Entre los dos,
hombre y mujer se armonlzan, se completan, cada uno en su
esfera igualmente trascendental, por resultado de la
admirable armonfa que Dios ha puesto en todas sus obras. 4

To summarize, Nucuns Horiont tc served several purposes. On a

superficial level, it reported the many activities realized by the Legion

Femenina de Educacion Popular, i.e., creation of people's libraries,

courses for nurses, and free schools for women workers. Apart from this

social concern, the journal was a vital instrument in establishing

contacts between Ecuadorian women and other Latin American feminist

leaders who were attempting to provide a more equitable social role for

larger numbers of women throughout the continent. Above all, however,

N2ie:os Hori-'ontes gave women the opportunity to write. Since male

perspectives were understood to have been formed by specific circumstances

exclusive to men, many Ecuadorian women realized it was essential they

themselves publicly interpret their unique experiences. Hence, they

accepted the challenge to speak out for all women and reveal the way to

new horizons.










JI,::l.:.?.:' (Ambato, 1934-1935)

Another feminist journal of the period was l i i *:...:. 'i-,: published

in Ambato and subtitled "Revista femenil de cultural5 0 Blanca nartinez

de Tinajero, a no.'elist who will be studied in a subsequent chapter, and

Abigail Naranjo Fernandez edited this review which, although lacking the

Pan Americanist visionn of NA'c,-s Htrcic:HteS, shared many of the latter's

objectives and concerns:

Nuevas Ariadnas, enamoradas de un Ideal, la cultural de
la mujer, queremos ofrendar a este Ideal, nuestros desvelos
y nuestro entusiasmo, y asi laborar por el femin;smo por
esta doctrine just y logica, que a la mujer la nivela al
hombre, sin nenoscabar los derechos de 6ste: doctrine que
producira innegables beneficios para la mujer, pero que
no lo seran menores para el hombre, ya que en la niujer
preparada encontrara: la sincera consejera, la eficaz
colaboradora, y en muchas ocasiones la iniciadora de todo
lo que signifique progress.51

General ly speaking, I>:.i aci.'2 presented articles about women's

participation in the Tungurahua region's Red Cross; the important role

played by mothers in children's education; advice about homemaking;

short stories and poetry written by women and Tnen; evocations of Nature

and its feminine qualities (i.e., creation); and passages cited from

such writers as Juan Montalvo, Juan Le6n Mera, Ruben Dario, and Luis

A. Martinez. The most significant element found in this journal, however,

was its sponsorship of a literary contest for women, an indication that

the editors were trying to go beyond past efforts in stimulating aspiring

female writers. Besides offering women the opportunity to write for

liTZ:rciaci n,, they were set on discovering much of the talent that pre-

viously had gone unnoticed.52 Naturally, this can be considered

another facet of Ecuadorian women's commitment to helping one another








in their quest for progress and improvement: "Mucho tenemos que

estudiar, comenzando por definirnos y conocernos nosotras mismas,

para llegar a una autonomfa y emancipaci6n completes. . Si

queremos mejorar el mundo, mejoremos primero a la mujer.53


A.::s (Quito. 1934)


The last magazine to be discussed was published in 1934, when

several women who had been directly involved in various feminist

journals through the years joined together in Quito. Zoila Ugarte

de Landfvar, Victoria Vasconez Cuvi, Marfa Angelica Idrobo, and

Rosaura Emelia Galarza succeeded in publishing two issues of .-ls, a

publication dedicated to all Spanish-speaking women: "Mujeres

ecuatorianas, mujeres indoibericas, para vosotras y por vosotras se

ha fundado especialmente esta Revista. Acudid a embellecerla con

las producciones de vuestro ingenio y de vuestro sentimiento, con el

incontrastable vigor de vuestra delicada resistencia, que es la
54
fuerza y la vida del mundo.''54 In general, .AlIa was a continuation

of earlier feminist journals in Ecuador, and hence, did not offer

any significant innovations.5



Notwithstanding women's journalistic and literary activity

described above, it should be borne in mind that in terms of dis-

tribution and publication, all of the feminist magazines suffered

from serious limitations. Indeed, because of financial difficulties,

the journals rarely circulated outside of the cities where they were

printed, and consequently, few Ecuadorians learned of their existence.









Also, very few magazines were able to produce enough issues to

establish a stable following.56 According to Angel Pojas. economic

problems stifled most publications in Ecuador, and not just those

produced by women:

Infortunada caracterlstica de nuestras publi-
caciones ha sido y sigue siendo lo precario de su
vida. Hecho que proviene de que, hasta aqui, ninguna
de ellas ha podido estabilizarse economicamente. Los
grupos entusiastas que sostienen el gasto de los
primeros numerous por lo general no estan en condiciones
de seguir sacrificandose indefinidamente. Y la
publication cesa. Ilo se tiene entire nosotros por
costumbre adquirir revistas nacionales. Se las lee
en las bibliotecas, o cuando se las distribuye
gratuitamente . que es la unica forma de
hacerlas circular.57

In the feminist magazines, there are numerous references to

the financial problems confronted by the editors, and the impos-

sibility of continuing operations. For example, Lo ,~ijeP advised

its readers of having requested economic support from the Legislature

because the directors "temen que su constancia se estrelle en la

falta de recursos para subvenir a los gastos que demand la publi-
58
caci6n. In 1918, when Rosaura Emel-ia Galarza asked the

Legislature for assistance, she published a short note in F^,'o,

explaining: "Es la primera occasion que la mujer ecuatoriana se

lanza al palenque de las letra-s on organo propio de publicaci6n;

y como sabeis bien que esta clase de revistas no pueden sostenerse

r 59
por si solas al principio, la suplica es motivada." Unfortunate-

ly, Flrc' was not subsidized, and had to discontinue publication

for more than one year. Galarza later explained:









Por este motive, y en vista del elevadfsimo
precio que alcanzo el papel de imprenta en esos
dfas, hubo necesidad de suspender indefinidamente
la publication de F:ora pues es muy sab do que,
en el Ecuador, es casi impossible la existencia
de un peri6dico literario durante sus primeros
anos, sin la protecci6n official. maxime siendo
aqu6l dirigido, redactado y ayudado unicamente
por mujeres.60

Hence, women writers who began their careers with the Feminist

journals not only had to struggle against traditional prejudices,

but also against the lack of financial resources, a problem never

really solved in Ecuador. Even if some magazines did not offi-

cially make known their economic plight, a quick glance at the

irregularity in publication is enough to illustrate the hardships

suffered by ambitious intellectuals. In effect, as Alejandro

Andrade Coello pungently stated, when referring to the feminist

journals: "Pero, al fin y al cabo son flores de un dfa . ."

Despite ihese limitations, however, the feminist journals

played a major role in promoting literary expression among women

in Ecuador; for the first time in national literary history a

significant number of women were being encouraged to wr;re and

publish. Also, besides appearing to be, in large part, an

exercise in female consciousness raising, the journals succeeded

in presenting vividly Ecuadorian women's understanding of them-

selves, and of their social realities. In short, this phase of

women's prose development was part of an experimental period in

which Ecuadorian women discovered their own talents and estab-

lished a literary tradition which through the years has evolved





60



gradually, offering women experience and training essential to fully

realizing their potential as prose writers.








Notes
Chapter III


For an extensive list of female intellectuals (mostly pootesses)
in pre-twentieth century Ecuador, see: Zoila Maria Castro, "Presencia
femenina en la literature ecuatoriana," c .cadernc dl CG.aoa. IV, 7
(December 1953), 14, 19.
2
Rosa Borja de Icaza, liac-ia la vida (Guayaqui : Biblioteca
Ilunicipal de Guayaquil, 1936). p. 88.

Cited in Diqna E. Ayon de Messner, Trmictoria histOrica 9 Cilt:u'l
d. la Un'i 'lvridad d GuaJaquil: 1.6:-1l?~, 2nd ed. (Guayaquil: Departamento
de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Guayaquil, 1967), p. 81.

Isaac J. Barrera, HIz _, toL'ra de la literate, a c-atri,.2', p. 1184.

Because much of the material is similar in content and purpose,
the discussion will concentrate on one journal from each period, followed
by brief comments on the remaining publications.

6Naturally, due to the lack of previous research, this study does
not claim to be a definitive inventory of the feminist journals, many of
which may have been lost during the years, or simply continue sitting on
some library shelf waiting to be discovered. Nevertheless, this presen-
tation is complete enough to offer a representative idea of the material.
To date, the only sources found that mention names of magazines are:
Zoila Maria Castro, "Presencia femenina en la literature ecuatoriana;"
Morayma Ofyr Carvajal ale'ria de.. espir't,: IU-.r'res .- mi. patria; and
Alejandro Andrade Coello, "Cultura femenina: Floracion intellectual de
la mujer ecuatoriana en el siglo XX." According to Zoila Ilarfa Castro,
NA'':a and .-Argos were part of women's journalistic publications; to date,
they have not been located. One issue of a literary review from
Portoviejo, entitled A.' r's, has been found; however, its editors were
men and there are no apparent feminist concerns. Although three women
did collaborate (Nratividad Robles, America Castillo, and Bertha Cedeno
de Espinel) with the magazine, it is assumed this journal is not the one
Castro had in mind.

Six issues have been located: I, 1 (April 1905); 1, 2 (May 1905)
I, 3 (June 1905); I, 4 (July 1905); I, 5 (August 1905); I, 6 (October
1905). Due to financial difficulties referred to in the August edition,
a topic to be treated later in this chapter, it is unlikely other issues
were published after October.

Elisa, "Carta a Laura," La :,iser, I, 1 (April 1905), 27.

9"Notas editoriales," La ,.ie I, 1 (April 1905), 31.
10bd.







II
Lucila tlontalvo, "Carta ntcima," La Mjer, I, 3 (June 1905),
78.

12"Tres mujeres mriximas en la literature national," A.naies de la
Univer.~si dad de Cena, VIII, 2 (April-June 1952), 158.

J "Nuestro ideal," La ,ie' , I (April 1905), 2.
14
Ibid., p. 3.

15Aspiraciones," La Aijer I, 4 (July 1905), 100.
16 id., p. 101.

1Josefina Veintemilla, "La Mujer," La :I ij I, 1 (April 1905),
8.
18
1La NUjer, I, 4 (July 1905), 122-126. Other stories found in
L.a :' ,ie are the following: Mercedes Gonzalez de Moscoso, "Los zapatos
de boda," La ru.ie, I, 1 (April 1905), 4-6; Marila Natalia Vaca, "iPobre
Marla ," L.a u:j I, 1 (April 1905), 19-23; continued in 1, 2 (fay 1905),
45-50; continued in I, 3 (June 1905); 83-87; Mercedes Gonzilez de
Moscoso, "Doble sacrificio," [a Hf -, I, 3 (June 1905), 72-77; continued
in I. 4 (July 1905), 105-110; Maria Natalia Vaca, "Cuento de Navidad,"
La :A';.'ie I, 5 (August 1905), 144-154; Antonia Mosquera A., "Sor Lorenza,"
La I .ier , 6 (October 1905), 169-172. This last story was incomplete
and was to be continued in a later issue.
19
9"Los zapatos de boda," p. 4.
20 ,d.
Tbid.
21
The only issues located were the complete collections of 1909
(111) and 1914 (VIII). Although there may be some question as to whether
or not this journal is feminist, it must be borne in mind that the editors
clearly presented their understanding of women's place in society. More-
over, despite its conservative position, F1 Hcgalr Cristiano attempted to
make women conscious of their responsibilities.
22
2Adelaida C. Velasco Galdos, ".jFeminismo?," EZ H.oiai'r Cristiano,
VIII, 81 (July 1914), 58.
23
2The following issues have been located: I, 1 (October 1907);
III 5 (July 1909); III, 6 (August 1909), IV, 7 (January 1910); IV,
8 (Mfay 1910).

24"Nuestro ideal ," 'La Ond-iu d lZ Gualas, I, 1 (October 1907), 1.

25 T id., p. 2.

2Adelaida Velasco, "LFeminismo?," p. 58.








27
2Alfredo Pareja Diezcanseco, Hiatc'ori de .a reb'i lici, II, 39.

2The only exception found was several references to the border
dispute with Peru, published in La O dina de. Gua,a.,s. IV, 8 (May 1910).
This issue used the boundary conflict as a point of departure in its
discussion of past heroines who valiantly defended Ecuador in times
of crisis. Basically, then, this issue appears to be more interested
in convincing women of their own potential and illustrious past than
the border question, per se.
29
29Magazines of this period found were: For,.i, I. I (September
1917); I, 2 (October 1917); I, 3 (November 1917); I, 4 (December
1917); I, 7 (May-June 1918); I. 8-9 (July-August 1918); I, 10-11
(September-October 1918); I, 12 (NovemTber-December 1918); II, 13-14
(August-September 1920); L.2 i _,er. E a.,:tc'ri'm I, (July 1918);
I, 2 (August 1918); I, 3 (September 1918); I, 4 (October 1918);
I, 5 (November 1918); I, 6 (January 1919); I, 7 (March 1919); I, 8
(May 1919); I, 9 (June 1919); II, 10 (August 1919); II, 1I (October
1919); II, 12-13 (November-December 1919); II, 14-15 (January-
February 1920); II, 16-17 (larch-April 1920): II, IS I(ay 1920);
II, 19-20 (June-July 1920); 11, 21 (August 1920); II, 22 (February
1921); II, 23 (March 1921); II, 24 (May 1921); III. 25 (July
1921); III, 26 (August-September 1921); III, 27 (October-December
1921); III, 28 (March 1922); III, 29 (May 1922); III, 30 (June 1922);
IV, 31 (July 1923); E ri ae. Car h I, 3 (July 1919); I, 5-6
(September-October 1919); I, 7 (November 1919); I, 8 (December 1919);
I, 9-10 (January-February 1920); I, II (March 1920); II, 12-13
(April-May 1920); II, 16-17 (August-September 1920); III, 20-21 (April-
May 1921); III, 22-23 (June-July 1921); Arl:equi. n, I, 2 (August 1928).

30"Agosto sagrado," For-, 1, 8-9 (July-August 1918). 156.

31"Proemio," Fo2'.oa, I, 1 (September 1917), 1. The article was
signed, "La Direccion."
32Ib.

33Ib~d., p. 2.

34Ibid.

35"Mi pesimismo: caso general," L.. ,V',.icr E cn.2tori..a.)., I, 5
(November 1918), 113.

This statement is found on the inside front cover of each issue.

7Through the years there have been women directors of National
and Municipal libraries (i.e., Zoila Ugarte de Landivar, Rosa Borja de
Icaza, Blanca Martfnez de Tinajero), heads of cultural organizations
(i.e., the different branches of the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana and
the Sociedad Bolivariana). Currently, Nuev,, a monthly news magazine
From Quito, is directed by Magdalena and Alejandra Adoum.








38
Al fredo Pareja Diezcanseco, Hi toi i.:a di la i'ep:ibZca 91.

9Although Seraffn Dominguez Mancebo has stated that this magazine
was published for four years ("Ecuador, su independencia y su cultural "
CHad io de:l G ya 2e(, IX, 17 (September 1958), 6), only the following
issues have been located: I, 1 (October 1933); 1, 2 (November 1933);
I, 3 (December 1933); I, 4 (January 1934); I, 7 (April 1934): I. 8
(July 1934); I, 9 (July-August 1934); I 12 (January-February 1935).
40
4"Legi6n Femenina de Educaci6n Popular," I,.!aoe Hoi'. o'nte 1,
I (October 1933), 26.

Serafin Domrnguez Mancebo, "Ecuador, su independencia y su
cultural p. 6.

42["Carta a Isabel Morel,"] Nui'5:.o3 HoiZ.o:cntee, I, I (October 1933),
6. The original letter published had no title.

4 Editorial," NA'eiEc-, Ho iz tie., I, 3 (December 1933), 5.

44Nuec Horizcontez , 1 (October 1933), 27.

45Nueus H io izoit te, I 2 (November 1933), 7.
46 d., p. 24.

47 id.. pp. 7, 24.
48,
"Feminismo," N:r uoc H, rizo, 'tes, I 8 (May-June 1934). The article
was signed, "Cornelia." This was Delia Ibarra's pen name.

I49id. p. 24.

50The following issues have been -located: I, 1 (April 1934); I,
2 (May 1934); 1, 4 (August 1934); I, 5 (September-October 1934); I, 6
(November 1934); I, 7-8 (February 1935).

"1La cultural femenina," Il .c aci'a; I, I (April 1934), 3. This
editorial most likely was written by Blanca Martinez.

5This contest was announced ("Concurso literario de Inioaci *i:")
in I, 5 (September-October 1934). Unfortunately, no other pertinent
information has been found to date.

53Alicia Jaramillo R. "Iniciando," iYc acZon, I I (Apr l 1934),
7.

54",Se puede, Companeras?," .,Ala ,, I, 1(December 1934), I. Only
the first issue has been located.








55Two later feminist publications should also be mentioned before
concluding this chapter. Fraterizdad (Guayaquil, 1947-1948) was edited
by Esperanza Caputti 0. and Laura Carrera G., in conjunction with
Guayaquil's Centro Cultural Fraternidad, a group of women professors
who published articles concerned with education, feminist themes, and
some poetry. A!izje, (Guayaquil, 1975), published by the Frente Unido de
Mujeres del Guayas, was mainly concerned with informing women about the
Frente's projects and goals for the Ano Internacional de la Mujer, 1975
(two numbers were published as of June 1975: I, 1 (January-March 1975);
1, 2 (April-June 1975).
56
E5 Ho 'gar d'stvaZo is an obvious exception.
57
L.a noveZa ecCfato riaa, p. 94.

58"Peticion," La M(l!uer, 1, 5 (August 1905), 158.

59This note appeared in Flra, I, 8-9 (July-August 1918), 189.

60This note appeared in Fl'.c.i, I, 13-14 (August-September 1920),
227. Additional evidence of the financial crisis was published in Br'isa
del CaIcl, I I 22-23 (June-July 1921), 360:
"Y asF, hoy al cesar temporalmente la publicacion de
BE',sas del a:'rch'., no nos sentimos ni cansados ni vencidos;
. solamente la crisis de papel que ha herido de muerte
a muchas publicaciones, nos pone en el caso de suspender
por poco tiempo nuestro pequeno trabajo period-stico."

"6Cultura femenina: Floracion intellectual de la mujer ecuatoriana
en el siglo XX," p. 321.













CHAPTER IV

THE ESSAY


Historically speaking, the literary growth and development of

Ecuador's female prose writers have gone through three formative stages

during this century. The feminist journals presented in the previous

chapter and numerous newspapers (i.e., El TeIegr'af E' DOa, El Co'nervio,

El li:le.3so) gave the initial impulse when, for the first time, they

offered women easy access to a public medium in which they could write

and speak out about specific issues. Although the short polemical article

of the journals continued to be the dominant prose form through World

War II, between 1922-1945 a second stage was begun when several writers

demonstrated a strong desire to do more than occasionally contribute to

periodicals. These women considered themselves writers whose specific

role was to publish steadily their views and opinions about the problems

of Ecuadorian society, and consequently,- they dedicated most of their

adult lives to writing. The third stage (post-World War II), unlike

the earlier ones, can be characterized by its change in focus: much of

the prose dealt with esthetic and artistic themes (i.e., music, art,

literature) rather than the socio-political ones. The purpose of this

chapter, then, is to evaluate the prose of the second and third stages

in order to understand more clearly Ecuadorian women's evolution as

prose writers.








Women Writers: 1922-1945

As women gained experience in writing and confidence in their

abilities it was only natural for many of them to broaden the scope of

their professional activities. Despite the traditional obstacles that

have beset writers in Ecuador, Hipatia Cardenas (1899-1972), Victoria

Vasconez Cuvi (1891-1939), Rosa Borja de Icaza (1889-1964), and Zoila

Rend6n (?-?) managed to publish numerous collections of essays and

articles, showing that women, just as men, were capable of being committed

writers. Feminist related topics and socio-political questions were

treated constantly by these writers whose works clearly reflected the

female intellectual's thinking in Ecuador during a considerable portion

of this century.


Feminism: The Theme of ,'i:2 :'~:i,.

With regard to feminism, in the light of the 1975 Assembly in

Mexico which commemorated International Women's Year, the diversity of

women's interests and concerns has become obvious, particularly since

women from different parts of the world define and interpret their

realities in terms of their own cultures and traditions. For example,

women from the United States may find it difficult to understand, but

most Latin American women continue to accept role differentiation between

the sexes as Jane Jaquette notes: "A whole generation of North American

women have become convinced of their powerlessness relative to males

and have moved to destroy the role differentiation they perceive as its

cause. The Latin American woman correctly perceives role differentiation

as the key to her power and influence. Even the notions of the 'separate-









ness' and 'mystery' of women, which are viewed in the North American

context as male propaganda chiefly used to discriminate against women,

are seen in the Latin American context as images to be enhanced, not

destroyed." In effect, many Latin American women believe role differ-

entiation and '.ac.:1'ismo are a source of power rather than powerlessness,

for "the availability of strong female roles in Latin American culture

is a sign of a vitality of the 'traditional'forms of role differentiation

and that o'21,::iz'io, often thought by North Americans as the clearest

evidence of the oppression and powerlessness of women in Latin America,

is really a social convention in which women have an important stake,

for male 'inmorality' is basic to female legitimacy and influence."

Upon reading Cardenas, Vasconez, Borja, and Rendon, the validity

of Jaquette's interpretation is confirmed, at least insofar as Ecuador

is concerned. These women spent a good deal of time writing about the

Ecuadorian female experience, and although they sought greater opportunities

for women in society, they continually emphasized the need to preserve

traditional family roles (i.e., daughter, wife, and mother). fMoreover,

women were understood to be Ecuador's bearers of morality whose principal

function in society was to counteract the evil ways of men. Vasconez

explained in 1922: "La formaci6n moral de la mujer es todavia mas

several y exigente que la del hombre; ella, no podrd dar un paso adelante

en la adquisicion de sus derechos, sino [sic] se preocupa ante todo, de

su formacion moral."5

This insistence upon women's moral responsibilities in society

has been referred to as mar-ion is"i, the female counterpart to nachis.o.

According to Evelyn Stevens, ',ri.:ismo "is just as prevalent as machismo








but it is less understood by Latin Americans themselves and almost unknown

to foreigners. It is the cult of feminine spiritual superiority, which

teaches that women are semidivine, morally superior to and spiritually

stronger than men." After reading the prose written by Ecuadorian women

prior to World War II (i.e., the feminist magazine material), and

particularly the works published by the four writers of 1922-1945

mentioned above, it becomes clear marianis.no was very much a part of the

evolution of feminist thought in Ecuador. Although women intellectuals

urged the authorities to improve female education, to offer women more

professional opportunities in society, they never rejected the home as

their center of activity and responsibility. In fact, women emphasized

continually that more education and professional opportunities were

desired because enlightened women would be better prepared than ignorant

ones for motherhood.

In general, women's feminist/mrn.ilaniz~sta concerns were based on two

premises: women were to be moral citizens, and they were to be dedicated

mothers. In terms of morality, Vasconez for example, likened the home

to a religious temple in which women played a key role: "El hogar

ennoblecido con las virtudes de innumerables y grandes santas, puede

y debe ser para las mujeres un temple. En el pueden practicar cuanto

[sic] ambicionen para su perfeccion moral."7 According to Borja, each

woman was primarily "la guardian de la moralidad social, y cuando

desciende de su sitio y corrompe su corazon y sus costumbres, la sociedad

se derrumba: por la relajaci6n y la espantosa influencia que las

mujeres con sus pasiones ejercieron en la sociedad de Claudio y de

Ileron, vemos envilecido el pueblo, y como epflogo, la destruccion del

Imperio Romano."








In effect, women (mothers) were society's spiritual leaders charged

with the noble mission of showing man the way to a better world. Borja

explained: "El mundo corre a su fin en una decadencia moral des-

concertante; en donde quiera que ponemos la vista se levanta el odio

enmascarado con el doblez de la intriga, con la pequenez de la envidia

y con el azote cruel de la calumnia. . Tener valor moral [las

mujeres] y transmitirlo a nuestros hijos, he ahi el mayor bien que
..9
podemos prodigarles."

The close ties between feminism and mriani:' zo become even more

apparent when reading yet another comment written by Borja:

El feminismo, repito, debe batallar por la
regeneraci6n educatia de la mujer, para capacitarla
tambien para la lucha por la vida, par el derecho de
trabajar, con la capacidad que, por si solas sus
aptitudes le conceden, llevandola a la independencia
personal; pero nunca ese esfuerzo cultural ha de
arrancarla del papel eminentemente spiritual que debe
representar en la colectividad. Su puesto no esta en
las urnas para votar por una libertad de que es muy duena
por su elevado esprritu; su accion es much mas amplia,
mas noble, mas hermosa, porque tiene por scenario el
mundo y como centro el corazon del hombre.10

Interestingly enough, Ecuadorian women wrote extensively about the

negative effects numerous social reforms and foreign female influences

had on women's morality. During the 1920's there was an awareness in

Ecuador that attitudes and customs had changed throughout the world, and

in Ecuador itself ladies' hem lines were higher while necklines were

lower, heavier make-up was used, women were smoking in public, they

Were even dancing the fox trot with strangers. Not surprisingly, the

new woman who had little in common with the traditional archetype, the

Virgin Mother, was criticized severely by Ecuador's ,mai;.an'ista writers:








"La mujer contemporanea posee muchos conocimientos, pero no pesa los

graves y complicados problems y deberes como esposa y como madre.

Podr'amos decir que se halla educada a la perfecci6n para el coquetismo,

el lujo, el sport, los cines, los bailes, el juego, consistiendo su

ambici6n mas grande en aparecer siempre bonita y a la moderna."ll

In addition, Rend6n wrote that the uneducated woman of the past

was in many cases superior to the more enlightened one of contemporary

times:

Quitando las diferencias de educaci6n y el extreme
de ignorancia que daban a a3 nina en los hogares de antano,
pero, que virtudes respiraban [sic]. Ante todo se le ensenaba
a ser buena, formando su corazon en la dignidad prop;a de
mujer, y si en verdad se le ocultaba el amor mal entendido,
se le guiaba, en cambio, por el camino del pudor; . .
NIo se le ensenaba a leer, peor escribir, pero si a ser mujer
complete en sus quehaceres domesticos; era habil en las artes
de coser, cocinar, planchar, border y economizar. siendo los
hijos de nuestros antecesores, buenos, respetuosos,
educados por aquellas mujeres que en nada se parec'an a
las modernas.12

In effect, Ecuadorian feminists did not seek greater educational

and professional opportunities to abandon their traditional roles, but

rather to reinforce them: "Si somos libres para estudiar, que nuestros

conocimientos sirvan para aumentar los encantos en el hogar, para

ilustrar y preparar a nuestras hijas, y no para contribuir a que sean

semi-hombres, destruyendo sus sentimientos naturales y convirtiendolas
13
en series in6tiles para la familiar y para la sociedad." Clearly,

many Ecuadorian women believed their moral example was essential in a

world marred by war, hunger, and injustice, and therefore, they frowned

upon the frivolous ways of their contemporaries who were abusing newly

acquired freedoms:








La silueta de la mujer modern, frfvola y vacfa, se
perfila cada vez mas intense y amenazante en el mundo y
esta tendencia, este resume de extravfo social, es el que en
este instance historic de la humanidad a todos nos preocupa,
porque a todos igualmente nos here. El fox-trot, la falds
corta, la pintura en el rostro, el cine y la novela, son
los factors deslumbrantes que, como una buila incandescent
atrae a las mariposas incautas, hoy arrastran lo mismo a la
senorita encumbrada, como a la nina modest que vive en los
talleres. iTriste situaci6n la de la humanidad! ella [sic] se
pasiona facilmente de lo que brilla, de lo que reluce, y es
dificil que se detenga a contemplar el fondo mismo de las
cosas; pero esta falta de comprensi6n, este absolute extravfo
moral hoy se determine con caracteres alarmantes y la mujer
modern con sus fa las ideas tiende a desequilibrar totalmente
la armonia social.

Consistent with Ecuadorian feminists' desire to participate

significantly in society/ as bearers of morality was their conviction

they could exercise their greatest power and influence in the world as

mothers. Since children (society's future leaders and citizens) begin

their learning experience at home under close maternal guidance, it was

only logical that mothers could influence mankind's future by effectively

educating the young. Hence, as evidenced by Cardenas' following comment,

motherhood was considered the source of women's fulfillment rather than

an obstacle: "Y, sobre todo, tengo a mi cargo un magisterio inmensamente

noble y de grandes responsabilidades, cuya finalidad sera el triunfo de

mi vida: la educac;6n de mis hijos.'15

More specifically Vasconez wrote:

.creemos que la verdadera proteccion al nino su
salud, su porvenir, su desarrollo moral estan en las
manos de la madre, contando conque ella sea la educadora
abnegada y cientrfica de sus hijos. Si lo que hace el
feminismo mal entendido es arrancar a la muier de su
centro principal [el hoqar], pervertir su naturaleza e
inclinarle a la veleidad, considerar que el matrimonio y
la maternidad son insoportables cargas; entonces entramos
en plena regresi6n, oponemos un muro infranqueable al progress
/ la moralidad y cometemos la m6s negra traici6n a la causa








feminist. La mujernecesita perfeccionarse y no buscar por
ideal un tipo anomalo que no sea hombre ni mujer definidamente.
Es necesario penetrarse en que el ideal esta en que ella
sea una mujer de verdad y no un remedo ni una imitaci6n
del hombre.

Turning to the more global responsibilities of motherhood in society,

Cardenas exhorted: "La mujer esta llamada en la hora actual a poner

todo su esfuerzo en la regeneraci6n social; ella, y s6lo ella puede

combatir el cancer que nos devora, y desde ahora, que nunca es tarde,

ensenar a sus hijos, desde tiernecitos, con la seal de la cruz, el

amor crvico, el amor de la Patria, con el respeto a Dios, el respeto a

las leyes, el respeto a la mujer .. .

In effect, Cardenas, Vasconez, Borja, and Rend6n wrote extensively

about the urgency of women's fully assuming their natural roles in

society. According to feminist/!.riaSu~ta thinking in Ecuador, all of

society was viewed as one large family, and consequently, the mother's

function went far beyond individual domestic situations. Women were

no longer to be ignorant slaves to their husbands, divorced from world

problems and concerns, nor were they to be purely capricious beings

devoted solely to their toilette. Rather, women were to consider

themselves supem.:dr'a in charge of establishing harmony and under-
18
standing in their large caza, the nation.

Upon recognizing their potential, women leaders doubled their

efforts to organize charitable groups which sponsored a variety of
19
programs for the protection of orphans, unwed mothers, and the poor.9

Women clearly drew their strength from serving others, as indicated by

Vasconez's observation: "La mujer modern . ambiciona no s6lo

bastarse a sf misma, sino aliviar a sus ancianos padres, ayudar el

esposo pobre o enfermo, satisfacer las necesidades de sus pequenuelos




74



adorados, favorecer a los pobres, contribuir para todo lo que sea

serv;cio de su Dios y de su patria, . .20

In short, an essential element in Ecuadorian feminism was the

naP iialsta concept which continually appeared in the major women

writer's prose works, particularly when they tried to interpret the

female situation in Ecuador. Borja summed up the full meaning of

Ecuadorian feminism, in terms of ma2ia'sllro:

He dicho repetidas veces que no debe usurpar el puesto
de los hombres, y que debe tener siempre por base la
mas exquisite espiritualidad; pero, no es que me acoja
a esa sensibilidad morbosa que Impide a la mujer today
actividad de cooperacion colectiva en las exigencias de
la vida actual, ni el retraso en los avances de la ciencia
y la civilizacion. Tengo para mi, que la mujer que solo sabe
de aplanchar y de zurcir, de nada sabe; pero, para remediar
estas flaquezas que la hacen andar siempre paso a paso en
las operaciones de la vida, atada tristemente a su sopor
colonial, sin sentir dentro de s5 que la humanidad la reclama
como madre consciente, como educadora de colectividades
futures y como srmbolo de toda ella, no es precise que
abandon los sagrados deberes del hogar, ni se despoje de
la finura exquisite de su espiritu con que colora y matiza
la orientac;on de la vida, cuando con su corazon, rebosante de
ternura besa los blancos cabellos de la ancianidad y, tamblen
se ;nclina amantisima delante de la cuna, con el noble
prestigio de la maternidad.21


Feminism: The Theme of Suffrage


Naturally, feminism as a literary theme offered writers more

material than merely the morality and motherhood issues already discussed.

Basically, writers defended women's ability to make constructive contri-

butions to a world that traditionally denied them the opportunity to

participate fully in society's development. Although female intellectuals

considered the maternal role their primary function, they noted vehemently

that this in no way implied they were inferior or less important than men.









In fact, women recognized their special skills were as essential to

human progress as men's abilities, and therefore, they demanded that

both sexes share the same rights and responsibilities. Hence, suffrage,

greater participation in politics, equal opportunities, and legal

reforms became popular topics among Ecuador's chief women writers of

the pre-World War II period.

Of all the feminist writers, Cardenas was the most outspoken

proponent of women's suffrage in Ecuador. Time and time again, with

sarcasm she bitterly attacked men's assertion that women were not

qualified to vote:

iQuien fue el iluso, el falaz que quiso que la mujer,
ese ser tan inferior, tuviera iquales derechos crvicos
que el hombre? iEloy Alfaro'l Quiza en su vision, de
grande alcance polItico, no vio que la "bella durmiente"
algun dfa despertarra? Y es asr como ahora la mujer
ecuatoriana es tratada de beata ignorante; imasa
inconsciente, rebano de imbeciles! LQuisiera que me
dijesen si los hombres que votan, todos son Socrates,
Cicerones, Demostenes, Senecas, Catones y Brutos? Lo
mejor es que la mayorfa de los que asf se expresan
jamas en la vida han sido capaces ni siquiera de
entender lo que es el derecho al voto.L

While Ecuadorian women were the first Latin American females to

receive national suffrage (1929), there were occasional attempts by

legislators to rescind the la'.-;, supposedly because of women's poor

educational background and close ties to the Roman Catholic Church.

Cardenas, however, rejected the official arguments and emphasized male

shortcomings:

6Las razones para quitar el voto a las mujeres? Las
de siempre: que la mujer no esta preparada, que son
rebanos de curas y frailes, etc. Querrfa decir que los
hombres sl lo estan y que a ellos no les maneja ni
sugestiona nadie.









Y 1 h;storia prueba hasta la evidencia que un buen
gobernante y un verdadero hombre de Estado es el mas raro
y extraordinario de los milagros y/ que si los pueblos andan y
progresan es a pesar de la political siempre manejada por los
hombres. .P.ebanos?

Que ciertos viejos liberales-radicales quieran privar
de sus derechos cfvicos a la mujer ecuatoriana, es mu'
explicable.
Los viejos siempre estan en pugna con el advance de la
civilizaci6n.23

In 1938, Cardenas again reproached efforts to deny women suffrage,

however on this occasion, in an article entitled "El proyecto de ley

electoral," she revealed the furtive means adopted by the legislature

to encroach on women's rights:

Tengo que decir a las mujeres ecuatorianas que, a
traves de rodeos y limitaciones, se quit el voto a la
mujer en el proyecto de ley electoral que la comision
ha presentado al Gobierno. No puede votar quien no tenga
solvencia economic. Con esta disposici6n se da lugar a
discusiones sin cuento, para buscarel resultado de impedir
el sufragio femenino salvo a viudas, cocineras y sirvientes
a las cuales se les exige un papeleo endiablado y, por fin,
si logran probar esa solvencia, les queda aun el trimite
de certificados de escuelas y colegios. Las mujeres de
la clase acomodada no pueden votar por su dependencia
economic. Las mujeres del pueblo, por su falta de
instruction. Total ninguna.4

Generally speaking, Cardenas was not seeking any favors or special

treatment for women, but rather she was urging male politicians to accept

their female counterparts as full-fledged citizens, worthy of the same

rights and privileges as those enjoyed by men:

Lo just, lo natural es que a la mujer se le exijan
las mismas condiciones que al hombre.
L.Que al hombre le basta leer y escribir para ser
ciudadano? Pues, lo propio para la mujer. ,.Que al
hombre se le va a exigir algo mas? Pues, que se le exija
tambien algo mas a la mujer.25

Notwithstanding Cardenas' vehemence, other writers did not consider

suffrage to be an essential issue for women, most likely because the









electoral process has never played a meaningful role in Ecuadorian
26
politics. Also, female intellectuals tended to believe women were

still not prepared to undertake the serious responsibilities identified

with suffrage. Vasconez wrote: "No vamos a llamar a la mujer a un

campo de acci6n para el cual aun [sic] no esta preparada; no le insinuaremos

que se present en la palestra politica, que intervenga en los comicios,
,27
ni vaya a la Legislatura, . In similar fashion, Borja commented:

"En la gran desorbitacion de las funciones politicas de nuestras

democracies, el ejercicio del voto no es lo que mas nos interest, porque,

vuelvo a ratificar mi opinion tantas veces expuesta, de que el voto de

la mujer sin preparaci6n cfvica, solo sirve de instrument ciego en

las grandes orientaciones nacionales.'28

In the case of Rendon, she went as far as denying the need for

suffrage and suggested women could get greater mileage out of a more

subtle approach to politics:

Ella no necesita ir a las urnas electorales para sufragar
por el candidate de sus simpatfas; le basta influir en la
voluntad de su esposo, hermanos e hijos, para ganarse los
votos. Sus razonamientos, aunque no sean acatados en el
instant, pero poco a poco y sin hacer sentir al hombre, le
sujetan a sus deseos; en verdad, ella no necesita de quien
represent sus derechos en las Camaras Legislativas, ya que
imperando en el corazon del hombre, puede dictar leyes en
favor de su sexo, y al hacerlo, hacelo en el bien de ella
29
y en el de sus semejantes.


Feminism: The Theme of Equality


Whereas many of Cardenas' female contemporaries tended to rationalize

sexist arguments that preserved political inequalities among men and

women, she refused to accept a double standard which condoned male

ignorance while punishing female ignorance. Moreover, she rejected the





78



idea that women's domestic duties prevented effective political

participation outside of the home: "No creo yo que todas las mujeres

esten preparadas para esos puestos, como los hombres tampoco; pero sf

las hay y muy buenas, desde luego; . De lo que sf tenemos que

convencernos es de que no esta renida la Politica ni la Administraci6n

con los deberes de las mujeres en el hogar: ellas se alcanzan para

todo y cumplen con sus deberes mejor o mas a conciencia que el hombre."0

In effect, Cardenas' feminist writings frequently argued that women

were not inferior to men because of natural or divine law, and given an

equal opportunity, they could compete successfully with the so-called

stronger sex. In terms of participation in the political arena, she

wrote:

.Por que no puede la mujer ocuparse en la Polltica? La
Polftica no es lo que la juzgan nuestros hombres, o mas
bien dicho, lo que de ella han hecho los hombres que se
creen politicos, una cosa aspera y dura, miserable y
qrosera, un maridaje de traiciones y ambiciones, cuvo
fruto es el medro de los mas audaces y mas cfnicos.
La Poltica es el engrandecimiento de la Patria, no
s6lo materialmente, sino moralmente; . Politica es
el arte de saber gobernar. . La mujer no solo por
afici6n debe ocuparse en pollrica: debe hacerlo como
un deber, para poder preparar a sus hijos a que sean
buenos servidores de su Patria en cualquier terreno en
que les toque actuar .
Ahora, .por que no puede la mujer ocupar un puesto en
la administraci6n del pals? ,No hay mujeres como Rosa
Borja de Icaza, suficientemente preparadas? . Y, por
ultimo, senores mros, hay que conformarse con la evoluci6n
de los tiempos, y dejarse de las nimiedades de antano. La
mujer esta capacitada y preparada para competir con vuesas
mercedes.31

Vasconez also protested man's reputed superiority: "Protestamos

contra el concept que atribuye a la mujer la sujeci6n y al hombre la

libertad: de dos series de la misma naturaleza, ha de ser el uno

superior al otro? No desempenan los dos importantfsimas funciones,









no son necesarios, ambos, a la armonra? LPor qu6 la mujer, en cualquier

estado, madre o hija, esposa o hermana, ha de ser inferior al hombre?

Habra diversidad de funciones, pero.no de naturaleza, . .2

It is clear the double standard with its numerous contradictions

tormented many promising female intellectuals who had sacrificed and

studied to become useful citizens only to discover that their talents

and skills were not taken seriously by a male-dominated society.

Vasconez, in an article entitled "Tristeza," depicted the pessimism

and sense of futility experienced by many of her contemporaries who

had fought persistently against longstanding prejudices and injustices:

"Tristeza cuando encontre sombrio el porvenir de la mujer. lIdeales?

Alegrfas ficticias, amores pocas veces sinceros, education deficiente

siempre, perjudicial a veces, y luego, la supuesta inferioridad de

la mujer respect del hombre, inferioridad dada no por la naturaleza

sino por la sociedad y las costumbres."33

Despite women's bleak situation, Vasconez did believe they were

capable of effecting some changes. However, as she explained in 1922,

female unity and organization were essential in their struggle to

win equality because as isolated individuals they were weak and in-

effective, while as a group they would be stronger and more aggressive

when defending their rights: "La mujer, mas que el hombre, necesita

asociarse, pues que poco a nada conseguirfa al ir sola a defender sus

ideals. Habeis hecho muy bien en asociaros, porque, solas, os creen

debiles e incapaces de ejercer derechos; mientras que, unidas por el

vfnculo de ideas y sentimientos identicos, formareis un n6cleo que no
S34
podra menos que ser respetado." Similarly, on another occasion she









commented that women had to take charge of their own destinies: "La

reform en la educaci6n femenina sera lenta si la mujer misma no toma

parte en ella. Muy recomendable serla que fuera la mujer antes que

los hombres y que los gobiernos quien trabajara por su mejoramiento.35

With regard to equality before the law, Rendon studied Ecuador's

legal codes and wroce about the many contradictions that were prejudicial

to women. She deplored the adultery laws which punished women outright

while considering men guilty only when they committed the crime in their

own home; she criticized the laws for punishing the prostitutes while

ignoring the procurers; she attacked the abortion laws for punishing

women while ignoring men's complicity, either as seductors or as those

who convinced women to carry out the crime. In effect, Rend6n protested:

El Codigo Penal, no castiga al hombreque fue causante
de estos delitos que ocasion6 su abandon [el de la mujer],
la necesidad, el hambre, la desnudez. Y sin embargo, que
tanto ha adelantado el feminismo, todavfa tenemos esos
vicios ancestrales, que no desaparecen del mundo que se
precia de civilizado. La lucha de la mujer por recobrar
su dignidad y ocupar el puesto que le corresponde, como ser
dotado de la misma inteligencia del hombre, recorre los
continents, demostrando al mundo que es capaz de todas
las conquistas del pensamiento'en todos los postulados y
profesiones del hombre.36


Other Themes


It should be remembered that the chief writers of this second

stage in women's prose development were highly educated, aware of the

many problems common throughout the world, and consequently, they did

not limit their prose works to the feminist themes. For example, Cardenas,

Borja, and Rend6n frequently wrote about the urgent need for pacifism

in the world, particularly since they considered violence and strong-arm










tactics in politics the chief obstacles to realizing justice and freedom.

Appealing to young people to reform their ways, Cardenas wrote:

Y perd6neme la juventud: ella es en cierto modo la
responsible de las tiranfas, porque ella tambien quiere
afianzar su ideal y su idea por medio de la violencia.
Ahf esta el gran error, porque la juventud no quiere
entender que s6lo con la pluma y la palabra que razona
se puede evolucionar y sembrar los principios y afianzar
las ideas. Jamas con los atropellos e insultos; estos
no consiguen sino hacer reaccionar en sentido contrario
a las masas.37

Borja suggested that a considerable part of the overall instability

common to the Gran Colombian countries could be attributed to their long

history of violence in which "la devastaci6n polftica atropello hasta

sus propias intuiciones, i, [sic] en su dolorosa disgregaci6n, asesin6

a Sucre, mat6 a Bolivar, y a traves de las pasiones, dej6 para esta

defectuosa civilizacion el atavismo de la desconfianza, causa perturbadora

de toda interpretation psicologica just y recta en el process emotional

de las masas."

Women's pacifism, of course, was consistent with their m:jio2Zsta

thinking, especially since wars andviolence endangered the lives of their

children. Therefore, many female intellectuals espoused non-violence

because of their maternal instincts, quickly incorporating it into their

activities designed to better society. Borja explained:

Para que la iiujer realice la fraternidad grando-
colombiana [sic] tiene que desarrollar en sus hijos, con
su preparation al future, el sentimiento de paz. afirmado
siempre en la ultilidad colectiva, creadora de empresas y
cultural; y en el sector que le corresponde, former legiones
de verdaderas madres que suavicen fronteras ) den a nuestra
civilizaci6n, en el hondo sentido de la vida, la verdadera
expresion de Humanidad.39

With regard to a mother's fear of losing a child at war, Rend6n

dramatically offered:









iPaz! .Cuando la encontraremos sobre este valle de
lagrimas? La esperanza no deja de alimentar nuestra
mente. Ella Flota en el espacio como el Arco Iris.
Le debemos buscar a porffa. LY, a quien le corresponde
mas de cerca, sino a la MUJER que amamanta a su hijo?
iQue sea el ALELUYA UNIVERSAL para todas las conciencias!
La mujer que en sus brazos mece al nino en sus
cantares y arrullos le adormece y enjuga su llanto,
tiembla de panico al pensar que a su hijo por quien
derramo su sangre y tuvo noches de vigilia y de
inquietudes, le vera marchar a la guerra.40

Further on she continued: "El mundo espera impaciente nuestra inmediata

cooperation. . Para esto no se requieren condiciones especiales.

Toda mujer est5 capacitada para ejercer su apostolado de paz."41

Moving completely away from maternal concerns, Cardenas was a

fiery critic of Ecuadorian politicians, tirelessly attacking their lies

and failings. Generally speaking, the country's political situation was

in a shambles and Cardenas was set on making her readers aware of the

realities. In typical fashion, she complained: "La political

genuinamente ecuatoriana; . lo que aquf se llama polftica y se

practice es una guerra ciega de pasiones, atropellos y, consiguientemente,

de insults y calumnias, en que la morally la dignidad desaparecen; es un

huracan de fuerzas brutas que se arremolinan y acometen y destruyen con

furor demoniaco."2

Like numerous other women writers, Cardenas was deeply concerned

over Ecuadorian porblems, and consequently, she frequently felt impelled

to use her writing skills when defending national ideals and values. For

example, after being sharply criticized for having published the results

of a political survey dealing with Ecuadorian dictatorships, she responded

unflinchingly: "'Qu4 importa que perros en jaurfa aullen ferozmente en

el cas de mi vida? lograrn amedrentarme. Obviously, Crdenas
el ocaso de mi vida? No lograran amedrentarme." Obviously, Cardenas










was a writer committed to her profession, and to the truth: "Veome

obligada a romper la promesa, hecha voluntariamente a personas que

amo y estimo, de no ocuparme en las.cosas publicas; pero ya una vez

que defend la libertad de imprenta, sostuve que guardar silencio en

ciertas ocasiones estimaba yo como un crimen"

With regard to freedom of the press, she wrote categorically:

Ella es el faro que alumbra el camino de los energumenos
que se Ilaman politicos; ella es la voz del pueblo que
sufre y calla. Ella, la prensa, es la patria misma,
pues *qui6n sino ella da el grito de alarma cuando
tratan de humillarnos?
La imprenta con dogal es la peor verguenza de una
nacio6n y esa verguenza la debemos a la Asamblea de
1929.45

Vasconez also was actively involved in analyzing national problems,

and in an article reminiscent of Bello's Silua a agri.cult ra Ide i.

z. .n t'r ,id2, she discussed the important role agriculture would play

in Ecuador's future:

En esta paradisfaca tierra ecuatoriana guard el
suelo tesoros de leyenda y son esos los tesoros que
enterraron los Incas. Esta pr6diga madre, al
proporcionar a sus hijos noble y ventajosa ocupacion, hard
que la espada, pronta a desenvainarse en desastrosas
guerras fratricidas, sea en el "6til arado convertida."
El trabajo argicola abrira en el Ecuador la anhelada
nueva ruta en que se ejercitarg el esfuerzo de miles de
series, sedientos de actividad y de oro.
La agriculture creara en el pals una raza de hombres
sanos y fuertes, porque le arrancarS del apinamiento e
infecundo afanar de la ciudad.46

Further on, in almost prophetic fashion, Vasconez continued: "Y

tendiendo la vista al porvenir, all una tierra ignota, un bello pals

encantado surge en ese que un dia sera el verdadero Oriente ecuatoriano."47

In conclusion, 1922-1945 was a significant period in the develop-

ment of female prose writers in Ecuador, particularly since an increas-









ing number of women were turning to literature as their most effective

means of making known their beliefs and concerns. As illustrated by

Cardenas, Vasconez, Borja, and Rend6n, women writers were producing

committed literature designed, on the one hand, to defend women's rights,

and on the other hand, to criticize the nation's most flagrant short-

comings. Moreover, while female writers were challenging many traditional

stereotypes and proving women were capable of being first class citizens,

eager to contribute to the nation's future growth and progress, their

literature clearly reflected the chief female concerns and priorities

of the period, a source of material essential to full l understanding the

women of Ecuador.


Women Writers: 1945 to the Present


Following World War II, an increasing number of women were exposed

to greater educational opportunities and the Casa de la Cultura

Ecuatoriana offered financial and moral support to aspiring intellectuals.

As a result, women writers entered a third phase in their prose develop-

ment; one characterized by the emergence of purely artistic and esthetic

themes. Literature, music, the plastic arts, philosophy, and religion

became the chief topics explored, rather than the earlier socio-political

ones. Logically, with their broader education, women began to identify

with those issues that encompassed more than the Ecuadorian or Latin

American reality.4

Interestingly enough, whereas many women writers active before

World War II tended to publish a steady flow of material, the post-

war writers usually have felt no urgent need to communicate with









the reading public, and therefore, their prose production frequently has

been sporadic and in some cases, meager. Piedad Larrea Borja and Lupe

Rumazo, however, are exceptions to this trend, for they both repeatedly

have published a variety of works dealing with their intellectual

concerns. The following discussion, then, will focus on the prose of

Larrea and Rumazo, Ecuador's principal female contemporary essayists.


Piedad Larrea Borja


Piedad Larrea Borja (1912) is an exceptional woman in Ecuadorian

literature, especially since she is the only female to date who has

been elected to Ecuador's Academia de la Lengua (October 25, 1968),

and consequently, is one of the few Spanish-speaking women recognized
49
as a member of Spain's Real Academia de la Lengua. According to

Morayma Carvajal:

Piedad es una autodidacta. Audaz, admirablemente audaz
en explorer las escarpaduras de las several disciplines
mentales y los laberintos filos6ficos de todos los tiempos.
Valiente en el empeno de abrirse paso, con su grande
inteligencia y el poder de su intuicion, por los reinos del
conocimiento; avida por rasgar los velos del enigma, encontrar
el camino seguro, la respuesta cabal, la meta definida y
exacta. De saber el c6mo y el por que de las cosas, de
encontrar el tesoro de la verdad tras la quimera y el
espejismo. Investigar, enriquecer su mundo con la
austera dadiva de la sabidurfa. Captar la voz omnipotente
del cosmos, ir mas alla por lossenderos que abrieron los
geniales espiritus en el espacio y eg el tiempo; vigilante
siempre su abierta pupila iluminada.

Despite Larrea's broad cultural interests, she began her writing

career in much the same fashion as her predecessors--concerned with

socio-political issues.1 With regard to pacifism, for example, she

wrote:

L.Dnde los beneficios de la guerra? LD6nde los males
que haya remediado? ;.La humanidad, la vida, deben algo
a los tan ponderados inventos de guerra? Seria terrible el
aceptarlo. Seria inhuman y cruelmente paradojal el









concebir siguiera que la vida pueda mejorar con los m5s
refinados inventos para causar la muerte; generalmente,
multitudinariamente igual, inmisericorde para todos. Que
la humanidad pueda enaltecerse con la negaci6n absolute
de todos sus nobles principios. Que el progress sea empujado
per Fuerzas de destrucci6n.52

Further on she lamented those conditions which traditionally have caused

wars:

Ambiente propio para la guerra hay en medir a las
naciones, no por la sabidurfa de sus leyes, su progress
o sus libertades. No por sus pensadores, sus estadistas,
sus cientfFicos o sus artists, sino simplemente por su
potencialidad de comercio o de armamento. Ambiente propicio
para la guerra hay, en fin, en dar solo sentido military a
las palabras gloria y herolsmo. La legion callada de los
heroes de la justicia, de la ciencia y del derecho, de
todos los heroes civiles sin e atuas ni epopeyas,
continue siendo legion ignota.

Moreover, Larrea explained that pacifism was akin to women's chief

function in life: "He aqui porque [sic] el pacifismo debera ser la

meta de todo ser human. Y debera ser especialmente, apasionada obra

de mujer. Porque encarna lo mas sutil y alto de nuestra misi6n creadora

y materna. Y es aporte que todas las mujeres le debemos a la humanidad.

Las madres en la creaci6n de la nobleza spiritual del hijo."5

Turning her attention specifically to the motherhood theme, Larrea

affirmed during her early years as a writer: "Como en todas las

civilizaciones primitivas, en las civilizaciones indianas de esta

America nuestra, la dignificaci6n de la mujer empieza a arraigarse

en los pueblos de la dignificaci6n del que es su mas alto atributo:

la maternidad."55

Although these concerns are not typical of Larrea's work in its

entirety, they do represent a logical beginning for a w-oman who was

educated during Ecuador's most active feminist period. It is evident










she experimented with existing prose models until establishing her own

style, and consequently, may be considered a transitional figure in

Ecuadorian female prose who led many. women writers from a pre-World

War II nationalistic perspective to a post-World War II universal one.

As early as 1946, for example, when publishing her first collection of

essays, Eusaycs, Larrea demonstrated the novelty of her work by including

(along with the traditional material) such pieces as "Sentido y

transcendencia del arte" and "De la estitica en el misticismo."

Moreover, after her initial attempts at writing, Larrea was the first

woman writer since Marietta de Veintemilla published her Couitfereuc:' i

sore psicologt.a rimo'dena (1907) who was no longer writing chiefly for
56
newspapers or magazines. In effect, rather than being an avticuldista,

Larrea has become an essayist concerned with the content as well as the

poetic elements of her prose material.

Unlike many of the earlier writers, Larrea has not limited artistic

expression or the role of the artist to a purely social and educational

plane. Besides content, beauty and form are important since, "la

belleza de la forma es atributo imprescindible en la manifestaci6n

artistica.'' In fact, Larrea has written that the continuous struggle

to master their craft and achieve perfection is incumbent upon the

artists:

Es necesario saber, y para ello, el dolor nuevo para
el artist, la tortura de la gramatica y el estilo y
el contrapunto y el movimiento de los dedos y los
secrets del matiz y de la Ifnea, interpuestos, como
legendaria valla defensive, entire la inspiraci6n, el
imperative que le grita el arte, y el medio de expresi6n
para darle cuerpo de palabra, de m6sica o de forma. La
predestinaci6n artfstica, como toda predestinaci6n,
Ileva en si un mandate de superaciones, hasta lograr









la perfecci6n. Sueno inalcanzable casi siempre; pero
al que habra de darle el artist su vida.58

It is apparent Larrea regards the artist as a very special

individual called upon to fulfill certain definite needs of modern

man. Whereas Borja assigned a moral role to the artist, one which

would teach man to be noble and compassionate,5 Larrea has stated

that the artist is to console man in a world characterized by sorrow

and loneliness. She clearly explains: "En el beneficio milagroso de

cada encarnaci6n, en este hacerse voz de todos los silencios, y queja

de todos los dolores y jubilosa resonancia de todas las alegrfas y

grito de todas las torturas, el arte design y predestina, con

identica trascendencia de mission, a todos los que deben levar la

consolaci6n a los hombres."0

Consequently, Larrea's concept of art, in general, and literature,

in particular, does not conform to the committed type characteristic

of early feminist prose in Ecuador. Rather than an attempt to move

or instruct large bodies of people, she has defined art as a means of

spiritual communication between the artist and the individual in need

of solace. More specifically:

La expresi6n ["el arte esta siempre 'en funci6n social'" ]
me duele . y . la traigo aquf para que diga mas
claramente de un pensamiento que querrra encerrarlo mas
bien asf: el arte en realizacion misional, o: en
manifestacion apostolica. Si ella lleva la consolacion
a los hombres, si eleva sus espfritus en santas elevaciones
de superaci6n o de refinamiento cerebral o sensitive, si
dice de su dolor y sus torturas, de sus dichas y de sus
amores, Lno realize ya su misi6n de mejoramiento, de ese
mejoramiento que, para ser plenamente colectivo debera 61
arraigar en la vitalidad 6nica y latente de lo individual?

This almost mystical relationship that supposedly exists between

the artist and the individual, this ineffable communication between two





89



almas, is illustrated in Larrea's essays on Chopin. Instead of writing

a biographical sketch about one of her favorite musicians, Larrea tries

to demonstrate her total identification with Chopin, achieved by allow-

ing the music to act as the catalyst:

Para el mundo interior de Chopfn, el otro, el de
fuera, en lo frsico no contaba. El dijo el mensaje
no recibido de element alguno, nacido en las races
mismas de su vida. Y a la Humanidad legd simplemente
su alma. Pura. Desnuda de paisaje. Limpia de elements
externos. . Porque el arte de Chopin es su vida . .
Por eso despierta en nosotros la emoci6n que sdlo con cen
las fuerzas eternas de la vida: el dolor y el amor.02

Further on, she continues:

Por eso la music sera la 6nica poseedora de todas las
reconditeces de su alma y de su pensamiento. . .
Recordemos mas bien a Vicent d'Yndy [sic] y a Schumann
y a Berlioz y a Listz [sic].Memorias, notas, explicaciones,
recuerdos, crfticas, cr6nicas. En todos la palabra
diciendo o aclarando o explicando sus emociones o sus
concepts. Pero Chopin, no. Chopin sdlo encuentra para
la vibracidn infinite de su alma suprasensible, la
vibraci6n del piano. Y para decir de su tormento o de
sus esperanzas, de su angusti3 y sus amores y sus ensuenos,
s6lo el signo del pentagrama.'

Larrea's deep sensitivity and ability to perceive the indescribable

emotions and realities that surround her are manifest once again in her

work when she writes "Itinerario emotional de Roma":

Y no dejgis tampoco a vuestros ordos escuchar la
voz de Roma al final de vuestro viaje. Esa \oz, la
del ayer, la de hoy, la de siempre; voz tentadora de
sirenas; eterna y universal voz del agua. Esa voz vita
de las fontanas, ha de cantaros su cancidn de melancolias
para la partida. En la Fontana de Trevis--la del dios
Neptuno, la de la abundosa y clara fuente virgen--la voz
tentadora se hace promesa de retornos . Y si la
moneda que eche en ella, en la melancolia de mi despedida
a Roma, no ejerce su virtud, su virtud de mi regreso material,
junto a la estra habr4 de ir recorriendo sus recuerdos
mi emocion.









Other works published by Larrea are: .;1ha.-zr.Ia-m !n Za 'iter at.x.,ra

aab.'gispJi', a, T 'l .`a3ca -S; Espa3.a, and Hoab.a f .r i-mc;a qu t a. 65

In short, whether writing about music, literature, or linguistics,

Larrea is an essayist whose work has been an exercise in evoking the

mysteries and emotions of other times, other people, and other places.

Moreover, rather than protesting society's shortcomings, Larrea has

offered modern readers an opportunity to explore new worlds and new

sensations, which perhaps is her way of consoling her fellow man.


Lupe Rumazo


During the last fifteen years, Lupe Rumazo (1935)66 has emerged

as one of Ecuador's principal contemporary essayists (regardless of

sex) who has cultivated a broad spectrum of literary themes, ranging

from moralism in Faulkner to structuralism in Sarduy. Upon reading

her three collections of essays, Rumazo's concept of Latin American

letters becomes clear: she rejects both the crioZ,7sta-type form and the

purely structuralist trend prevalent among numerous contemporary writers.

On the one hand, the localist writers fail to produce sound literature

because of their highly limited perspective, while on the other hand,

the structuralists are too removed from the human aspects essential to

literary expression. Summing up, Rumazo writes:

Ni realismo ni formalismo puros, por tanto. Ni
realismo que excluya el libre juego de lo creative,
en sentido estricto; ni formalismo que trate de volar
sobre las cosas como dcsasido de ellas. Hrs bien un
compromise verdadero con la realidad libertada de las
"circunstancias," a fin de que tienda a la universalidad.
Es decir: una llama que no queme solamente hoy, sino
siempre y en todas parties. 0 bien: descubrir en cada
pagina la glandula pineal del organismo literario: esa
especie de tercer ojo interno, hermetico, sin cuyas vividas
perforaciones es incomplete la vision de los ojos externos.68









In effect, Rumazo has criticized the tendency to write committed

literature which attacks the many social problems of Latin America

while ignoring the far-reaching elements of human existence: "La

literature joven, que ser'a el caso de la nuescra, latinoamericana,

quedase con frecuencia en el planteamiento de los problems; delata

lo injusto, por ejemplo, pero no va mas alla."69 In addition, she has

rejected the latest structuralist experiments (i.e., Sarduy and the

oveza e ,e .g-j,.7,e) because they tend merely to imitate foreign models

while ignoring the crucial realities of Latin America:

Si en America existe . la margen buena de la
experimentaci6n vital, que desborda por creadora
cualesquiera esquemas, estructurales o no--Asturias,
reruda, Carpentier, Cortazar, Sabato, Cesar Vallejo,
Rulfo, Borges, Onetti, Pareja Diezcanseco, Vargas Llosa,
Uslar Pietri, Jorge Icaza en Atrapados, Josi Donoso,
Otero Silva, Alfonso Rumazo Gonzalez en Aq'ieavre, Clara
Silva, Gustavo Luis Carrera--, existe tambien la de la
experimentaci6n buscada, de homibro debil arrimado a
hombro fuerte extranjero. Suena ya la cadena en los
pasos del escritor americano. Los eslabones tienen
nombres: Fuentes (s6lo en parte, . .); Cabrera Infante
(a pesar de su valia), Sarduy, Basilia Papastamatiu,
Isel Rivero, N!stor Sanchez, Gustavo Sainz. Recios es-
critores, various de ellos, .--no descalificaros
enteramente su producci6n--. :. Causa y agobia ya su
preg6n: "voto por el lengua e, hago obra de lenguaje,
el lenguaje es mi personaje.7

With regard to Sarduy, specifically, she protests:

Confundiendo el juego y el arte--por jugar se puede
hacer lo que se quiera--Sarduy desata un cancer de las
palabras, crea el caos, produce un relate debil, aunque
de meticulosa e4aboraci6n, desencadena una tempestad barroca.
En realidad experiment. La experimentacion suya no se
explica como trasunto de una just reaccion socio-econ6mica,
ni porque el escritor crecido de espiritu, vigoroso en sus
elitros, vuelvase cuidadano del mundo integro, ni porque
exprese la fecundaci6n febril y de vasos comunicantes de una
misma cultural occidental. No. Sarduy trabaja con esquemas
dados, siguiendo normas de otros que no se injertan
intimamente dentro de su ser, como no podran hacerlo




Full Text
AMAZONS AND ARTISTS: A STUDY OF ECUADORIAN
WOMEN'S PROSE
By
MICHAEL H. HANDELSMAN
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

UNIl/PRCirv nr
3 1262 08666 407 4

Because of all their love and the many sacrifices
made for me during the years, I dedicate this dissertat
they have
i on to my
mother and father.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I wish to express my sincere appreciation to my supervisory
committee chairman, Dr. Ivan A. Schulman, for his valuable insight and
guidance during the preparation of this dissertation; to Dr. Irving R.
Wershow, for his continued support during my graduate program at the
University of Florida; and to Dr. Richard R. Renner, for having served
as a member of the supervisory committee.
In addition, a special note of thanks must be extended to the
Organization of American States for having funded nine months of doctoral
research in Ecuador (December 197*4 to September 1975) -
Because successful completion of this study would not have been
possible without the assistance of many Ecuadorian friends and acquaint¬
ances, I also would like to thank the following people: Manuel Almeida,
Benjamin Carrion, Zoila María Castro, Laura de Crespo, Mireya de Insua,
Piedad Larrea Borja, Germania Moncayo de Monge, Isabel Moscoso
Davila, Francisco Pérez Febres Cordero, Angel Rojas, Lupe Rumazo,
Eugenia Viteri, and Alicia Yáñez Cossfo.
Finally, a special note of gratitude is extended to my wife, Toya,
for her constant encouragement and understanding.
i i i

TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ¡i¡
ABSTRACT vi
INTRODUCTION 1
Notes 4
CHAPTER I HISTORICAL HEROINES AND PROSE WRITERS: A
CONTRAST IN FEMALE IMAGES IN ECUADOR 5
Notes 20
CHAPTER II EARLY FEMALE VOICES IN ECUADORIAN PROSE LITERATURE ... 23
Notes 32
CHAPTER III THE FEMINIST JOURNALS: A SOURCE OF LITERARY
DEVELOPMENT 34
Early Feminist Magazines: The Alfarista
Era (1895-1912) 37
Major Feminist Journals Published During
the Years 1917-1928 46
Feminist Magazine Literature and the
1930's 50
Notes ' 61
CHAPTER IV THE ESSAY 66
Women Writers: 1922-1945 67
Women Writers: 1945 to Present 84
Notes 97
CHAPTER V THE NOVEL 102
Notes 143
CHAPTER VI SHORT STORY 1 46
The Short Story as a Reflection of Women's Problems. . . 149
Women’s Concern for Urban Problems 156
The Indian Motif 170
The Theme of Contemporary Anguish in the Short Story . . 175
Notes 183

CONCLUSION
187
Notes 190
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF WORKS CONSULTED. . , 191
Works by Ecuadorian Women 191
Works About Ecuadorian Women 201
General Works About Women and Feminism 204
Other Works Consulted 206
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 208
v

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
AMAZONS AND ARTISTS: A STUDY OF ECUADORIAN
WOMEN'S PROSE
By
Michael H. Handelsman
June, 1976
Chairman: Ivan A. Schulman
Major Department: Romance Languages and Literatures (Spanish)
Despite current efforts to analyze the role of women in Latin
America, only minimal information is available about Ecuadorian women.
Excluding traditional references to such vaunted national heroines as
Manuela Saenz, Manuela Cañizares, and Mariana de Jesús, little is known
about the principal concerns and aspirations of Ecuador's women.
Similarly, because literary critics rarely have offered more than a
cursory mention of the works published by Ecuadorian women, there is a
dearth of information on the extent to which female writers have
participated in national letters. The purpose of this dissertation,
therefore, is to fill these voids by analyzing the essays and fiction
Ecuadorian women have published to date. More specifically, attention
is given to what women have said about their role in society, about
male-female relationships in Ecuador, and about their chief aims,
problems, and fears. In short, this study is primarily concerned with
two major goals: (1) to refute traditional claims that women have not

written prose literature in Ecuador; and (2) to demonstrate that the
major themes found in their works offer a penetrating view of the
female's place in Ecuadorian society.
Regarding the first objective, after considering the authors and
works analyzed, it is apparent critics have neglected many women writers
who have turned to literature as a means of expressing themselves. Their
numbers might be larger were it not for the fact that they have been
"victimized," so to speak, by a body of literary criticism that over¬
looks their work and denies them artistic status. The few writers who
have overcome this prejudice and have ultimately been recognized in
anthologies and literary histories (i.e., Dolores Veintemilla de Galindo,
Marietta de Veintemilla, and Blanca Martínez de Tinajero) have neverthe¬
less been treated as secondary figures whose works are assumed to be of
scant importance or undeserving of serious critical attention. Thus,
in our study we have shouldered the burden of reexamining women's place
in national letters, with the express purpose of demonstrating that a
meritorious literary tradition exists among Ecuador's women writers.
Some major figures examined are Zoila Ugarte, Rosa Borja, Hipatia
Cardenas, Eugenia Viteri, Lupe Rumazo, and Alicia Vanez Cosslo.
The treatment of female images in Ecuadorian women's prose
demonstrates that women have not been totally satisfied with their
secondary role in national development. Contrary to Benajmin Carrion's
belief that Ecuador is a "pueblo hijo de mujer" (i.e., a country which
has depended heavily on its women throughout the course of national
history), women's literary works point out that the female has had to
fight continually against male domination—political, cultural, and
sexual. Thus, Ecuador's women frequently have used prose literature

to champion feminist issues, reject inequities, injustices and sources
of repression.
The writers' comments about women in Ecuador presented in this
study only reflect the viewpoint of the urban middle-class female
intellectual. Up to the present, Indian women, the montuvias (rural
women from the coast), and marginal women from the city have yet to
describe their own situation. Similarly lacking are studies on women
journalists and poetesses; the image of women in male writers' works;
a reevaluation of women's participation in history; sexual attitudes
among women; and women in the labor force. In short, because much
work remains to be done in terms of investigating the attitudes and
problems of the Ecuadorian female, it is hoped that this dissertation
will underscore the voids in our knowledge and stimulate the continued
redressing of traditional prejudices about Ecuadorian women through
studies on their numerous and diverse contributions to society.

INTRODUCTION
In spite of current efforts to interpret and understand clearly
the role of women in Latin America, researchers have offered minimal
information about Ecuadorian women. Consequently, the purpose of
this dissertation is to fill this void, to study the Ecuadorian woman's
role in society by means of a detailed analysis of the prose works
(essay and fiction) that Ecuadorian women writers have published to
date. Attention will be given to what the women have said about their
own role in society, about male-female relationships in Ecuador, and
about their chief concerns, aspirations, and fears. In short, the
following study of Ecuador's women writers will achieve two goals:
(1) establish the extent of women's contribution to Ecuadorian letters;
and (2) illustrate women's position in Ecuadorian society.
With respect to the first objective, because few critics have
been aware of the existence of female writers in Ecuador, critical
attention devoted to women's literary production has been rare. Even
such leading scholars of national letters as Benjamín Carrion, Isaac
Barrera, Angel Rojas, and Edmundo Ribadeneira have done little more than
acknowledge some names and titles in their general comments about
Ecuadorian literature.^ Furthermore, although critics occasionally have
alluded to women's limited participation in national letters when
explaining the absence of research on female writers, at no time has
anyone attempted to analyze the complex reasons which account for this
scarcity. In effect, due to the overall lack of interest in investigating
1

2
women's place in literature, current knowledge about the female writers
has been based on a series of suppositions which people through the years
2
have considered conclusive.
While it would be incorrect to suggest that women have been prolific
writers in Ecuador, this dissertation will demonstrate that they have
written more prose than is generally assumed. Indeed female literary
production goes far beyond the critics' traditional, limited references
to Marietta de Veintemilla (1858-1907) and Blanca Martínez de Tinajero
(1897).
Regarding Ecuadorian women and their place in society, the female
writers frequently have used prose literature as a platform for their
major concerns and problems, offering the reader a clear idea of many of
the realities that characterize women's lives in Ecuador. In short, the
importance of literature when studying certain aspects of a society
becomes evident upon reading Erich Koehler's assertion that "es posible
partiendo de la literatura explicar una sociedad, es decir, conocer su
espíritu y los hechos que constituyen su.carácter fundamental; una de
las funciones de la literatura en la historia del espíritu es el explicar
la sociedad de su época." Hence, a clear understanding of Ecuadorian
women writers and their prose is essential when attempting to ascertain
women's role in society. John Stuart Mill has noted that "we may safely
assert that the knowledge which men can acquire of women, even as they
have been and are, without reference to what they might be, is wretchedly
imperfect and superficial, and always will be so, until women themselves
k
have told all that they have to tell."
In general, the dissertation will be developed in the following
manner: Chapter I will discuss the paradox of Ecuadorian women's dynamic

3
participation in the country's history and their lackluster role in
literature; Chapter II will present briefly the major pre-twentieth
century women writers, paying particular attention to Marietta de
Ve intemi11 a; Chapter III will study the importance of Ecuador's feminist
journals; Chapter IV will treat the essayists; and Chapter V (novelists)
and Chapter VI (short story writers), the prose fiction writers.
It should be added that this dissertation does not claim to include
all names of women who have written prose in Ecuador, nor all the works
published by the writers. A great deal of material has been lost and/or
misplaced because of limited circulation between provinces and traditional
difficulties in publishing, two major problems which make impossible a
complete study at the present time. Nevertheless, the analysis and
bibliography which follow are extensive enough to introduce future
researchers to the most important prose material readily available in
Ecuador, and moreover, to open the way to future studies on female
writers, in general, and Ecuadorian women, in particular.

Notes
Int roducti on
See: Benjamín Carrion, El nuevo relato ecuatoriano: Crítica y
antología, 2nd ed. (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana,
1958); Isaac Barrera, Historia de la literatura ecuatoriana (Quito:
Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, i960); Angel Rojas, La novela
ecuatoriana, Biblioteca de Autores Ecuatorianos, No. 29 (Guayaquil:
Clásicos Ariel, n.d.); Edmundo Ribadeneira, La moderna novela ecuatoriana
(Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1958).
2 . .
Critical perspectives on Ecuadorian women writers also are limited
because the last important study on Ecuadorian literature was published
in 1980 (Barrera's literary history). Women writers have been quite
active during the contemporary period; nevertheless, their latest producti
has not been analyzed outside of several book reviews and prologues.
3 ... „
Erich Koehler, "Las posibilidades de una interpretación sociológica
ilustradas a través del análisis de textos literarios franceses de
distintas épocas," in Literatura y sociedad: Problemas de metodología
en sociología de la literatura, ed. Roland Barthes, Henri Lefebvre, and
Lucien Goldmann, trans. R. de la Iglesia, 2nd ed. (Barcelona: Ediciones
Martínez Roca, S. A., 1971), p. 72.
4
John Stuart Mill, "The Subjection of Women," in Feminism: The
Essential Historical Writings, ed. Miriam Schneir (New York: Vintage
Books, 1972), pp. 172-173.

CHAPTER I
HISTORICAL HEROINES AND PROSE WRITERS: A CONTRAST IN
FEMALE IMAGES IN ECUADOR
Although very little research has been done on Ecuadorian women's
social, economical, and political situation, numerous scholars have
studied women from an historical point of view, frequently glorifying
female participation in national history. Manuela Saenz, the "Libertadora
del Libertador," for example, is often cited to illustrate the active
role women presumably played during the Independence period. Unfortunately,
these historical references to Ecuadorian women usually create an idealized
female stereotype that "obscures the actual social condition of women and
induces them to seek consolation in myths rather than work for social
change."' Indeed while many writers seem to hold Ecuadorian women in
high regard, their comments and conclusions about women's place in history
rarely give insight into the major problems and concerns females have
struggled with during the years.
Curiously enough, however, whereas the gallery of Ecuadorian
heroines seems to suggest women have enjoyed considerable prestige and
status in society, the often-neglected group of female writers intimates
that, for the most part, Ecuadorian women have been victims of long¬
standing prejudices and taboos. Consequently, before analyzing the major
themes found in the female writers' prose works, this chapter will con¬
trast the optimistic view common to the principal concepts and ideas
published about Ecuadorian women, in general, with the pessimistic
5

6
image that arises when considering the problems and injustices suffered
by the writers. As will be noted, the chasm that exists between these
two diverse female models is closely related to the sharp contradictions
Virginia Woolf referred to when comparing women in literature with women
in daily life: "Some of the most inspired words, some of the most pro¬
found thoughts in literature fall from her lips; in real life she could
2
hardly read, could scarcely spell, and was the property of her husband."
Turning specifically to Ecuadorian women and history, Benjamin
Carrion, Ecuador's foremost twentieth century essayist and literary
critic, a man whose opinion is always taken seriously in Ecuadorian
circles, maintains that women have been his nation's principal heroes.
In fact, Carrion has written categorically that Ecuador's main contri¬
butions to history have been made by its heroines, and therefore, has
3
described the country as a "pueblo hijo de mujer." According to his
interpretation, Ecuador's first important women were the Amazons, the
female warriors who fascinated western man's imagination almost from the
time Columbus discovered the New World. They, along with the wondrous
flora and fauna, the abundance of precious metals, and the mysterious
primitive peoples, were part of the long-desired Utopia which Alfonso
Reyes later called La ultima Tule.
Significantly, in the midst of the explorers' marvelous, magical
and unreal accounts of America, some of the earliest references to
Ecuador were primarily concerned with the Amazon women. In this respect,
Carrion claims: "Esas, las Amazonas de Orellana--el hombre que desde
Quito marchó, guiado por la fábula también, en busca del río mai—.
Esas son las genitrices de la patria. Ellas el comienzo de nuestra

7
leyenda de pueblo con raíz en la tierra." Hence, for purposes of
national history, the Amazons--Ecuadorian women who used men for their
own sexual pleasure, free women who controlled their own world--are
important for two reasons: (l) they are basic to Ecuadorian legend
and folklore; and (2) they constitute one of Ecuador's first contributions
to Latin American historiography. Glorifying his supposed ancestors,
Ca rrion wri tes:
No. Nosotros no tenemos un don Roldan, un Cid
Campeador, un Parsifal: tenemos unas mujeres machazas,
muy hembras, muy mujeres en lo de grandes amadoras y
mu 11ipari doras. Estas mujeres guerreros, [sic] las
amazonas, han sido combatidas por aquellos que, a
título de historiadores, hubieran querido que en los
archivos helenos quedara un documento legalizado sobre
la existencia de la Esfinge y la Leyenda de Edipo; o en
los archivos germanos se encontrara una documentación
fehaciente sobre el Anillo de los Nibelungos; ... y
sobre todo, que en los archivos hispánicos existiera en
legajos bien encuadernados los documentos relacionados
con la Leyenda y Poemas del Cid y las sinvergüencerías
de los Condes de Carrión.
In similar fashion, because she married Huayna-Capac and gave birth
to Atahualpa, Paccha is claimed to be an early national heroine who was
instrumental in determining the major events that occurred before and
during the Conquest. According to historians, Huayna-Capac could not
control the region north of Quito until he married the Shyri princess
who, in turn, convinced her followers to accept the Inca's supreme
authority. Carrión exclaims: "Entonces, Paccha, la quiteña, es la
creadora del Imperio del Tahuan-tin-Suyo. La restauradora de la unidad
del mundo. Ella, la india quiteña, todo amor y sexo, es la verdadera
madre, la auténtica matriz.Ironically, however, besides helping the
Inca extend his empire through northern Ecuador, Paccha's relationship
with Huayna-Capac greatly intensified the rivalry between Cuzco and

8
Quito. The subsequent civil war between Huáscar and Atahualpa destroyed
Inca unity and favored considerably Pizarro's conquest of the region.
Later national heroines of Ecuadorian history appeared during the
Independence period, and the most important figures were Manuela Sáenz,
the Marquesa de Solanda, and Manuela Cañizares. As in the case of
Paccha, love and passion were the key to these early eighteenth-century
women's fame: Saenz captivated Bolivar, Solanda enchanted Sucre, and
Cañizares, a madame, supposedly plotted with revolutionaries when allowing
them to conspire in secret rooms of her brothel.
Generally speaking, during the revolutionary period there were no
Ecuadorian military leaders comparable to Bolivar, Sucre, Paez, or San
Martin. Consequently, since Ecuador's chief heroes of the period (Bolivar
and Sucre) were Venezuelans, Carrion, among other national writers,
attempts to fill the void by extolling women's participation in the
struggle against Spain: "No tuvimos heroes con espada en las luchas
por la libertad. Tuvimos, sí, heroínas con abanico y miriñaque, ojos
asesinos y valor para dejarlo todo, para ir por sobre todo--en una
sociedad hipócrita, tragahostias y cuentachismes.
Accordingly, Sáenz was swept away by her passion for Bolivar,
and despite heavy social criticism, she sacrificed her reputation and
honor when deciding to abandon her husband and follow Bolivar. Later,
in a letter addressed to her legal spouse, she explained: "Sé muy bien
que no puedo unirme a él [Bolívar] por las leyes del honor, como tú
llamas, pero, ¿crees que me siento menos honrada porque sea mi amante
y no mi marido? i Oh i No vivo para los prejuicios de la sociedad, que
8
sólo fueron inventados para que nos atormentemos el uno al otro." In

9
effect unlike other passionate relationships, many Ecuadorians believe
Saenz's love for Bolivar was noble and of heroic proportions, particularly
because the romance made her a firm believer in Bolivar's ideals which
she relentlessly fought to establish in Latin America.
Mariana de Jesús is another major figure in Ecuadorian history;
she is Ecuador's patron saint who renounced her wealth and noble position
in society in order to dedicate herself totally to Christ and the Church.
Moreover, in 16^5, a year in which Quito was beset by a series of earth¬
quakes and a mysterious epidemic, she is said to have saved the city from
disaster when, during a Church service, she publicly offered her life
for the well-being of Quito. Several days later the crisis ended, and
at the same time, Mariana de Jesús became seriously ill and died. In
conclusion, "Mariana de Jesús puede ampliamente ser llamada patriota,
porque ofreció su vida por la patria, y pasó en diario sacrificios
9
implorando a Dios felicidad para ella."
Up to this point, the discussion has concentrated on Carrion's
interpretation of women's historical importance, not for lack of other
sources, but because of his unique ideas. While other Ecuadorians know
about their heroines and have written about them, the striking aspect of
Carrion's thinking is his belief that women represent the essence of
Ecuadorian national history: "Nuestra participación central a la
historia, ha sido la acción y la pasión de las mujeres. Más pasión que
acción."^ Thus, the Amazons, Paccha, Sáenz and her contemporaries, and
Mariana de Jesús are not only national heroines who have contributed to
Ecuador's growth and tradition, but according to Carrion, they are also
the nucleus of this "pueblo hijo de mujer."

10
Whether or not heroism can be defined in terms of love and passion,
in terms of a madame who allows her clients to conspire in her world of
sexual merrymaking, is not of interest here. The chief concern is how
a small country in search of national heroes has turned to its women, a
phenomenon which might suggest Ecuador has maintained certain traces of
a matriarchal society in which women have attained positions of equal
prestige to those of men. This concept has been advanced in several
studies, particularly in those works already cited which deal with the
Independence era.
Turning to the twentieth century, Morayma Ofyr Carvajal offers a
similar view of women's supposed significance in modern Ecuadorian society;
Galería del esptritu: Mujeres de mi patria^ is an extensive collection
of biographical sketches of the nation's most important women: historical
figures, social workers, educators, artists, poetesses, and prose writers.
In general, Carvajal points out that women have been principal leaders in
the fields of education and social work during this century: they have
founded orphanages, hospitals, public educational programs, and patriotic
o rganizations.
This same optimistic and favorable description of female involve¬
ment is seen in Piedad Larrea Borja's essay, "Biografía de la mujer en
el Ecuador"; in Isabel Moscoso Davila's Abanico de recuerdos; and in
- 12
Zoila Rendon's "La mujer en los diversos organismos humanos." By and
large, as Rendón explains:
No nos falta en nuestra historia las patricias que
ayudaron a nuestra emancipación política y son la gloria
de la Patria; y, después, en cualquier conflicto guerrero,
mujeres valientes que no se intimidan, ni con el estruendo
del canon, ni el crepitar de las ametralladoras, dejando

así ver que la mujer ecuatoriana, es tan apta y valiente
como el hombre. Tenerr.es doctoras en jurisprudencia,
medicina, farmacia, adontólogos, [sic] ingenieras y
contabilistas tituladas, aparte de bachilleres en ciencas
de educación y ciclo general de cultura.'3
Notwithstanding women's supposed importance in Ecuadorian history,
it has been generally believed that they have not contributed significantly
to national letters. Besides the chapters of poetesses and prose writers
in Carvajal's Galería del espíritu: Mujeres de mi patria, and several
articles written by such people as Zoila María Castro, Alejandro Andrade
Coello, Victor Manuel Rendon, and Mary Corylé, most critics and scholars
have foregone studying at length the women writers. Indeed it seems
paradoxical that women should occupy such a prominent position in
history and such an inconsequential one in literature. Moreover, whereas
women's reputed involvement in Ecuador's history would suggest the
existence of an atmosphere in which they could function and assert
themselves fully, the void found in literature tends to negate, in
part, the "pueblo hijo de mujer" concept.
If as Lucien Goldmann has said "la obra [literaria] forma parte
1 4
del conjunto de la realidad," it can also be assumed that the absence
of a significant body of literature debilitates the portrait of that
society's reality. With respect to Ecuador, it would appear the dearth
of female authors offers a more accurate description of women's place in
Ecuadorian society than their vaunted historical role in shaping the
nation. It must be borne in mind that many of the so-called heroines
did not participate in history with a conscious notion of their roles or
because of an atmosphere that encouraged women qua women to take an
active part in society. Rather, female presence and involvement in

12
Ecuadorian history were frequently chance occurrences. Paccha, for
example, was not concerned about unifying her people with the Incas in
order to avoid war when she fell in love with Huayna-Capac; nor were the
Amazons identified exclusively with what are presently Ecuador's boundaries.
In effect, while the historical figures have been able to achieve fame
without any specific preparation or training, the women writers have not
realized their potential because they usually have been denied indis¬
pensable opportunities. Hence, women's limited literary production
suggests that their past has not been as glorious as some people would
like to believe. The "answer to why there are no great women artists,
or so few women artists at all, lies not in the nature of individual
genius or the lack of it, but in the nature of given social institutions
and what they forbid or encourage in various classes or groups of
individua1s."^
Generally speaking, the problems faced by women writers have been
the same ones all women have had to confront at one time or another:
lack of education, social prejudices, church domination, and women's
ignorance of their own plight. In 1952, María Piedad Castillo de Levf,
a journalist and the ex-president of the Inter-American Commission of
Women, complained about Ecuadorian women's lack of political power.
Despite constituting the majority of the population, and despite having
been the first women in Latin America to receive national suffrage
(1929). female voters continued to be ignored by male politicians.
Moreover, their names remained absent from party ballots, and there
was no official representation of the country's female interests.'^

13
In 1963» 3 group of Ecuadorian women attended the Segundo
Congreso de Mujeres de Toda América in Havana and criticized sharply
women's situation in Ecuador. The delegation condemned male employers
who abused legislation to exploit the woman worker; domestics and rural
workers were described as unprotected, underpaid, and often sexually
assaulted by their bosses. In addition, illiteracy was claimed to be
highest among women, "lo que paraliza el ascenso de nuestro sexo a la
amplia cultura y a la concepción real de los problemas generales que
particularmente nos afectan."^
The problems have continued as in other countries: Ecuadorian
society still insists that women be mothers above all else; there are
still limited day care centers for the children of working-mothers;
18
married women are still legally inferior to their husbands; and social
class differences continue to make difficult the creation of a united
feminist organization. Moreover, although Ecuadorian laws frequently
have favored and protected women, particularly labor legislation, women
have not attained their equality: i.e.,. laws are decreed but rarely
enforced. In effect, despite certain legal reforms, greater educational
opportunities, and liberal influences from abroad, Ecuadorian women go
on living in a world similar to that of other females, a world beset by
numerous contradictions: "on the one hand, they [have] most of the
legal freedoms, the literal assurances that they [are] considered full
political citizens of society--and yet they [have] no power. They have
educational opportun ities--and yet [are] unable, and not expected, to
1 9
employ them."
If Ecuadorian women, in general, have suffered because of the
many inequities and contradictions inherent in society, the female

14
authors have been the victims of a more stifling plight—not only have
they been oppressed as women, but also as professional writers. One
key factor which helps explain the dearth of women writers in Ecuador
is the long tradition of limited education for school-aged girls, a
reality sharply criticized by Juan Leon Mera during the nineteenth
20
century. Unfortunately, change and improvement have occurred very
gradually. Although before the turn of the century, and especially
during Eloy Alfaro's liberal movement (1895“1912), women were supposedly
granted greater educational opportunities (admission to the universities
was opened to women in 1896), little progress was realized. It is
important to note that the first normal school for women was founded in
1901 (Colegio Normal Manuela Cañizares, Quito), and in addition, it was
not until 1935 that Ecuador established its first non-re 1 igious all
girls high school which awarded the bachillerato (Colegio Nacional
21
24 de Mayo, Qui to).
Clearly, social prejudices and stereotypes have been the main
obstacles to developing women's education in Ecuador. Indeed, since
female roles were traditionally limited to that of daughter, wife, and
mother, sewing and cooking were considered more suitable for women than
science, philosophy, and mathematics. Also, the importance of virginity
and honor in Latin American society, in general, and in Ecuador, in
particular, convinced many of the need for women to stay at home.
Essentially, then, as pointed out by Hipatia Cardenas de Bustamente,
social attitudes have long been instrumental in limiting women's cultural
growth: "Aquí en el Ecuador la mujer ha vivido siempre relegada
exclusivamente al hogar, cohibida y amedrentada por la preponderancia y
22
pretension del hombre."

15
In short, for many potential authors the lack of education coupled
with required motherhood were and are presently too much to overcome.
That is to say, while the uneducated female rarely has perceived her
latent talents, the intellectual woman, the one aware of her abilities
and capable of becoming a writer, usually has accepted the roles imposed
by society because she has lacked the moral and economic support necessary
to resist successfully the dominant social pressures of her day. With
regard to women writers, in general, Anna Garlin Spencer has observed:
Anyone can see that to write Uncle Tom's Cabin on the
knee in the kitchen, with the constant calls to cooking and
other details of housework to punctuate the paragraphs, was
a more difficult achievement than to write it at leisure in
a quiet room. ... No record, however, can even name the
women of talent who were so submerged by child-bearing and
its duties, and "general housework," that they had to leave
their poems and stories all unwritten. Moreover, the
obstacles to intellectual development and achievement which
marriage and maternity interpose . . . are not the only ones
that must be noted. It is not alone the fact that women
have generally had to spend most of their strength in caring
for others that has handicapped them in individual effort;
but also that they have almost universally had to care
wholly for themselves.^3
Eugenia Viteri and Alicia Yáñez Cossio, two contemporary Ecuadorian
authors, also refer to the writer/mother conflict as a major obstacle to
their literary development. They both have complained about insufficient
time, fatigue, domestic responsibilities, and in the case of Yáñez,
2k
children's resentment at being ignored while their mother writes. In
addition, another complication for the contemporary woman writer in
Ecuador is her frequent need to work outside of the home to supplement
her husband's income. Consequently, in terms of role conflicts, the
female author's current situation in many cases is worse than that of
past generations because she is now confronted with a triple role in
society rather than with a double one.

Of course, since Ecuadorians form a society in which people spend
a great deal of time gossiping and criticizing others, the most serious
obstacle women writers in Ecuador have had to overcome has been fear.
It should be borne in mind that traditionally women were supposed to
exemplify morality and virtue at all times, and therefore, those who
were fulfilling their domestic duties were assumed to be unaware of
certain social evils, and incapable of describing the crude scenes of
rural and urban Ecuador that writers of the 19301s were producing. More¬
over, since authors have frequently been identified with their works,
many women realized that' certain themes and literary characterizations
could threaten their social reputations. Consequently, to avoid being
misunderstood by the reading public, and subsequently ostracized by
society, many women simply have discounted the possibility of a writing
career in Ecuador.
While the lack of education, the writer/mother conflict, and
fear of social opinion are three basic reasons which help explain the
absence of greater female participation in literature, a discussion
about the problems which beset women authors would be incomplete without
referring to the difficulties all Ecuadorian writers must face. With
the possible exception of a few writers (i.e., Montalvo, Carrera Andrade,
Icaza, de la Cuadra), Ecuador has not produced great names in literature
comparable to such outstanding Latin American authors as Dario, Marti,
Borges, Paz, Cortázar, or Carpentier. The first factor which accounts
for this lack of greatness is the dearth of publishing houses in Ecuador,
an obstacle to literary development which has stifled all national
writers. Since many authors have been forced to publish their own

17
works, and because few have possessed the necessary capital, a
25
significant amount of literature has remained unpublished. Even
today authors find it difficult to publish; the Casa de la Cultura
Ecuatoriana, Ecuador's major publishing house since 19^, presently
charges the writers for the paper used because of limited and inadequate
budgets. Thus, even when books are printed the number of copies of each
edition is greatly reduced, a fact which implies that authors cannot
live from their writing career alone. Angel Rojas has commented about
the absence of professional writers in Ecuador:
La notoriedad alcanzada por el relato ecuatoriano y la
consiguiente acogida de la producción de nuestros cultivadores
de la obra de ficción no permite, con todo, el nacimiento del
escritor profesional. Así, citando sólo los mas notables,
José de la Cuadra vivía de su profesión de abogado, Humberto
Salvador de su cátedra, Jorge Icaza de un pequeño negocio de
librería, Demetrio Aguilera de la fabricación de fideos, . . .
La novela ni siquiera a Icaza, el mas leído de todos nuestros
escritores, le da para vivir. b
A second major problem for writers has been the small number of
people which make up Ecuador's reading public. Currently, for example,
in Guayaquil (the nation's largest city which has approximately 300,000
inhabitants) there are only three bookstores that sell primarily works
that are not of a purely technical (i.e., law, engineering, medicine) or
commercial (i.e., detective stories, magazines, "pulp" literature)
nature. Unfortunately, the present situation has changed very little
since 19^8, when Rojas wrote: "El mercado del libro casi no existía
entre nosotros. En Guayaquil, ciudad de más de cien mil habitantes,
hubo, durante largos años, una sola librería, y esa, extranjera. Y
28
en Quito, una también. Del mercado del libro nacional, ni que hablar."

18
In short, an attempt to be a professional writer in Ecuador has
been an heroic task: the lack of publishers, a reduced reading public,
and the economic needs and obligations in life make it virtually impossible
to write regularly. With respect to women writers, their situation becomes
even more discouraging when keeping in mind that, besides the difficulties
common to their profession, they also must deal with the injustices suffered
by their sex: "iTriste es decirlo! Aquí, en el Ecuador, la literatura
de los nacionales está muy a la baja. Y si la produce una mujer, a
quien, con un concepto errado, sólo se le concede primacía 'en el arte
de hacer hijos,' peor todavía. Por eso ella tiene que sostener toda
una lucha, con un ambiente enteramente hostil, . . . para poder
destacarse, para poder sobresalir y mirar, más de cerca, la aurora
29
anunciante del sol prometedor."
To sum up, this chapter has presented briefly two contrasting
views of Ecuadorian women: their role as historical heroines and that
of writers of prose. The women of history described by national writers
represent a vital part in Ecuador's past, and might suggest that they
traditionally have occupied a position of glory and high esteem--though
somewhat idealized. As several writers have explained, women have con¬
tributed significantly to the nation's organization and development, and
during the present century, have been instrumental in promoting social
programs and reforms. Upon considering the realities of the female authors,
however, one encounters the suffering and injustices women in Ecuador
have always experienced. From this point of view, Ecuadorian women no
longer appear as central figures in society, but rather as victims of
limited opportunities and social prejudices. Indeed the paradox of

19
women's importance in history and their assumed insignificance in
literature is a vexing reality whose nature will be examined in the
following chapters that deal specifically with women writers and their
perceptions of the Ecuadorian female's actual place in society.

20
Notes
Chapter I
Cheri Register, "American Feminist Literary Criticism: A
Bibliographical Introduction," in Feminist Literary Criticism:
Explorations in Theory, ed. Josephine Donovan (Lexington: The University
Press of Kentucky, 1975), P- 6.
2
Cited by Register, "American Feminist Literary Criticism: A
Bibliographical Introduction," p. 5-
3
El cuento de la patria: Preve historia del Ecuador, 2nd ed.
(Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1973), pp. 79_120.
The following comments on fema1e histor ica1 figures, in large part, are
based on Carrion's discussion in Chapter IV ("Pueblo hijo de mujer") of
the cited work. Originally, this chapter was published as an article:
"Pueblos hijos de mujer," Cuadernos Americanos, CLXXIX, 6 (November-
December 1971), 76-86.
^Ibid., p. 85.
5Ibid-, P- 81.
^Ibidâ– , p. 98.
Ibid- , p- 94-95- Some other writers who have written about
Ecuadorian heroines of the Independence period are: Augusto Arias, "Las
mujeres de la independencia," El Libertador (April-June 1945), pp. 41-42;
Piedad Larrea Borja, "Biografía de la mujer en el Ecuador," in Ensayos
(Quito: "Fray Jodoco Ricke," 1946), pp. 51-89; Raquel Verdesoto de Romo
Davila., Manuela Sáenz, 2 vols. (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura
Ecuatoriana, 1963); and Alfonso Rumazo González, Manuela Sáenz: La
Libertadora del Libertador, Biblioteca de Autores Ecuatorianos, No. 32
(Guayaquil: Clasicos Ariel, n.d.).
g
Cited in Matilde de Ortega, "Manuela Sáenz y su época," Letras del
Ecuador, XII, 106 (Apri 1-December 1956), 10.
"Bona
g
Victoria Vásconez Cuvij
Spes," 19^0), p. 35.
Vida de Mariana de Jesús (Quito:
Imprenta
El cuento de la patria: Breve historia del Ecuador, p. 79-
''Quito: Editorial "Fray Jodoco Ricke," 1949-
Isabel Moscoso Dávilaj Abanico de recuerdos, 2 vols. (Cuenca:
Editorial Monsalve, 1970; 1974); Zoila Rendon de Mosquera, "La mujer en
los diversos organismos humanos," Previsión social, 22 (September-December
1948; January 1949), 150-162.

21
14
P- 73.
'La mujer en los diversos organismos humanos," p. 162.
Barthes, Lefebvre, Goldmann et al., Literatura y sociedad,
^Linda Nochlin, "Why Are There No Great Women Artists?," in
Woman in Sexist Society: Studies in Power and Powerlessness, ed. Vivian
Gornick and Barbara K. Moran (New York: New American Library, 1971), P* 493-
16 ,
Maria Piedad Castillo de Levi, "Las próximas elecciones y la
actuación de las mujeres," El Telégrafo, 31 May 1952, p. 4.
^"Informe nacional del Ecuador," Obra revolucionaria, II (January
1963), 98. The Assembly took place on January 11, 1963- Ecuador was
represented by the Unión de Mujeres de Guayaquil, El Comité de Auspicios,
and the Asociación Femenina Universitaria. Marta Feijóo was president of
the delegation.
18
An interesting study on married women's legal status has recently
been published by Jorge Maldonado Rennella: I El Código Civil del Ecuador
y las reformas de 1970: un retroceso en la historia jurídica del país;
II La situación de la mujer casada en la legislación civil (Guayaquil:
Departamento de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Guayaquil, 1974).
19 .
Shulamith Firestone, "On American Feminism," in Woman Sexzst
Society: Studies in Power and Powerlessness, pp. 677-678.
20
Cited in Angel F. Rojas, La novela ecuatoriana, p. 25-
21
See Alejandro Andrade Coello, "Cultura femenina: Floración
intelectual de la mujer ecuatoriana en el siglo XX," El Libertador V,
71-73 (July-September 1942), 317-
Oro, rojo y azul (Quito: Editorial Artes Gráficas, 1943), P- 40.
23
"Woman's Share in Social Culture," in Feminism: The Essential
Historical Writings, p. 284.
24
These comments were made during two separate interviews with the
authors while researching in Ecuador: Eugenia Viteri, March 13, 1975;
Alicia Yanez Cossio, March 20, 1975*
25
Many works written by women have gone unpublished. Some examples
are: Zoila Rendón de Mosquera's Expiación (novel), El dolor d.e coear
(novel), Leyendas ecuatorianas (short stories); Aurora Estrada y Ayala's
En el puente (novel); Mary Corylé's Conscriptos (novel), Hombre (novel)^
Laura Perez de Oleas Zambrano's El rostro del silencio (novel), Del sueño
y la vigilia (short stories).
2 6
La novela ecuatoriana, p. 223-

22
27 ,
'The three stores are: Librería Científica, Librería Cervantes,
and Su Librería.
23
La novela ecuatoriana, p. 95-
29 „ ...
Jose Ayala Cabañil la, "Mireya Romero Plaza de Bravomalo, poetisa
y novelista," ¡n La pena fuimos nosotras, Mireya de Bravomalo (Guayaquil
Imprenta Municipal, 1953), PP- 1~2.

CHAPTER I I
EARLY FEMALE VOICES IN ECUADORIAN PROSE LITERATURE
Before the mid-nineteenth century, the principal women known to
have written prose in Ecuador were three nuns who described at great
length their mystical experiences and overall struggle against worldly
temptations. However, since Teresa de Jesús Cepeda (1566-1610), Sor
Gertrudis de San Ildefonso (1652-1709), and Sor Catalina de Jesús María
Herrera (1717_1795) limited the focus of their writing to a totally
religious context, they offer little information about colonial Ecuador,
in general, and the problems common the the period's women, in particular.
The only exception to this observation seems to be a comment made by Sor
Catalina de Jesús who briefly alluded to the need for women to write
despite apparent ridicule and discouragement from men:
A las mujeres me parece que hace mas impresión lo que
han escrito sus semejantes; y también porque son las mujeres
mas allegadas a la sencillez y llaneza de las razones: y
por ellas principalmente me parece que ha querido Dios que
escriban también mujeres: y también para confusion de los
hombres doctos del mundo, como se lo ha dicho a sus Siervas
su Divina Majestad; pero ellos, no se quieren confundir,
sino burlarse; aunque esto no sucede en los hombres
verdaderamente espirituales, sino en los doctos presumidos
que no aprenden en la escuela del Espíri tu Santo, sino en
la escuela de su ingenio meramente humano.
Naturally, because these early writers confined themselves to the
Church, and because they were never interested in communicating with a
large general reading public, their diaries and autobriographica1 pieces
2
had very little impact on later female authors in Ecuador. Therefore,
23

2*4
it is not until several nineteenth-century women experimented publicly
with literature (i.e., theatre, short story, essay, and poetry) that one
can refer to the actual beginnings of a literary tradition among female
writers. For the purposes of this study, then, the first major female
writers to appear in national letters were Dolores Veintemilla de
Galindo (1829“1857)> principally a poetess who introduced romanticism
to Ecuadorian literature, and Marietta de Veintemilla (1858-1907),
Ecuador's first well-known and prominent woman prose writer.
With regard to Veintemilla de Galindo, in addition to having
written ten poems and three prose compositions, she is especially
significant in national literary history because the tragic events which
led to her suicide illustrate some of the chief obstacles women writers
traditionally have confronted in Ecuador. Turning specifically to her
prose pieces, "Recuerdos" and "Mi fantasia" were romantic works: the
first evoked her happy childhood; the second exalted the imagination's
powers to isolate her from life's daily sorrows: "Entonces, absorta de
felicidad, vuelvo en las alas de mi ilusión hasta ti" [la fantasía], y
alia en los cielos donde la felicidad y las miserias de la tierra no
existen, soy feliz como los angeles delante del trono de Dios, pasándome
O
anonadada delante de tí [sic] y deslumbrada con tu brillo."
Of greater importance, however, was "Al publico," a public letter
written in response to a wave of social criticism directed against her,
and in which she defended her right to become involved in important
social matters. According to historical accounts, because Veintemilla
de Galindo openly supported Tiburcio Lucero, an Indian accused of
parricide and sentenced to death, Archbishop Solano and numerous

25
contemporary writers saw fit to question publicly her behavior and
motives. In reply to these attacks, she wrote:
He aquí lo que puede hacer una mujer calumniada, cuando
como yo tiene el derecho de levantar su frente pura, ante
todos los hombres sin temor de que haya uno que tenga la
facultad de hacerla doblar ruborizada;--hé aquí lo que
hago en cumplimiento del deber que tengo, como mujer de
honor, de justificarme ante la sociedad digna, cuyo juicio
y opinión tan sólo temo y respeto. Así, pues, si en adelante
se vuelve a atacarme bajo la capa del anónimo y permanezco
en silencio, espero no se crea callo porque acepto mi
infamación, sino que, me contento con entregarlos a sus
remordimientos, maldición eterna, verdadero castigo de los
criminales.^
Similarly, in a poem entitled "A mis enemigos," she implored: "¿Por
que, por que queréis que yo sofoque/Lo que en mi pensamiento osa vivir?"'*
In effect, Veintemilla de Galindo's confrontation with adverse public
opinion reflects how society traditionally has opposed women's efforts
to challenge the status quo and/or participate in controversial socio¬
political issues. Moreover, although her literary career was short-lived,
and her prose extremely limited, her suffering and eventual suicide clearly
point out the hostile environment in which free thinking women had to work
and struggle in Ecuador.
Notwithstanding Veintemilla de Galindo's failure to overcome the
social pressures which eventually destroyed her, and despite the general
belief that women should stay at home, the latter part of the nineteenth
century did produce one woman in particular who succeeded in breaking
with traditional stereotypes and taboos. Indeed Marietta de Veintemilla
became a dominant force in Ecuadorian society, particularly during her
uncle's dictatorship (General Ignacio de Veintemilla, 1876-1883)-
According to Enrique Garces:

26
Ella es la que insiste en el arreglo del parque
quiteño llamado "La Alameda." La sociedad era muy
timorata y no permitfa que las señoritas salieran a
la calle sino acompañadas de sus padres y por lo menos
unas tres criadas. Doña Marietta arremetió contra esta
costumbre y valiéndose del apoyo que le prestaban unas
seis o diez chiquillas de las "mejores familias," hizo
la campaña en favor del paseo en la Alameda. Fueron
ellas, con trajes llamativos y sombreros de modelos
extraños, a dar vueltas y vueltas por el jardín quiteño.
. . . Doña Marietta había realizado una verdadera revolución
en 1878 con estas armas singulares: paseo en los parques .
. . ; vestidos ligeros sin ese pesado tejido negro que la
beatería imponían [sic] a las señoritas; posibilidad de
que la gente joven se reúna, haga amistades y surja el
amor.
With respect to politics, because she was her uncle's most loyal
and faithful supporter, the General entrusted her with many political
assignments; for example, during the General's absences from Quito, she
was frequently left in charge of government business. Also, it was
she who directed the armed forces on two occasions when defending the
regime against General Veintern i 11 a's enemies. In short, according to
Pareja Diezcanseco who has commented on Marietta de Veintemi1 la's
participation in Ecuadorian politics:
En Quito, lo hizo todo Mari'eta [sic]. Desconfiaba
ella del Ministro de Guerra. Dejólo entonces que pusiera
al ejército en las calles, y, de pronto, en la madrugada,
delante de las tropas, lo llama traidor, lo hace preso, y
proclama la dictadura de su tío. Los soldados, embriagados
por su valor y audacia, la proclaman Generala. Desde
entonces, Marieta de Veintemilla [s i c] es la Generalita que
sabe cómo combatir y mandar tropas, además de cómo seducir
en los salones con su singular belleza.
En esta batalla de Quito [la del 10 de enero de I883],
fue nuevamente la heroína Marieta de Veintemilla [sic]:
asumió del mando de las tropas y organizó la defensa como
un soldado veterano. Ella dirigió el fuego de los cañones.
Ella manejó el fusil. Morían en sus brazos los soldados,
estimulados con la prueba de su belleza.

27
Jadeante y mas hermosa se la veía, cuando cayó
prisionera. En la cárcel permanecería ocho meses, y
luego al destierro, al que marchó orgullosa de haber
sabido defender al tío, que llamaba "papa Ignacio.
Above all, however, Marietta de Veintemilla was the first Ecuadorian
woman to play a dominant role in literary circles: "Marietta es el centro
galante de la sociedad quiteña. Sus habitaciones en Palacio [sic] se
convierten en un cenáculo literario, lleno de poetas ecuatorianos,
colombianos, peruanos y de otros países. Personaje intelectual que
Q
arriba a Quito, ingresara a sus salones." Furthermore, she was the
first woman prose writer to be accepted by critics as a significant
and influential figure in national letters. Angel Rojas, for example,
besides claiming Veintemilla was one of the four major Ecuadorian writers
of the nineteenth century (the other three were: Juan León Mera, Juan
Montalvo, and Carlos R. Tobar), also comments that "Ricardo Palma expresó
la admiración que le causaba el estilo de Marietta de Veintimilla [sic],
al cual encont ró. a 1 go de la sobriedad de Tácito."^
Clearly, her most important work was Páginas del Ecuador, ^ a long
polemical essay she wrote after being released, from prison and exiled to
Peru. Similar to Sarmiento and Montalvo, Veintemilla was a political
liberal who used her essay to attack the period's social and political
ills, and to analyze the determining factors in her nation's development.
Interestingly, because of her romantic spirit, she disregarded the
traditional literary rules of order and form, and presented her ideas by
combining such diverse elements as first person narration, third person
commentary, and highly emotional attacks against her political enemies.
Upon beginning Páginas del Ecuador, she wrote: "Mi empeño es algo
más elevado, pues conduce a hacer luz sobre acontecimientos políticos

28
del Ecuador, en los que si me cupo una pequeña parte, no puedo menos
que consagrarles este recuerdo, haciendo un llamamiento a la verdad,
12
a la justicia . . . Further on.she continued:
Amalgama de hechos heroicos y maquinaciones ruines;
auroras de libertad con crepúsculos de humillación
esc 1avocrata; santo anhelo de mejoramiento nacional y
postración de fuerzas por la lucha entre lo bueno y lo
malo: he allí el resumen de esa historia que todavía
no se ha escrito con la entera independencia que se
demanda, y a la que es justo atender con unas paginas
siquiera, que mañana sirvan entre documentos mil de su
especie, para el sereno juicio de la posteridad.^
It should be pointed out that due to her use of first person
narration when referring to her own participation in Ecuadorian history,
Isaac Barrera and Angel Rojas have included Páginas del Ecuador in their
1 4
discussions on the Ecuadorian novel. Indeed the work acquires a
semblance of fiction as the numerous metaphors and constant use of the
imperfect tense decrease the distance between the narrator and the material
Mis obedientes servidores no se movían de sus puestos;
el fuego que nuestros enemigos hacían desde la torre de
San Agustín sobre el portal del Palacio, era tenaz y
destructor. Caían al lado mío los soldados, pasando
silenciosos de la vida a la muerte. Agitábales un
extremecimiento [sic] instantáneo, sin que me fuera
dado recojer las últimas miradas de esos heroes. El
dolor mismo pasaba fugaz en mi espíritu, anestesiado
por emociones tan variados como terribles.^5
El silencio y la lobreguez reinaban en torno. De
cuando en cuando, los silbadores proyectiles iban a
clavarse en los muros del edificio. Parecía que el ángel
de la destrucción buscaba entre las tinieblas a quien
señalar con sus caricias de muerte; sintiendo yo, en los
revueltos giros del plomo, algo como el chasquido
siniestro de sus alas.^
Notwithstanding the novelistic elements, however, Páginas del
Ecuador offers many penetrating observations about the problems that
have beset Ecuador and other Latin American countries. Upon concluding
her study, she observed:

29
Los pueblos h¡spano-americanos, arrastran casi todos,
una existencia idéntica.
Hay cualidades y defectos comunes de raza, que no les
permiten entrar de lleno en el camino del orden. Siguiendo
el paralelo de sus volcanos, viven con extremecimientos [sic]
revolucionarios, periódicos y fatales, que van sin embargo,
disminuyendo en intensidad conforme se ilustran las masas,
cuya quietud y hábitos de trabajo corresponden al enfriamiento
gradual de las materias terrestres en ignición.
El Ecuador, aunque desgraciado hasta el día, no tiene
sin embargo, por qué perder la fe en sus destinos futuros.
Los pueblos más grandes y prósperos hoy, han tenido
también su noche negra de horrores.'^
Besides her political and historical concerns, Veintemilla also
wrote about women and the need for them to accept the challenge of being
active citizens willing to defend their human rights and ideals. In
18
"Madame Roland," a short feminist essay, the author presented Madame
Roland as a symbol of women's potential to participate directly in
society and to contribute significantly to history. Similar to her
own life, the French revolutionary was an example of what women could
do if they would free themselves from the social roles imposed upon them
by a male-dominated society. In effect, Veintemilla categorically
rejected man's supposed superiority over women:
Esta noble figura [Madame Roland] de la revolución
francesa, se elevara siempre como una prueba de que el
espíritu no se conforma a las circunscripciones de la
materia, y que para elevarse muy alto no necesita los
músculos vigorosos que ostenta el hombre. Propio es,
sin embargo, de la vanidad masculina negar en lo absoluto
a la mujer ciertas cualidades, y varón hay de buena fe
que se cree superior a la Roland, a la Stael , o la
Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, solo porque levanta un
peso de doscientas libras y esté dispuesto a dejarse
matar en cualquier lance.
Generally speaking, although she was optimistic about the literary
efforts being made by her female contemporaries abroad and their promising
future, Veintemilla deplored the South American woman's overall situation:

30
A despecho de nuestra civilización, la mujer sudarner i cana
es la esclava recién manumisa que ensaya sus primeros pasos
en el terreno de la literatura, donde felizmente ha
cosechado ya grandes triunfos precursores de otros de más
valía con el transcurso del tiempo. Ella no puede aún
aventurarse en el campo especulativo sin la obligada
compañía de un hombre; ella en el aislamiento, no encuentra
ni siquiera respeto fuera de su hogar, pues le asechan por
una parte al brutalidad [sic] callejera y por otra la
murmuración social, cuando no las feroces dentelladas de
la calumnia. Para llevar al poder una idea, aunque sea
la más pura y desinteresada, se expone al miserable
tratamiento de "favorita." No tiene, en una palabra,
la culta, racional independencia que la mujer de Europa
o Norteamérica, y sus impetus generosos, mal comprendidos
ante los ojos del vulgo, la empequeñecen.^
Finally, Veintemilla also utilized the essay as a means of
demonstrating her broad culture and vast knowledge of philosophy and
21
science, publishing such works as Conferencia sobre psicologza moderna
<*22
and a brief composition dedicated to Doctor Agustín Leonidas Yerovi.
In short, her dynamic and unorthodox role in history, her creative
efforts in literature, her feminist ideas, and her understanding of
scientific topics that were normally associated with male thinkers
all point to Veintern i 11 a 1s extraordinary ability to compete successfully
in a society traditionally dominated by.man. Jaime Chaves Granja
summarizes her achievements as follows:
Una mujer culta, destacadamente culta, con un rico
conocimiento de los progresos de la literatura, del arte y
de la ciencia en el Viejo y sabio Continente: eso fue
Marietta de Veintemilla. Un caso singular y singularísimo;
y no sólo para el medio ecuatoriano, sino para el que había
en todas las latitudes de América. Se puede comprender
fácilmente que una excepción tan descomunal, ten{a que ser sin
remedio el blanco de la incomprensión. ¿Como podían
comprender a dona Marietta las gentes de ese tiempo aferradas
al tradicionalismo más tenebroso, a las fórmulas sociales
de convento y mojigatería? Si aquella Mujer se mostraba
libre de prejuicios, valerosa en la expresión de sus
conocimientos e inquietudes, temeraria en las actitudes
que asumía, no podía ciertamente ser perdonada por una
sociedad que todavía suponía que era un delito para la

31
mujer saber leer y escribir, un delito para la
santidad convene iona1.^3
In conclusion, although women's literary production before the
twentieth century was scarce, the writers discussed in this chapter
were important antecedents and precursors who initiated the gradual
development of women's prose in Ecuador. More specifically, it is not
surprising that the first three women who attempted to write were nuns
during the Colony since education, an essential for almost all aspiring
artists, was controlled by the Church. Later, in the early years of the
Republic, when Dolores Veintemilla de Galindo tried to move away from
the religious themes usually associated with women, Ecuadorian society
still proved to be unwilling to accept women's efforts to become involved
in more secular, worldly affairs. However, with the advent of political
liberalism during the last few decades of the nineteenth century,
Marietta de Veintemilla was able to challenge the status quo and help
usher in new opportunities for women. In effect, she may be thought of
as a transitional figure who led Ecuadorian women into the twentieth century,
a modern world seemingly more tolerant of women's professional and
cultural aspirations.

32
Notes
Chapter I I
Cited in Fray Alfonso A. Jerves, ed., Florilegio doctrinal de la
Venerable Madre Catalina Luisa de Jesús María Herrera religiosa del
Monasterio de Santa Catalina de Sena de Quito (Quito: Imprenta de Santo
Domingo, 1932), p. 15•
2
It should be borne in mind that their prose did not circulate out¬
side of the Church until this century, when several scholars began
publishing the works. Manuel Maria Pol it has made the most significant
contributions regarding Teresa de Jesús Cepeda; besides studying her life,
he also has published some of the nun's letters. See: Manuel María Pol it,
"La primera escritora ecuatoriana," La Unión Literaria} VI, 2 (July 1916),
49; La familia de Santa Teresa en América y la primera carmelita
americana (Friburgo de Brisgovia, Alemania: B. Herder, 1905)- With
respect to Sor Gertrudis de San Ildefonso, see selections in: Padre
Miguel Sánchez Astudillo, ed., Prosistas de la colonia: Siglos XV-XVIII,
Biblioteca Ecuatoriana Minima (Mexico: Editorial J. M. Cajica Jr., S.A.,
I960), pp. 217-223. Interestingly, her work was compiled in 1700 by her
confessor, Padre Martín de la Cruz, and entitled La perla mística
escoridida en la concha de la humildad. According to Sánchez Astudillo,
however, the three volumes which make up the work were never published.
Turning to Sor Catalina de Jesús Maria Herrera, Fray Alfonso A. Jerves
has been the major scholar responsible for making her work known.
Besides the work cited in the previous note, Jerves edited Sor Catalina's
autobiography: Secretos entre el alma y Dios o Autobiografía de la
Venerable Madre Sor Catalina de Jesús María Herrera (Quito: Editorial
"Santo Domingo," 1950).
3
Producciones literarias, ed., Ce 1 i ano Monge (Quito: Editorial de
Proano y Delgado, 1908), pp. 19~20. This collection contains Veintemilla
de Galindo's entire literary production • (ten poems and three prose
compos itions).
L
Ibid., pp. 22-23.
^Ibid. > P• 7-
Aside from her overbearing personality and a growing tendency toward
liberalism in late nineteenth-century Ecuador, one must not overlook her
uncle's political power as a key factor in explaining her ability to
dominate the social pressures which earlier had destroyed Veintemilla de
Galindo. In effect, her uncle's political position gave Veintemilla a
power base unknown to most women in Ecuador.
7Marietta de Veintemilla (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura
Ecuatoriana, 1949), pp. 62-63.

33
Historia de la República: El Ecuador desde 1830 a nuestros días.
I (Guayaquil: Comograf, S. A., n.d,). 153~156.
9
^Enrique Garces, Marietta de Veintemilla, p, 60,
^La novela ecuatoriana, p. 66.
^Lima: Imprenta Liberal de F. Masías y Compañía, 1890.
12
Ibtd., P- 3-
^Ibid. , p. 6.
See: Rojas, La novela ecuatoriana; Barrera, Historia de la
literatura ecuatoriana.
^Paginas del Ecuador, pp. 201-202.
](>Ibid., p. 225.
1^Ibid., pp. ^09-^10.
1 g
Reproduced in Enrique Garóes, Marietta de Veiyitemilla, pp. I65-
173- This essay was originally part of a series of short essays entitled
Digresiones libres; "Madame Roland" was first published in Sociedad
Jurídico-Literaria^ 2k (June 190A), n.p.
^Ibid. , p. I67.
20Ibid., pp. 170-171.
9 1
(Quito: Imprenta de la Universidad Central, 1907). This lecture
was first presented on February 10, 1907.at the Universidad Central in
Quito, during an assembly sponsored by the Sociedad Jurid ico-Li teraria.
22
Digresiones libres: A la memoria del Doctor Agustín Leonidas
Yerovi (Quito: Imprenta Municipal, 190**).
23
"El drama de una mujer escrito por la noble pasión de un hombre,"
introduction to Enrique Garcés, Marietta de Veintemilla, pp. xiii-xiv.

CHAPTER I I I
THE FEMINIST JOURNALS: A SOURCE OF
LITERARY DEVELOPMENT
Although there were female intellectuals and writers in Ecuador
before the twentieth century,' these women were from well-educated, and
often, wealthy families capable of providing cultural opportunities
unknown to most Ecuadorian women. It was not until Eloy Alfaro
(Ecuadorian president during 1895-1901 and 1906-1911) and the political
liberals instituted numerous reforms in female legislation that greater
numbers of women found themselves sufficiently prepared culturally to
begin writing steadily, conscious of specific objectives. Whereas most
females of the past were consigned solely to their domestic duties, the
advent of Ecuadorian liberalism made possible modern women's fuller
participation in the mainstream of social and political realities: "Fue
el Partido Liberal que, reformando la Constitución del 8A, que prohibía
a la mujer el ejercicio de sus derechos políticos, le abrió las puertas
de las Universidades, le concedió el libre ejercicio de la administración
de sus bienes como mujer casada; le concedió a la madre patria potestad;
y en sus trascendentales Asambleas del 97 y del 29, aboliendo su
incapacidad de deliberante y de votante, le concedió espontáneamente,
2
carta de ciudadanía." Moreover, female education was a serious concern
for Alfaro who stated before the Constitutional Assembly of 1896-1897:
'Justo es también ensanchar la esfera de protección abriendo a las mujeres
las universidades de la República, a fin de que puedan dedicarse al

35
estudio de profesiones científicas y proporcionarles, igualmente,
talleres adecuados para el aprendizaje de artes y oficios."^
Naturally, in spite of Alfaro's efforts to improve women's con¬
ditions, many traditional problems and injustices continued to victimize
Ecuadorian females. Since political support for women's progress often
failed to change people's concepts and prejudices, the well-intentioned
laws did not reflect completely the social realities of the times. It
was one thing to open the universities to women, but another to prepare
them to compete successfully in higher education, and above all, to
convince them of the need to continue their learning. Indeed much of
society continued to believe that motherhood was a woman's principal
purpose in life, and consequently, saw no need for most of the proposed
liberal reforms. In fact, many Ecuadorians viewed the liberals' efforts
to improve women's status in society as a direct attack against an
established social order that had long been considered sacred (i.e.,
marriage, motherhood, and virginity).
Notwithstanding public opposition and resistance to official
policies, however, the government's apparent interest in and support of
women did draw attention to the latter's needs, and more importantly, it
set the stage for a major literary awakening among women writers. In
effect, with gradual gains in education and considerable governmental
backing, scores of females made a conscious effort to express their ideas
in writing, and to communicate with a reading public for the first time.
Specifically, beginning with the alfarista era (the period of Eloy
Alfaro's political dominance in Ecuador, 1895-1912), female activity
in prose literature increased dramatically as a group of early twentieth-

36
century women writers began to publish a series of feminist reviews in
which they championed such issues as equal rights and better educational
opportunities. Moreover, besides serving as a forum for women's needs
and interests, these journals also made a concerted effort to encourage
aspiring female writers to express their views and to make known their
1 itera ry talent.
Bearing in mind the difficulties all Ecuadorian authors have
experienced when trying to publish, particularly before the Casa de la
Cultura Ecuatoriana was founded in 19^, it is not surprising these
early women writers first turned to journalism as their principal means
of expression. It should be remembered that articles prepared for
newspapers, literary supplements, and the like did not require the same
amount of dedication and continued effort as did creative fiction, a
factor which traditionally has influenced in no small measure Ecuadorian
letters: "La mayor parte de nuestros escritores rehuyó la obra continuada,
que exigía constancia y dedicación, ... Se contentó con la obra
fragmentaria que no se oponía a la actualidad, a la atención del
problema inmediato."
In short, the feminist journals were vital to women's literary
development in Ecuador because they created an atmosphere of female
solidarity and unity in which women writers were able to overcome the
doubts and fears which previously had discouraged many of them from
publishing. Furthermore, in terms of content, besides having been a
detailed testimony of women's major preoccupations during approximately
four decades, the magazines were also an extremely important documentary
of the way women saw themselves and their roles in society.

37
With regard to this chapter and its concern with the feminist
journals as a source of women's literary development, it should be
pointed out that the writers produced ten such publications (i.e.,
La Mujer, El Hogar Cristiano, La Ondina del Guayas, La Mujer Ecuatoriana,
Flora, Brisas del Carchi, Arlequín, Nuevos Horizontes, Iniciación, Alas)
during three periods: (1) the alfarista era, (2) 1917-1928, and (3) the
1930's. Thus, the following discussion will analyze the magazines from
each period to illustrate the similarities and differences characteristic
of Ecuadorian women's concerns through the years.^ Also, after offering
a variety of general observations about the magazines' stated objectives
and their relevance both to Ecuadorian feminism and women's development
as prose writers, the chapter will conclude its study by commenting on
the financial crises which eventually limited the journals' public
6
exposure and growth.
Early Feminist Magazines: The Alfarista
Era "(1895-1912)
La Mujer (Quito, 1905)
La Mujer, apparently, was the first feminist journal published,
prepared in Quito in 1905 and subtitled: "Revista mensual de literatura
y variedades."^ Each issue contained poetry, short stories, articles,
and essays written by Ecuadorian women eager to express publicly their
ideas and literary aspirations. Interestingly, the importance of La
Mujer was immediately commented upon: "La aparición de la revista, la
primera en su género que saldrá de las prensas de Quito, es realmente
un acontecimiento transcendental."^

38
Recognizing the limited opportunities available for women to develop
their abilities outside of the domestic sphere, the editors clearly
explained their objectives:
Seriamente preocupados del porvenir y el adelantamiento
de la mujer ecuatoriana hemos venido acariciando, desde
hace algún tiempo, la idea de fundar una Revista, como un
medio para dar a conocer, el talento y las dotes de nuestras
literatas, y abrir ancho campo a los ensayos de las que por
modestia o timidez, no han dado hasta ahora a la publicidad
sus labores intelectuales.
Muy poco ha mejorado entre nosotros la condición de la
mujer, quizá porque educada en un rutinarismo fatal, rara
vez ha osado levantar el vuelo por las vastísimas regiones
de la inspiración y el estudio.°
Of course, at no time did La Mujer advocate destroying the traditional
fam i 1y:
No queremos decir con esto que la mujer deje de ser
el ángel del hogar como madre y como esposa, no; pero sus
atenciones creemos que no deben limitarse únicamente al
estrecho círculo de la familia, dotada como está de
inteligencia y exquisita sensibilidad que le hacen apta
para contribuir con eficacia al mejoramiento social.10
Women, obviously, were aware of the dangers of antagonizing
society and, consequently, emphasized consistently that their goals
were harmonious with society's well-beirlg and future progress. Never¬
theless, many Ecuadorians criticized severely feminists' efforts, as
evidenced by the following affirmation:
De Marzo [sic] para acá se han propuesto tres patriotas
y entusiastas jóvenes editar un periódico mensual . . .
La Mujer, en el cual no luzcan sino las aptitudes del
bello sexo ecuatoriano. [Pero] . . . ¿que podré decirte,
... de la especie de trastorno, y aspaviento, y bulla
levantados en nuestra sociedad por esta novedad?
Acostumbrados como estamos a ver que nuestras pacíficas
mujeres no han desempeñado nunca otro papel que el de
cosa o adorno en el hogar, tal atrevimiento ha caído
para ciertas y ciertos, en particular, como si de
improviso hubiera aparecido el sol por el occidente.

39
The principal editor and voice of this magazine was Zoila Ligarte
de Landivar, one of Ecuador's leading female intellectuals during the
twentieth century who began writing for newspapers in 1890 [El Tesoro
del Hogar)-, from 1906 to 1912 she supported ardently political liberalism
in La Prensa and La Patria, signing articles with her pen name, Zarelia.
According to Mary Corylé, another prestigious Ecuadorian intellectual and
writer, Zoila Ugarte's life
se eleva enhiesta y luminosa hacia dos motivos supremos:
el Ideal y las Letras. ... No sabemos cuál de ellas
[sic] tenga primacía en el alma diáfana y tersa de esta
Mujer. ... De Dona Zoila Ugarte de Landívar repetimos
con el Dr. Luis F. Cháves: "Un talento pujante como el
suyo, el relato de la vida admirable de una mujer
admirable, merece un estudio que nos la muestre en
sus múltiples facetas de artista, de escritora, de
periodista, de luchadora política, de educadora, de
batalladora en la palestra de la acción femenina y de mujer
de encantadora feminidad en el hogar y en los círculos
socia1 es.^
La Mujer offered Ugarte the opportunity to present her feminist
views and to publicly defend women's human rights. Education was a vital
concern which she frequently emphasized, explaining that a woman's
schooling was essential since men constantly depended upon her: "La
ignorancia femenina es contraproducente para el hombre [sic] ¿de quien
[sic] depende su bienestar desde que
1 3
mujer?" However, because of their
that women had been forced to be sex
carnal desires:
nace hasta que muere sino de la
lack of education, she pointed out
objects dedicated to satisfying men's
Si la mujer es frívola, casi tiene derecho a serlo,
¿no es eso lo que se exige de ella? ¿no se la vitupera
si por acaso se atreve a pensar en algo serio?
¿Que educación se la [sic] da? ¿Qué senda se la [sic]
seríala? ¿No está obligada como las hetairas griegas a
cultivar gracias físicas, para agradar al hombre?

40
Este, por lo común, busca esas gracias pasajeras que
marchita la vejez o las enfermedades: la pobre mujer
lo sabe y hace de estas armas su poder, poder efímero,
puesto que no se basa en las cualidades del alma que son
las únicas duraderas.'*4
Feminism, according to Ligarte, was women's basic means of solving
her problems and becoming self-sufficient:
El feminismo no es una doctrina caprichosa y sin
objeto, es la voz de la mujer oprimida, que reclama aquello
que le pertenece, y que si no hoy, mañana o cualquier día
lo conseguirá, siendo por lo tanto inútil ponerle trabas.
La mujer ecuatoriana siguiendo el movimiento universal,
sale de su letargo, protesta de su miseria y pide conocimientos
que la hagan apta para ganarse la vida con independencia; pide
escuelas, pide talleres, pide que los que tienen obligación
de atenderla se preocupen de ella algo más que hasta aquí lo
han hecho.'^
As for society's belief that women had attained sufficient improve¬
ments during the alfarista period, she quickly reminded her readers that
the so-called progress left much to be desired. In La Mujer she explained:
Se nos observará que al presente goza de ventajas que
no ha tenido nunca; cierto es, pero estas ventajas
podrían contarse en los dedos y no tienen el fin
práctico que ambicionamos. Se la emplea en las oficinas
de correos, pero todos sabemos que el personal de dichas
oficinas no lo componen muchas; se ha abierto también
un curso de farmacia, y hay la esperanza de que dentro
de algunos años obtendrán títulos las que se han dedicado
a ese estudio; pero sería de desear que se las facilite
además, otras profesiones, pues si llega a haber
farmacéuticas, como abogados, médicos y sacerdotes, serán
estrechas las boticas para contenerlas.
By and large, the feminist themes presented by Zoila Ligarte reflected
the general content found in La Mujer, as seen in the articles written by
Josefina Veintern i 11 a, Isabel D. de Espinel, Dolores Cabrera Egas , and
Dolores Flor. In short, La Mujer continuously urged women to recognize
their intellectual potential, and stressed the need for them to actively
complement men's efforts in developing society:

La génesis mitológica de algunos pueblos ha pretendido
dar a la mujer un origen inferior al del hombre; pero lo
ha pretendido en vano, porque al dotarla de inteligencia
el mismo Ser que la formó, quizo [sic] hacer de ella su
igual, su compañera. Por eso cuando la mujer cometió su
primera culpa Dis permitió que el hombre cometiera su
primer pecado; . . .
En efecto, el hombre y la mujer son dos partes igualmente
importantes, igualmente necesarias, para la formación de
ese ser social fundador de la familia y de la raza.^
Apart from these consciousness raising-type articles, La Mujer also
published numerous short stories written by Mercedes Gonzalez de Moscoso,
Maria Natalia Vaca, Josefina Veintemilla, and Antonia Mosquera A.
Generally speaking, these compositions were sentimental love stories
concerned only with entertaining the reader. Josefina Ve intemi11 a 1s
18
"Rita la loca," for example, narrates the tragedy of a young bride who
went mad after learning her husband had been killed at war. One night,
during a full moon, she jumped into a lake believing her husband had been
calling to her, and consequently, drowned. The story ends with the
explanation that with each full moon, the two dead lovers have a
rendezvous in the very same lake. Obviously, this sort of narrative
offers very little in the way of ideolog'ical or aesthetic innovation.
On the contrary, it reveals the considerable influence of late
romanticism characteristic of Ecuador’s literature at the turn of
the century.
Perhaps the most interesting story published in this journal was
"Los zapatos de boda," a feminist allegory written by Mercedes Gonzalez
de Moscoso. The story's protagonist, Grimanesa, was a wealthy girl
being pressured by her parents to marry since she was of age and expected
to fulfill her obligations as a woman. However, Grimanesa was a very
special kind of woman, one not representative of society's traditional

feminine stereotype. That is to say, in spite of her wealth, she was
ugly, of simple and modest tastes, highly cultured, and extremely
astute. As Gonzalez de Moscoso explained, Grimanesa "no usaba sino
sencillos vestidos de percal, siendo sus joyas las hermosas flores que
brotaban bajo su cuidado en el extenso jardín de la casa de sus padres." ^
With regard to her interests in art, music, and literature, "Grimanesa
pasaba la mayor parte del día entregada a lecturas serias que a la par
que deleitaban su espíritu, robustecían su inteligencia poderosa."
In short, Grimanesa was the feminist prototype many women
intellectuals were hoping to form by means of much of their journalistic
activity in Ecuador. The moral of the story was women will find
happiness only when they abandon their frivolous ways, and begin to
control their own destinies with their intelligence and good sense.
El Hogar Cristiano (Guayaquil, 1906-1919)
The second monthly journal found during the alfarista period was
El Hogar Cristiano, directed by Angela Carbo de Maldonado and "las
~ 21
Señoras de la 'Asociación de la Prensa Católica' de Guayaquil."
Unlike La Mujer, El Hogar Cristiano was not a literary review, but rather
a religious magazine concerned with teaching women, in general, and
mothers, in particular, their moral responsibilities as nuclei of the
family. In general, the journal's religious concerns and strong church
ties were clearly reflected in the large number of articles and poems
dedicated to such themes as: the life of Jesus, the importance of
catechism, the dangers of atheism, the need to strengthen marriage,
and the teachings of numerous saints.

*♦3
Whereas La Mujer, and other feminists journals to be studied in this
Chapter, were directed by liberal women who supported Alfaro and his lay
reforms, El Hogar Cristiano was conscious of its mission to defend many
of the traditional institutions against such secular trends as legal
separation, public education, and in general, against the period's
anticlericalism. With respect to feminism, the conservative females
feared women would misconstrue their new freedomes and opportunities
and become libertines, a reaction strongly influenced by events in Europe:
Utópicas y enganadoras teorías de un mal entendido y
peor comprendido feminismo, que jamás la podrá enaltecer
ni honrar, ha invadido desgraciadamente muchos cerebros y
sino [sic] basta echar una mirada hacia Inglaterra, donde
un considerable número de mujeres, queriendo usurpar
derechos incompatibles con su sexo y condición, emprenden
una campaña violentísima, que llama la atención del mundo
entero; forman escándalos, atacan y rompen los vidrios de
los Ministerios; incendian los teatros de Dublin; ... y
otras mil barbaridades, . . .
No se diga jamás a una mujer, que su puesto está en los
comicios populares.
Desde el hogar puede triunfar: he ahí’’ su lugar; he ahí
su santuario.
No se pretenda pues, inculcar en el corazón de nuestras
mujeres, esas engañadoras y perjudiciales ideas.^
La Ondina del Guayas (Guayaquil, 1907~1910)
The third magazine in this initial period of modern Ecuadorian
women's prose activity was La Ondina del Guayas, a monthly literary
review subtitled "Revista femenil mensual de literatura y variedades,"
directed by Rosaura Emelia Galarza, Teresa Alavedra Tama, and Celina
María Galarza. Each issue contained poetry and articles written by
women, feature articles about Ecuadorian heroines and leading female
intellectuals (i.e. , Dolores Veintemilla de Galindo, Zoila Ugarte de
Landivar, and Manuela Cañizares), and suggestions about feminine

fashions in dress and cosmetics. The journal's commitment to promoting
female literary activity becomes evident upon reading the editorial state
ment published in the first issue, in 1907:
Sin pretensiones literarias . . . hemos emprendido en
esta publicación por solo [sic] el deseo vehemente de que
la mujer ecuatoriana tenga en ella uno como interprete de
los bellos y tiernos' sentimientos que se anidan en su alma.
La mujer, en nuestra Patria, siempre se ha distinguido por
su privilegiada inteligencia y su afición a las letras, pero
las preocupaciones de la época, o la excesiva timidez de
su carácter, le han impedido, con frecuncia [sic], hacer
conocer al público las delicadas flores de su ingenio,
resultando de aquí que hay verdaderas joyas literarias
desconocidas casi de nuestra ilustrada sociedad. . . .
La Ondina del Guayas es, pues, la revista del bello sexo:
sus columnas de honor están a la absoluta disposición de
las ilustres damas que,con tanto lucimiento manejan la
pluma entre nosotros. 4
However, despite efforts to foment literary production among women,
and attempts to inspire women to take advantage of their own capabilities
La Ondina del Guayas never sought to change significantly existing social
roles:
Somos las mujeres, con raras excepciones, débiles por
naturaleza y sentimentales por instinto. Sin ser feministas
en la extensión que hoy se da a esta palabra, sí nos gusta
que el bello sexo ilustre su entendimiento y levante su
carácter; pero sin apartar jamás la vista del hogar, el
cual debe ser en todo caso el centro de sus aspiraciones
e ideales. ¿ . . Escriba para el hogar y por el hogar. . . .
Dejemos la árida y estéril política para el sexo fuerte.
Nuestra femenina inteligencia no quiere ni debe penetrar
esos misterios. Sensibles y sentimentales como somos las
mujeres, nuestra imaginación debe inspirarse solo [sic] en las
purísimas e inagotables fuentes de la virtud, de la belleza
y del amor.
In effect, the journal's conscious policy of defining feminism in
terms of acquiring better female education, but without disrupting
traditional family structures (just as in the case of La Mujer), sounds
very much like the conservative view expounded in El Hogar Cristiano:

^5
El hogar le impone una misión mas noble, más augusta,
más digna, como hija, esposa o madre y si se quiere en
la evolución actual, que el adelanto de la mujer, marque
otro rumbo para la marcha rápida del progreso humano, que
sea en buena hora. Que se le señale un camino más amplio,
más seguro, para que escale desde el hogar hasta donde le
sea posible, los tabernáculos del saber, porque una mujer
de pluma, una mujer artista, que manteniendo su alma buena
y su corazón sensible, tremola muy en alto el pendón del
saber y de la ciencia,--la luz de la idea, reflejada en la
gracia femenina ... es un espectáculo muy hermoso digno
de figurar en el concierto de la civilización y del
progreso. °
Consequently, the only significant difference between the three journals
was that La Mujer and La Ondina del Guayas encouraged women to actively
collaborate and develop th.eir literary skills, while El Hogar Cristiano
was a purely didactic review concerned only with religious doctrine and
moral edification.
Another interesting feature common to these early journals was the
absence of material relevant to contemporary political events, i.e.,
boundary disputes with Colombia and Peru, and the power struggles between
Ecuador's liberal factions. According to Pareja Diezcanseco: "Duelen
estas páginas de nuestra historia: están llenas de sangre, de vergüenza,
^27
de humillación." Yet, women intellectuals only concerned themselves
with their immediate feminist preoccupations, and appear to have been
disinterested in those important events which supposedly pertained to
28
men's dominion. This silence probably indicates women still did not
consider themselves a significant force in Ecuadorian politics, and
consequently, preferred to go about their own business while men took
charge of national issues.

Major Feminist Journals Published During the
Years í?j7-1928
Flora (Quito, 1917~192Q)
Between 1917 and 1928 the most important feminist journal was Flora,
published in Quito and subtitled "Revista feminil ilustrada de literatura,
29
artes y variedades." Since Rosaura Emelia Galarza and Celina Marfa
Galarza, the editors of La Ondina del Guayas, also directed Flora, it is
not surprising to find many similarities between the latter and the
alfarista publications. As in the past, each issue contained poetry,
photographs of distinguished Ecuadorian women, feature articles about
leading female figures, advice about fashions, and in general, while
the review's chief objective was to serve women's intellectual interests,
at no time was it suggested they seek fulfillment by renouncing their
domestic and maternal obligations.
Nevertheless, there were certain features which indicate Flora
attempted to broaden its range of concerns so as not to limit its focus
solely to women's immediate problems. The editors, for example, besides
including in each issue special articles about particular cities or
provinces, and briefly studying famous Ecuadorian poets and writers (i.e.,
Remigio Crespo Toral, Gonzalez Suarez, Luis A. Martinez), at one point
demonstrated a growing interest in Ecuador's social problems:
Por eso seguimos con empeño las labores de la Legislatura
actualmente reunida; porque tiene que resolver el problema
terrible de la subsistencia de las clases menesterosas, dar
incremento a la instrucción pública, asegurar la marcha de
los establecimientos de benefici ene i a y hacer inalterable
la paz; porque un pueblo pobre y débil, la necesita para
su desarrollo, para los progresos legítimos, para no perecer
cuando tiene apenas vigor para los primeros pasos.30

47
In effect, Rosaura and Celina Galarza recognized the need for women to
be better informed about the world in which they lived, and explained
in the first issue of Flora:
Hace algún tiempo, siguiendo los impulsos generosos
de la juventud, fundamos La Ondina del Guayas, periódico
literario de la mujer; . . .
Hoy el propósito es más grande que el de cultivar las
flores de la literatura: ante el avance prodigioso que
ha tomado la mujer en todas partes, no puede la ecuatoriana
permanecer inerte, viendo las cosas sin seguir su corriente,
dejando pasar los acontecimientos sin asirse a ellos para
conseguir los bienes nuevos, y ensanchar su esfera de
acción.
La guerra europea ha sido varilla mágica que ha llamado
a la mujer a todos los terrenos, a todas las faenas; y ella,
bajo muchos respectos, no sólo ha reemplazado a los hombres,
sino que los ha sobrepujado; y lo que importa es que no viva
de parásita, que no se crea impotente para ganarse la vida, que
deje de ser eterna pupila. Que sea compañera, pero inteligente,
libre, cariñosa; que ayude al hombre en lo más que puede, y
que vea su^porvenir no sólo circunscrito al matrimonio o al
claustro.
Of course, one must not be misled by the vigorous tone of the above
affirmation which urged Ecuadorian women to cease living as parasites, and
to plan their future in terms that went beyond marriage or the convent.
Apparently, the editors, carried away with their own rhetoric, contradicted
themselves in the same article: "Queremos a la mujer ante todo en el
hogar, pues para esto la formó la naturaleza; pero para embellecer y
perfeccionar ese mismo hogar, le es preciso estudiar los nobles ejemplos,
criar aspiraciones, y ensanchar el ideal de las hijas, de las esposas y
32
de las madres." Further on, they continued their opening statement by
commenting, "Flora es, pues, vocero de la mujer ecuatoriana, no sólo
para sus pensamientos bellos, sino para toda idea que tienda a su
mejoramiento en todo terreno. La mujer es el amor, tiene necesidad
de mantenerlo con la belleza y el encanto; es el ser mas considerado

en la sociedad, le es preciso hacerse, por sólida educación, merecedora
de ese sentimiento; . . . Para ser buena esposa, buena madre, tiene
O ?
que ser instruida, prudente, severa y adorable siempre."'0
Henee, once again, education was considered vital, but only as a
means of preparing women to be good mothers and homemakers. On the one
hand, Flora's directors talked about representing Ecuadorian women in
their quest for "mejoramiento en todo terreno;" and on the other hand,
they limited women's aspirations to a very traditional framework which
perhaps tended to negate Flora's supposed goals of attaining women's
independence and self-sufficiency. In short, it is apparent Ecuadorian
feminists did not define their needs in the same way as their counterparts
in Europe or the United States: "Ni sugragistas, ni políticas, sólo
mujeres en su derecho; es decir, instruidas, laboriosas, dignas del
amor, la familia y la sociedad; aptas para sus múltiples deberes,
hermanando siempre las gracias, la belleza y la virtud: he aquí el
campo de acción a que aspiramos conducirla, y del cual es órgano esta
â– e '3^
modestísima publicación."
La Mujer Ecuatoriana (Guayaquil, 1918-1923)
La Mujer Ecuatoriana, published in Guayaquil and edited by Clara
Aurora de Freire, Dolores S. Pacheco G., Rosa Angelica Pena, and Rosa
Isabel Nieto, was the monthly journal of the Centro Feminista La
Aurora, founded by Augustin A. Freire. The format and objectives were
similar to those of the previously mentioned magazines. Of particular
interest is an anonymous composition which plainly revealed the bitterness
felt by many Ecuadorian women conscious of social injustices and inequities

^9
¿Por que nací mujer? He ahí la causa de tanta exclavitud.
El hombre se forma en el mundo su cielo o su infierno;
pero no pasa lo que nosotras: nos tienen preparado un
limbo para cuanta sea la duración de la tristísima, inútil
vida. A la mujer no [sic] siquiera se le reservan grandes
luchas, éxitos o derrotas de magna escala; para ella todo,
hasta el dolor es mezquino; se desliza sin ruido y acaba
sin gloria, sacrifiqúese o no, de antemano esta sacrificada
. . . a la inacción, la rutina, "el que [sic] dirán," en
una palabra a la mas ruin desgracia. ¿Pesimismo? No:
rea 1 i dad.35
Brisas del Carchi (Tulean, 1919-1921)
Brisas del Carchi, a literary review from Tu lean, was not a
feminist journal, but rather a monthly review whose editor was a woman,
Mercedes Martinez Acosta. Despite its inclusion by Zoila María Castro
in her list of feminist magazines ("Presencia femenina en la literatura
ecuatoriana"), its pages contain no material to support such a classifi¬
cation. It was simply a regional journal published chiefly for the
carchenses: "Pone sus columnas a disposición de las personas que
quieren honrarle con sus colaboraciones, y publicara, de una manera
especial, las producciones de los carchenses que se encuentren dentro
r , . i,36
o fuera del país.
Arlequín (Quito, 1928)
Arlequín, directed by Rosa Saa de Yépez in Quito, was similar to
Brisas del Carchi in its lack of interest in women's concerns. The maga¬
zine offered a variety of articles on literature and the plastic arts,
and in terms of this study, its chief importance (as in the case of
Brisas del Carchi) lies in its female editorship.
In short, during this second period of women's journalistic
activity, female intellectuals continued campaigning for better education

50
and more opportunities in literature for women. Flora, despite its
obvious limitations, represented an attempt to expose women to a more
general corpus of knowledge and information by moving away slightly
from purely feminist themes. With regard to Brisas del Carchi and
Arleqin, these reviews may very well reflect an important step forward
in Ecuadorian women's intellectual development, particularly since they
seem to suggest that some women were gradually being accepted in positions
37
of authority outside of solely female undertakings.
Feminist Magazine Literature and the
19301s
Turning to the 1930's, women writers in Ecuador continued using
magazines as their principal means of literary expression, and as a basic
instrument in reaching large sectors of the female population. Aside
from championing feminist issues, writers began paying more attention
to the longstanding social problems men were incapable of resolving.
Economically, Ecuador suffered greatly from the effects of the Depression:
"En 1930, la crisis mundial def1acion ista llegó a nuestras puertas.
Cayeron los precios. Se acabó, como por encanto, el ensueno del dinero
3 8
por el dinero. Ninguna cosa valía nada." Politically, Ecuador still
could not find the long-sought after formula needed to stabilize
conditions. In effect, during this period women writers recognized
men's failures, and therefore, implored their readers to vigorously
assume greater responsibilities in society.
Nuevos Horizontes (Guayaquil, 1933-1937)
Nuevos Horizontes, published in Guayaquil
for four years ,
39
clearly
reflected the new directions adopted by women writers and intellectuals

51
in their efforts to secure a more meaningful place for females in
Ecuadorian society. This journal was the official voice of the Legión
Femenina de Educación Popular, a social organization committed to
improving human conditions: "La Legión Femenina de Educación Popular
tiene por objeto combatir al analfabetismo, proteger al niño y
estimular la cultura nacional por tods los medios que se hallen al
40
alcance de la mujer." Both the organization and Nuevos Horizontes
were directed to Rosa Borja de Icaza and her staff members, Marfa
Barredo de Castillo, Amarilis Fuentes, and Marfa Esther Martfnez M.
Rosa Borja de Icaza was one of Ecuador's key feminists who enjoyed
international prestige in literary and social circles, and brought to
Ecuadorian literature her universal, humanistic outlook. The recipient
of numerous national and international honors (i . e. , Member of the
Academia Ecuatoriana de la Lengua, Directora de la Biblioteca Municipal
de Guayaquil, Directora del Centro de Estudios Literarios de la Universidad
de Guayaquil, Presidenta de Honor de la Sociedad Bolivariana de Guayaquil,
Vocal Fundadora de la Sociedad de Benefici cene i a Ajuar del Niño, Presidenta
del Consejo Nacional de la Unión de Mujeres Americanas, and ex-Consejera
Provincial), she has been described as a woman who "logró atraer hacia el
Ecuador la atención de los efreulos literarios de toda América e,
incluso, de Europa. Tan vasta y apreciada es la obra realizada por la
Señora Rosa Borja de Icaza que ... ha trascendido las fronteras de su
país y es así que, en Chile, existe una Biblioteca Infantil que lleva su
nombre como expresión de reconocimiento por su encumbrada contribución a
la cultura de Ecuador y de América." It should not be surprising, then,
that Nuevos Horizontes was characterized by a broad range of concerns which

52
included literacy campaigns, special legislation to protect women and
juvenile workers, female education, Pan Americanism, and world peace.
Each issue of Nuevos Horizontes contained, basically, six sections
(1) short stories and poetry by Ecuadorian women and foreigners; (2)
articles on feminism; (3) social problems; (A) education; (5) articles
on foreign women; (6) letters to the editor (often from foreign women
leaders expressing solidarity with the editor and the aims of the
magazine). Perhaps the most striking feature of Borja during her
editorship of Nuevos Horizontes was her close association with other
Latin American women leaders, and frequently, with their feminist
magazines. From the very first issue, she demonstrated her Pan
Americanism by publishing a letter she had written previously to
Chile's Isabel Morel, editor of Nosotras: "Interesada como vivo en las
conquistas del femenismo en el mundo, he lefdo con toda atención . . .
Nosotras, y desde el primer instante he querido comunicarme con Ud.
para laborar en armonía por la cultura y elevación de la mujer en el
k2
Continente." Similar references to other women leaders, and numerous
literary and journalistic contributions sent by foreign women to Nuevos
Horizontes filled the journal's six sections: Victoria Ocampo, editor
of Sur (Buenos Aires); Nelly Merino Carvallo, editor of Mujeres de
America (Buenos Aires); Zulma Nunez, editor of America Nueva (Uruguay);
Pilar Laña Santillana, editor of Social (Lima); Gloria Dali, Presidenta
de la Federación Nacional de Empleadas de Bogotá; and Abigail Mejia de
Fernández, Directora del Museo Nacional de Santo Domingo were some
examples of this intercontinental collaboration women's groupsof this
period succeded in establishing.

53
In effect, the solidarity which existed among women writers and
intellectuals throughout America has highlighted as an unprecedented
achievement in a world marred by political conflicts and economic
crises. Women were proving to society, and to themselves, that they
were capable of resolving many of the problems created by men:
En medio del desenfreno de las pasiones de los hombres,
entre la lucha contradictoria del hambre y la guerra que
aniquilan la vida política y económica de los pueblos, se
levantará el emocionado clamor de la mujer, defendiendo
con decisión histórica la corriente sagrada de la
existencia humana, quizás por representar el sentido más
íntimo de ella, por sobre los primitivos procedimientos de
la fuerza sangriente y la abominable política del dinero.
La mujer cerebro, la mujer corazón, la mujer pensante
de estos días, liberada y de viejas tradiciones exclusivistas,
pero conservando siempre un espíritu cristiano, puede con
sus enormes fuerzas vitales, destruir todas las contradicciones
sociales que obstaculizan el camino para orientar una
sociedad menos egoísta, mezcla de avanzada y primitiva.
Negros nubarrones en medio de la incertidumbre,
amenazan devastar América, pero la unidad espiritual
de las mujeres no permitirá en ningún tiempo que ellos
engendren una tempestad. *
Since female leaders in Ecuador were convinced women had the
potential to participate significantly in society, they continued to
focus on the feminist themes which urged all women to reject traditional
servile roles and become more involved in national development. Carmen
de Burgos, in an article entitled "Misión suprema," explained:
La mujer, por pasividad, por bobaliconería, por respeto
a una tradición que la hace sumisa, se doblega servilmente
y cree que su misión es la de obedecer, la de aplaudir, la
de aceptarlo todo en una estúpida molicie; sin raciocinio
ni voluntad, como si su papel en el mundo fuese el de las
comparsas o la clac que ayuda al éxito de la comedia. . . .
Ella ha de pensar, no en acrecentar su belleza, sino en
acrecentar su interés de un modo que siendo común a todas
sea persona1ísimo en cada una.
De este modo, la mujer no será una cosa inconsistente,
y hasta poco real, sino algo muy firme, completador, que
compensaría al hombre entendiéndole, silencio, ahogado,^
sin esa falta de fantasía con que convive ahora con el.

54
It is clear, of course, Ecuadorian feminists still insisted on the
need to complement men's efforts, and to play a supporting role which
allowed men to maintain their authoritative position over women. Maria
Esther Martinez M., for example, in her "El problema feminista en el
Ecuador," emphasized the need for women to organize and join together
to "evitar la disgregación y el aislamiento de sus componentes que
necesariamente llevan al fracaso; no por falta de capacidad, sino por
- 45
falta de dirección." Moreover, she urged the government to establish
labor unions for women workers and Asociaciones de Empleadas which would
concentrate on defending exclusively women's rights, as opposed to mixed
groups which normally fought for "la solución de muchos problemas
46
concernientes al elemento masculino, que se encuentra en mayoría."
Also, the article stressed the need for female representation in govern¬
ment, as well as equal salaries for women. Nevertheless, despite these
liberal proposals, Martinez too felt it essential to assure her readers
feminism was no threat to men:
No planteo el problema desde el punto de vista de un
feminismo egoísta, del predomi-nio absoluto de la mujer
con pretensiones al desplazamiento del hombre, . . . No,
proclamo en primer lugar, una situación, para la mujer,
mas de acuerdo con su ser inteligente: el derecho a su
desenvolvimiento científico y cultural, pero dentro de
una organización social viciada por su conformación
económica, dentro de la cual se ha hecho imprescindible
la presencia de la mujer hasta en las fábricas y des¬
tinada a las labores más rudas para asegurar su derecho
a la vida, . . .^7
Referring to the meaning and problems of Ecuadorian feminism, as
expounded by many women writers, Delia Ibarra de Dueñas wrote:
El feminismo en el Ecuador está en pañales, . . .
Nos asusta la palabra como algo insólito, algo anormal,
algo que nos inspira temores y recelos. Y es que del
Feminismo tenemos la idea más peregrina. Creemos que

55
consiste principalmente en que la mujer haga alardes de
maneras bruscas; que fume, que juegue el bridge, que tenga
modales hombrunos, . . . Creemos que Feminismo es símbolo
de revolución de trastorno, así como comunismo, como
bolchevismo, y naturalmente hacemos un movimiento como
de tortuga, que ante algo inusitado se esconde bajo su
concha. En verdad, es una concha impenetrable ese tejido
de prejuicios, lógico resultado de nuestra educación y de
nuestras costumbres impregnadas aún de las modalidades
coloniales. Concha fuerte y resistente formada por un
acumulo de ideas y de practicas por las que la mujer en
nuestra sociedad ha vivido cohibida, restringida en sus
funciones, sin mas perspectiva que el matrimonio o el
convento, y sin mas aspiración que ser parásita del
hombre. °
However, she concluded:
El principio filosófico del Feminismo trata de
alcanzar para la mujer un nivel moral, político y social
equivalente al del hombre, no superior ni enteramente igual;
ya que no es superior ni enteramente igual a la de aquel,
la función que debe desempeñar en el mundo. Entre los dos,
hombre y mujer se armonizan, se completan, cada uno en su
esfera igualmente trascendental, por resultado de la
admirable armonía que Dios ha puesto en todas sus obras. ”
To summarize, Nuevos Horizontes served several purposes. On a
superficial level, it reported the many activities realized by the Legion
Femenina de Educación Popular, i.e., creation of people's libraries,
courses for nurses, and free schools for women workers. Apart from this
social concern, the journal was a vital instrument in establishing
contacts between Ecuadorian women and other Latin American feminist
leaders who were attempting to provide a more equitable social role for
larger numbers of women throughout the continent. Above all, however,
Nuevos Horizontes gave women the opportunity to writeâ–  Since male ^
perspectives were understood to have been formed by specific circumstances
exclusive to men, many Ecuadorian women realized it was essential they
themselves publicly interpret their unique experiences. Hence, they
accepted the challenge to speak out for all women and reveal the way to
new horizons.

56
Iniciación (Ambato, 193^~1935)
Another feminist journal of the period was Iniciación, published
in Ambato and subtitled "Revista femenil de cultura.Blanca Martínez
de Tinajero, a novelist who will be studied in a subsequent chapter, and
Abigail Naranjo Fernandez edited this review which, although lacking the
Pan Americanist vision of Nuevos Horizontes, shared many of the latter's
objectives and concerns:
Nuevas Ariadnas, enamoradas de un Ideal, la cultura de
la mujer, queremos ofrendar a este Ideal, nuestros desvelos
y nuestro entusiasmo, y así laborar por el feminismo por
esta doctrina justa y lógica, que a la mujer la nivela al
hombre, sin menoscabar los derechos de éste; doctrina que
producirá innegables beneficios para la mujer, pero que
no lo serán menores para el hombre, ya que en la mujer
preparada encontrará: la sincera consejera, la eficaz
colaboradora, y en muchas ocasiones la iniciadora de todo
lo que signifique progreso.51
Generally speaking, Iniciación presented articles about women's
participation in the Tungurahua region's Red Cross; the important role
played by mothers in children's education; advice about homemaking;
short stories and poetry written by women and men; evocations of Nature
and its feminine qualities (i.e., creation); and passages cited from
such writers as Juan Montalvo, Juan León Mera, Rubén Darío, and Luis
A. Martínez. The most significant element found in this journal, however,
was its sponsorship of a literary contest for women, an indication that
the editors were trying to go beyond past efforts in stimulating aspiring
female writers. Besides offering women the opportunity to write for
Iniciación, they were set on discovering much of the talent that pre-
52
viously had gone unnoticed. Naturally, this can be considered
another facet of Ecuadorian women's commitment to helping one another

57
in their quest for progress and improvement: "Mucho tenemos que
estudiar, comenzando por definirnos y conocernos nosotras mismas,
para llegar a una autonomía y emancipación completas. ... Si
53
queremos mejorar el mundo, mejoremos primero a la mujer."
Alas (Quito, 1934)
The last magazine to be discussed was published in 193^, when
several women who had been directly involved in various feminist
journals through the years joined together in Quito. Zoila Ligarte
de Landívar, Victoria Vasconez Cuvi , María Angélica Idrobo, and
Rosaura Emelia Galarza succeeded in publishing two issues of Alas, a
publication dedicated to all Spanish-speaking women: "Mujeres
ecuatorianas, mujeres indoibéri cas, para vosotras y por vosotras se
ha fundado especialmente esta Revista. Acudid a embellecerla con
las producciones de vuestro ingenio y de vuestro sentimiento, con el
incontrastable vigor de vuestra delicada resistencia, que es la
5/4
fuerza y la vida del mundo." In general, Alas was a continuation
of earlier feminist journals in Ecuador, and hence, did not offer
.... „ . 55
any significant innovations.
Notwithstanding women's journalistic and literary activity
described above, it should be borne in mind that in terms of dis¬
tribution and publication, all of the feminist magazines suffered
from serious limitations. Indeed, because of financial difficulties,
the journals rarely circulated outside of the cities where they were
printed, and consequently, few Ecuadorians learned of their existence.

58
Also, very few magazines were able to produce enough issues to
establish a stable following. ^ According to Angel Rojas, economic
problems stifled most publications in Ecuador, and not just those
produced by women:
Infortunada característica de nuestras publi¬
caciones ha sido y sigue siendo lo precario de su
vida. Hecho que proviene de que, hasta aquí, ninguna
de ellas ha podido estabilizarse económicamente. Los
grupos entusiastas que sostienen el gasto de los
primeros números por lo general no están en condiciones
de seguir sacrificándose indefinidamente. Y la
publicación cesa. No se tiene entre nosotros por
costumbre adquirir revistas nacionales. Se las lee
en las bibliotecas, o cuando se las distribuye
gratuitamente . . . que es la única forma de
hacerlas circular.57
In the feminist magazines, there are numerous references to
the financial problems confronted by the editors, and the impos¬
sibility of continuing operations. For example, La Mujer advised
its readers of having requested economic support from the Legislature
because the directors "temen que su constancia se estrelle en la
falta de recursos para subvenir a los gastos que demanda la publi-
58
cación." In 1918, when Rosaura Emel’ia Galarza asked the
Legislature for assistance, she published a short note in Flora,
explaining: "Es la primera ocasión que la mujer ecuatoriana se
lanza al palenque de las letras en órgano propio de publicación;
y como sabéis bien que esta clase de revistas no pueden sostenerse
por sí solas al principio, la súplica es motivada." Unfortunate¬
ly, Flora was not subsidized, and had to discontinue publication
for more than one year. Galarza later explained:

59
Por este motivo, y en vista del elevadísimo
precio que alcanzo el papel de imprenta en esos
días, hubo necesidad de suspender indefinidamente
la publicación de Flora, pues es muy sabido que,
en el Ecuador, es casi imposible la existencia
de un periódico literario durante sus primeros
años, sin la protección oficial, máxime siendo
aquél dirigido, redactado y ayudado únicamente
por mujeres.^0
Hence, women writers who began their careers with the feminist
journals not only had to struggle against traditional prejudices,
but also against the lack of financial resources, a problem never
really solved in Ecuador. Even if some magazines did not offi¬
cially make known their economic plight, a quick glance at the
irregularity in publication is enough to illustrate the hardships
suffered by ambitious intellectuals. In effect, as Alejandro
Andrade Coello pungently stated, when referring to the feminist
journals: "Pero, al fin y al cabo son flores de un día . . . .
Despite these limitations, however, the feminist journals
played a major role in promoting literary expression among women
in Ecuador; for the first time in national literary history a
significant number of women weie being encouraged to write and
publish. Also, besides appearing to be, in large part, an
exercise in female consciousness raising, the journals succeeded
in presenting vividly Ecuadorian women's understanding of them¬
selves, and of their social realities. In short, this phase of
women's prose development was part of an experimental period in
which Ecuadorian women discovered their own talents and estab¬
lished a literary tradition which through the years has evolved

60
gradual I y, offering women
realizing their potentia
experience and training essent
as prose writers.
a I
to fully

61
Notes
Chapter I I I
For an extensive list of female intellectuals (mostly poetesses)
in pre-twentieth century Ecuador, see: Zoila Marfa Castro, "Presencia
femenina en la literatura ecuatoriana," Cuadernos del Guayas, IV, 7
(December 1953), 14, 19-
2
Rosa Borja de Icaza, Hacia la vida (Guayaquil: Biblioteca
Municipal de Guayaquil, 1936). p. 88.
^Cited in Digna E. Ayón de Messner, Trayectoria histórica y cultural
de la Universidad de Guayaquil: 1867-1967, 2nd ed. (Guayaquil: Departamento
de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Guayaquil, 1967), p. 8l.
4 ...
Isaac J. Barrera, Hvstoria de la literatura ecuatoriana} p. 1184.
^Because much of the material is similar in content and purpose,
the discussion will concentrate on one journal from each period, followed
by brief comments on the remaining publications.
^Naturally, due to the lack of previous research, this study does
not claim to be a definitive inventory of the feminist journals, many of
which may have been lost during the years, or simply continue sitting on
some library shelf waiting to be discovered. Nevertheless, this presen¬
tation is complete enough to offer a representative idea of the material.
To date, the only sources found that mention names of magazines are:
Zoila Marfa Castro, "Presencia femenina en la literatura ecuatoriana;"
Morayma Ofyr Carvajal, Galería del espíritu: Mujeres de mi patria; and
Alejandro Andrade Coello, "Cultura femenina: Floración intelectual de
la mujer ecuatoriana en el siglo XX." According to Zoila Marfa Castro,
Nena and Araos were part of women's journalistic publications; to date,
they have not been located. One issue of a literary review from
Portoviejo, entitled Argos, has been found; however, its editors were
men and there are no apparent feminist concerns. Although three women
did collaborate (Natividad Robles, America Castillo, and Bertha Cedeño
de Espinel) with the magazine, it is assumed this journal is not the one
Castro had in mind.
^Six issues have been located: I, 1 (April 1905); 1, 2 (May 1905);
I, 3 (June 1905); I, 4 (July 1905); I, 5 (August 1905); I, 6 (October
1905). Due to financial difficulties referred to in the. August edition,
a topic to be treated later in this chapter, it is unlikely other issues
were published after October.
O
Elisa, "Carta a Laura," La Mujer, I, 1 (April 1905), 27-
^"Notas editoriales," La Mujer, I, 1 (April 1905), 31-
Ibid.

62
^Lucila Montalvo, "Carta íntimaLa Mujer, I, 3 (June 1905),
78.
12
"Tres mujeres máximas en la literatura nacional," Anales de la
Universidad de Cuenca, VIII, 2 (April-June 1952), 158.
^"Nuestro ideal," La Mujer, I, 1 (April 1905), 2.
^Ibid., p. 3-
^"As p i raciones ," La Mujer, I, 4 (July 1905) , 100.
^Ibid., p. 101.
^Josefina Veintemilla, "La Mujer," La Mujer, I, 1 (April 1905),
8.
18
La Mujer, I, 4 (July 1905), 122-126. Other stories found in
La Mujer are the following: Mercedes Gonzalez de Moscoso, "Los zapatos
de boda," La Mujer, I, 1 (April 1905), 4-6; Marfa Natalia Vaca, "¡Pobre
Marfal," La Mujer, I, 1 (April 1905), 19-23; continued in I, 2 (May 1905),
45“50; continued in I, 3 (June 1905); 83“87; Mercedes Gonzalez de
Moscoso, "Doble sacrificio," La Mujer, I, 3 (June 1905), 72-77; continued
in I , 4 (July 1905), 105“110; Marfa Natalia Vaca, "Cuento de Navidad,"
La Mujer, I, 5 (August 1905), 144-154; Antonia Mosquera A., "Sor Lorenza,"
La Mujer, I, 6 (October 1905), 169“172. This last story was incomplete
and was to be continued in a later issue.
19„
Los zapatos de boda," p. 4.
20
Ibid.
The only issues located were the complete collections of 1909
(III) and 1914 (VIII). Although there may be some question as to whether
or not this journal is feminist, it must be borne in mind that the editors
clearly presented their understanding of women's place in society. More¬
over, despite its conservative position, El Hogar Cristiano attempted to
make women conscious of their responsibilities.
22
Adelaida C. Velasco Gal dos, "¿Feminismo?," El Hogar Cristiano,
VIII, 81 (July 1914) , 58.
23
JThe following issues have been located: I, 1 (October 1907);
111,5 (July 1909); Ml,6 (August 1909), IV, 7 (January 1910) ; IV,
8 (May 1910).
^"Nuestro ideal," La Ondina del Guayas, I, 1 (October 1907), 1.
25Ibid. , p. 2.
26
Adelaida Velasco, "¿Feminismo?," p. 58.

63
27
Alfredo Pareja Diezcanseco, Historia de la república, II, 39-
28
The only exception found was several references to the border
dispute with Peru, published in La Ondina del Guayas, IV, 8 (Hay 1910).
This issue used the boundary conflict as a point of departure in its
discussion of past heroines who valiantly defended Ecuador in times
of crisis. Basically, then, this issue appears to be more interested
in convincing women of their own potential and illustrious past than
the border question, per se.
29
Magazines of this period found were: Flora, I, 1 (September
1917); I, 2 (October 1917); I, 3 (November 1917); I, 4 (December
1917); I, 7 (May-June 1918); I, 8-9 (July-August 1918); I, 10-11
(September-October 1918); I, 12 (November-December 1918); II, 13“l4
(August-September 1920); La Mujer Ecuatoriana, I, 1 (July 1918);
I, 2 (August 1918); I, 3 (September 1918); I, 4 (October 1918);
I, 5 (November 1918); I, 6 (January 1919); I, 7 (March 1919); I, 8
(May 1919); I, 9 (June 1919); II, 10 (August 1919); II, 11 (October
1919); II* 12-13 (November-December 1919); II, 14-15 (January-
February 1920); II, 16-17 (March-April 1920); II, 18 (May 1920);
II, 19-20 (June-July 1920); 11, 21 (August 1920); I I , 22 (February
1921); II, 23 (March 1921); II, 24 (May 1921); III, 25 (July
1921); III, 26 (August-September 1921); III, 27 (October-December
1921); III, 28 (March 1922); III, 29 (May 1922); III, 30 (June 1922);
IV, 31 (July 1923); Brisas del Carchi, I, 3 (duly 1919); I, 5-6
(September-October 1919); I, 7 (November 1919); I, 8 (December 1919);
I, 9-10 (January-February 1920); I, II (March 1920); II, 12-13
(Apri1-May 1920); II, 16-17 (August-September 1920); III, 20-21 (Apri
May 1921); ill, 22-23 (June-July 1921); Arlequín, I, 2 (August 1928).
â– ^"Agosto sagrado," Flora, I, 8-9 (July-August 1918), 156.
31.
"Proemio," Flora, I, 1 (September 1917), 1- The article was
signed, "La Dirección."
32Ibid.
33Ibid. , p. 2.
3^Ibid.
35
"Mi pesimismo: caso general," La Mujer Ecuatorzana, I, 5
(November 1918), 113-
3 6
This statement is found on the inside front cover of each issue.
37
Through the years there have been women directors of National
and Municipal libraries (i.e., Zoila Ligarte de Landfvar, Rosa Borja de
Icaza, Blanca Martínez de Tinajero), heads of cultural organizations
(i.e., the different branches of the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana and
the Sociedad Bol ivari ana). Currently, Nueva, a monthly news magazine
from Quito, is directed by Magdalena and Alejandra Adoum.

38
Alfredo Pareja Diezcanseco, Historia de la república,
II, 91.
39 *
^Although Seraffn Domínguez Mancebo has stated that this magazine
was published for four years ("Ecuador, su independencia y su cultura,"
Cuadernos del Guayas, IX, 17 (September 1958), 6), only the following
issues have been located: I, 1 (October 1933); I, 2 (November 1933);
I, 3 (December 1933); I, 4 (January 1934); I, 7 (April 1934); I, 8
(July 1934); I, 9 (July-August 1934); II, 12 (January-February 1935).
40
"Legion Femenina de Educación Popular," Nuevos Horizontes, I,
1 (October 1933), 26.
41
Serafín Domínguez Mancebo, "Ecuador, su independencia y su
cultura," p. 6.
42
["Carta a Isabel Morel,"] Nuevos Horizontes, I, 1 (October 1933),
6. The original letter published had no title.
4 3
"Editorial," Nuevos Horizontes, I, 3 (December 1933), 5-
^Nuevos Horizontes, I, 1 (October 1933), 27.
^Nuevos Horizontes, I, 2 (November 1933), 7-
^Ibid., p. 24.
^ Ibid. , pp. 7, 24.
^8
"Feminismo," Nuevos Horizontes, I, 8 (May-June 1934). The articl
was signed, "Cornelia." This was Delia Ibarra's pen name.
Ibid., p. 24.
The following issues have been -located: I, 1 (April 1934); I,
2 (May 1934); I, 4 (August 1934); I, 5 (September-October 1934); I, 6
(November 1934); I, 7-8 (February 1935).
9'"La cultura femenina," Iniciación, I, 1 (April 1934), 3- This
editorial most likely was written by Blanca Martínez.
r o
This contest was announced ("Concurso literario de Iniciación")
in I, 5 (September-October 1934). Unfortunately, no other pertinent
information has been found to date.
r o
^Alicia Jaramillo R. , "Iniciando," Iniciación, I, 1 (April 1934),
7.
9^"¿Se puede, Compañeras?," Alas, I, 1(December 1934), 1. Only
the first issue has been located.

65
Two later feminist publications should also be mentioned before
concluding this chapter. Fraternidad (Guayaquil, 19**7~ 19**8) was edited
by Esperanza Caputti 0. and Laura Carrera G. , in conjunction with
Guayaquil's Centro Cultural Fraternidad, a group of women professors
who published articles concerned with education, feminist themes, and
some poetry. Mujer (Guayaquil, 1975), published by the Frente Unido de
Mujeres del Guayas, was mainly concerned with informing women about the
Frente's projects and goals for the Año Internacional de la Mujer, 1975
(two numbers were published as of June 1975: I, 1 (January-March 1975);
I , 2 (Apri1-June 1975).
Hogar Cristiano is an obvious exception.
^La novela ecuatoriana, p. 3b.
"^"Pet¡ción," La Mujer, I, 5 (August 1905), 158.
â– ^This note appeared in Flora, I, 8-9 (July-August 1918), 189-
k°This note appeared in Flora, 1, 13~1^ (August-September 1920),
227. Additional evidence of the financial crisis was published in Brisas
del Carchi, III, 22-23 (June-July 1921), 360:
"Y asf, hoy al cesar temporalmente la publicación de
Brisas del Carchi, no nos sentimos ni cansados ni vencidos;
. . . solamente la crisis de papel que ha herido de muerte
a muchas publicaciones, nos pone en el caso de suspender
por poco tiempo nuestro pequeño trabajo periodístico."
^"Cultura femenina: Floración intelectual de la mujer ecuatoriana
en el siglo XX," p. 321.

CHAPTER IV
THE ESSAY
Historically speaking, the literary growth and development of
Ecuador's female prose writers have gone through three formative stages
during this century.^ The feminist journals presented in the previous
chapter and numerous newspapers (i.e., El Telégrafo, El Día, El Comercio,
El Universo) gave the initial impulse when, for the first time, they
offered women easy access to a public medium in which they could write
and speak out about specific issues. Although the short polemical article
of the journals continued to be the dominant prose form through World
War II, between 1922-19^5 a second stage was begun when several writers
demonstrated a strong desire to do more than occasionally contribute to
periodicals. These women considered themselves writers whose specific
role was to publish steadily their views and opinions about the problems
of Ecuadorian society, and consequently,- they dedicated most of their
adult lives to writing. The third stage (post-World War ll), unlike
the earlier ones, can be characterized by its change in focus: much of
the prose dealt with esthetic and artistic themes (i.e., music, art,
literature) rather than the socio-political ones. The purpose of this
chapter, then, is to evaluate the prose of the second and third stages
in order to understand more clearly Ecuadorian women's evolution as
prose writers.
66

67
Women Writers: 1922-1945
As women gained experience in writing and confidence in their
abilities it was only natural for many,of them to broaden the scope of
their professional activities. Despite the traditional obstacles that
have beset writers in Ecuador, Hipatia Cardenas (1899-1972), Victoria
Vásconez Cuvi (1891-1939), Rosa Borja de Icaza (1889-1964), and Zoila
Rendon (?-?) managed to publish numerous collections of essays and
articles, showing that women, just as men, were capable of being committed
2
writers. Feminist related topics and socio-political questions were
treated constantly by these writers whose works clearly reflected the
female intellectual's thinking in Ecuador during a considerable portion
of this century.
Feminism: The Theme of Marian-isma
With regard to feminism, in the light of the 1975 Assembly in
Mexico which commemorated International Women's Year, the diversity of
women's interests and concerns has become obvious, particularly since
women from different parts of the world define and interpret their
realities in terms of their own cultures and traditions. For example,
women from the United States may find it difficult to understand, but
most Latin American women continue to accept role differentiation between
the sexes as Jane Jaquette notes: "A whole generation of North American
women have become convinced of their powerlessness relative to males
and have moved to destroy the role differentiation they perceive as its
cause. The Latin American woman correctly perceives role differentiation
as the key to her power and influence. Even the notions of the 'separate-

68
ness' and 'mystery' of women, which are viewed in the North American
context as male propaganda chiefly used to discriminate against women,
are seen in the Latin American context as images to be enhanced, not
3
destroyed." In effect, many Latin American women believe role differ¬
entiation and machismo are a source of power rather than powerlessness,
for "the availability of strong female roles in Latin American culture
is a sign of a vitality of the 1 traditional'forms of role differentiation
and that machismo, often thought by North Americans as the clearest
evidence of the oppression and powerlessness of women in Latin America,
is really a social convention in which women have an important stake,
k
for male 'inmorality' is basic to female legitimacy and influence."
Upon reading Cardenas, Vasconez, Borja, and Rendon, the validity
of Jaquette's interpretation is confirmed, at least insofar as Ecuador
is concerned. These women spent a good deal of time writing about the
Ecuadorian female experience, and although they sought greater opportunities
for women in society, they continually emphasized the need to preserve
traditional family roles (i.e., daughter, wife, and mother). Moreover,
women were understood to be Ecuador's bearers of morality whose principal
function in society was to counteract the evil ways of men. Vasconez
explained in 1922: "La formación moral de la mujer es todavfa más
severa y exigente que la del hombre; ella, no podrí dar un paso adelante
en la adquisición de sus derechos, sino [sic] se preocupa ante todo, de
su formación moral.
This insistence upon women's moral responsibilities in society
has been referred to as marianismo, the female counterpart to machismo.
According to Evelyn Stevens, marianismo "is just as prevalent as machismo

69
but it is less understood by Latin Americans themselves and almost unknown
to foreigners. It is the cult of feminine spiritual superiority, which
teaches that women are semidivine, morally superior to and spiritually
stronger than men."^ After reading the prose written by Ecuadorian women
prior to World War II (i.e., the feminist magazine material), and
particularly the works published by the four writers of 1922-1945
mentioned above, it becomes clear marianismo was very much a part of the
evolution of feminist thought in Ecuador. Although women intellectuals
urged the authorities to improve female education, to offer women more
professional opportunities in society, they never rejected the home as
their center of activity and responsibility. In fact, women emphasized
continually that more education and professional opportunities were
desired because enlightened women would be better prepared than ignorant
ones for motherhood.
In general, women's feminist/mavianista concerns were based on two
premises: women were to be moral citizens, and they were to be dedicated
mothers. In terms of morality, Vasconez for example, likened the home
to a religious temple in which women played a key role: "El hogar
ennoblecido con las virtudes de innumerables y grandes santas, puede
y debe ser para las mujeres un templo. En él pueden practicar cuanto
[sic] ambicionen para su perfección moral.According to Borja, each
woman was primarily "la guardiana de la moralidad social, y cuando
desciende de su sitio y corrompe su corazón y sus costumbres, la sociedad
se derrumba: por la relajación y la espantosa influencia que las
mujeres con sus pasiones ejercieron en la sociedad de Claudio y de
Nerón, vemos envilecido el pueblo, y como epílogo, la destrucción del
g
Imperio Romano."

70
In effect, women (mothers) were society's spiritual leaders charged
with the noble mission of showing man the way to a better world. Borja
explained: "El mundo corre a su fin en una decadencia moral des¬
concertante; en donde quiera que ponemos la vista se levanta el odio
enmascarado con el doblez de la intriga, con la pequenez de la envidia
y con el azote cruel de la calumnia. . . . Tener valor moral [las
mujeres] y transmitirlo a nuestros hijos, he ahf el mayor bien que
9
podemos prodigarles."
The close ties between feminism and marianismo become even more
apparent when reading yet another comment written by Borja:
El feminismo, repito, debe batallar por la
regeneración educativa de la mujer, para capacitarla
también para la lucha por la vida, por el derecho de
trabajar, con la capacidad que, por si solas sus
aptitudes le conceden, llevándola a la independencia
personal; pero nunca ese esfuerzo cultural ha de
arrancarla del papel eminentemente espiritual que debe
representar en la colectividad. Su puesto no esta en
las urnas para votar por una libertad de que es muy dueña
por su elevado espfritu; su acción es mucho más amplia,
más noble, más hermosa, porque tiene por escenario el
mundo y como centro el corazón del hombre.
Interestingly enough, Ecuadorian women wrote extensively about the
negative effects numerous social reforms and foreign female influences
had on women's morality. During the 1920's there was an awareness in
Ecuador that attitudes and customs had changed throughout the world, and
in Ecuador itself ladies' hem lines were higher while necklines were
lower, heavier make-up was used, women were smoking in public, they
were even dancing the fox trot with strangers. Not surprisingly, the
new woman who had little in common with the traditional archetype, the
Virgin Mother, was criticized severely by Ecuador's marianista writers:

71
"La mujer contemporánea posee muchos conocimientos, pero no pesa los
graves y complicados problemas y deberes como esposa y como madre.
Podríamos decir que se halla educada a la perfección para el coquetismo,
el lujo, el sport, los cines, los bailes, el juego, consistiendo su
ambición más grande en aparecer siempre bonita y a la moderna."^
In addition, Rendón wrote that the uneducated woman of the past
was in many cases superior to the more enlightened one of contemporary
ti mes :
Quitando las diferencias de educación y el extremo
de ignorancia que daban a la nina en los hogares de antano,
pero, qué virtudes respiraban [sic]. Ante todo se le ensenaba
a ser buena, formando su corazón en la dignidad propia de
mujer, y si en verdad se le ocultaba el amor mal entendido,
se le guiaba, en cambio, por el camino del pudor; . . .
No se le enseñaba a leer, peor escribir, pero sí a ser mujer
completa en sus quehaceres domésticos; era hábil en las artes
de coser, cocinar, planchar, bordar y economizar, siendo los
hijos de nuestros antecesores, buenos, respetuosos,
educados por aquellas mujeres que en nada se parecían a
las modernas.'2
In effect, Ecuadorian feminists did not seek greater educational
and professional opportunities to abandon their traditional roles, but
rather to reinforce them: "Si somos libres para estudiar, que nuestros
conocimientos sirvan para aumentar los encantos en el hogar, para
ilustrar y preparar a nuestras hijas, y no para contribuir a que sean
semi-hombres, destruyendo sus sentimientos naturales y convirtiéndolas
en seres inútiles para la familia y para la sociedad."^ Clearly,
many Ecuadorian women believed their moral example was essential in a
world marred by war, hunger, and injustice, and therefore, they frowned
upon the frivolous ways of their contemporaries who were abusing newly
acquired freedoms:

72
La silueta de la mujer moderna, frívola y vacía, se
perfila cada vez más intensa y amenazante en el mundo y
es ta tendenci a, este resumen de extravío social, es el que en
este instante histórico de la humanidad a todos nos preocupa,
porque a todos igualmente nos hiere. El fox-trot, la falda
corta, la pintura en el róstro, el cine y la novela, son
los factores deslumbrantes que, como una bujía incandescente
atrae a las mariposas incautas, hoy arrastran lo mismo a la
señorita encumbrada, como a la nina modesta que vive en los
talleres. ¡Triste situación la de la humanidad! ella [sic] se
pasiona fácilmente de lo que brilla, de lo que reluce, y es
difícil que se detenga a contemplar el fondo mismo de las
cosas; pero esta falta de comprensión, este absoluto extravío
moral hoy se determina con caracteres alarmantes y la mujer
moderna con sus falcas ideas tiende a desequilibrar totalmente
1 a armón ía soci a 1.
Consistent with Ecuadorian feminists' desire to participate
significantly in society as bearers of morality was their conviction
they could exercise their greatest power and influence in the world as
mothers. Since children (society's future leaders and citizens) begin
their learning experience at home under close maternal guidance, it was
only logical that mothers could influence mankind's future by effectively
educating the young. Hence, as evidenced by Cardenas' following comment,
motherhood was considered the source of women's fulfillment rather than
an obstacle: "Y, sobre todo, tengo a mi' cargo un magisterio inmensamente
noble y de grandes responsabilidades, cuya finalidad será el triunfo de
mi vida: la educación de mis hijos.
More specifically, Vásconez wrote:
. . . creemos que la verdadera protección al nino su
salud, su porvenir, su desarrollo moral están en las
manos de la madre, contando conque ella sea la educadora
abnegada y científica de sus hijos. Si lo que hace el
feminismo mal entendido es arrancar a la mujer de su
centro principal [el hogar], pervertir su naturaleza e
inclinarle a la veleidad, considerar que el matrimonio y
la maternidad son insoportables cargas; entonces entramos
en plena regresión, oponemos un muro infranqueable al progreso
y la moralidad y cometemos la más negra traición a la causa

73
feminista. La mujerneces ita perfeccionarse y no buscar por
ideal un tipo anómalo que no sea hombre ni mujer definidamente.
Es necesario penetrarse en que el ideal está en que ella
sea una mujer de verdad y no un remedo ni una imitación
del hombre.
Turning to the more global responsibilities of motherhood in society,
Cardenas exhorted: "La mujer está llamada en la hora actual a poner
todo su esfuerzo en la regeneración social; ella, y sólo ella puede
combatir el cáncer que nos devora, y desde ahora, que nunca es tarde,
ensenar a sus hijos, desde tiernecitos, con la serial de la cruz, el
amor cívico, el amor de la Patria, con el respeto a Dios, el respeto a
las leyes, el respeto a la mujer .. .
In effect, Cárdenas, Vásconez, Borja, and Rendón wrote extensively
about the urgency of women's fully assuming their natural roles in
society. According to feminist/marianista thinking in Ecuador, all of
society was viewed as one large family, and consequently, the mother's
function went far beyond individual domestic situations. Women were
no longer to be ignorant slaves to their husbands, divorced from world
problems and concerns, nor were they to be purely capricious beings
devoted solely to their toilette. Rather, women were to consider
themselves supermadres in charge of establishing harmony and under-
L . 18.
standing in their large casa, the nation.
Upon recognizing their potential, women leaders doubled their
efforts to organize charitable groups which sponsored a variety of
19
programs for the protection of orphans, unwed mothers, and the poor.
Women clearly drew their strength from serving others, as indicated by
Vásconez's observation: "La mujer moderna . . . ambiciona no sólo
bastarse a sí misma, sino aliviar a sus ancianos padres, ayudar el
esposo pobre o enfermo, satisfacer las necesidades de sus pequeñuelos

7^
adorados, favorecer a los pobres, contribuir para todo lo que sea
20
servicio de su Dios y de su patria, . .
In short, an essential element in Ecuadorian feminism was the
marianista concept which continually appeared in the major women
writer's prose works, particularly when they tried to interpret the
female situation in Ecuador. Borja summed up the full meaning of
Ecuadorian feminism, in terms of marianismo:
He dicho repetidas veces que no debe usurpar el puesto
de los hombres, y que debe tener siempre por base la
mas exquisita espiritualidad; pero, no es que me acoja
a esa sensibilidad morbosa que impide a la mujer toda
actividad de cooperación colectiva en las exigencias de
la vida actual, ni el retraso en los avances de la ciencia
y la civilización. Tengo para mf, que la mujer que sólo sabe
de aplanchar y de zurcir, de nada sabe; pero, para remediar
estas flaquezas que la hacen andar siempre paso a paso en
las operaciones de la vida, atada tristemente a su sopor
colonial, sin sentir dentro de sf que la humanidad la reclama
como madre consciente, como educadora de colectividades
futuras y como sfmbolo de toda ella, no es preciso que
abandone los sagrados deberes del hogar, ni se despoje de
la finura exquisita de su espfritu con que colora y matiza
la orientación de la vida, cuando con su corazón, rebosante de
ternura besa los blancos cabellos de la ancianidad y, también
se incli na amantfsima delante de la cuna, con el noble
prestigio de la materni dad.^1
Feminism: The Theme of Suffrage
Naturally, feminism as a literary theme offered writers more
material than merely the morality and motherhood issues already discussed.
Basically, writers defended women's ability to make constructive contri¬
butions to a world that traditionally denied them the opportunity to
participate fully in society's development. Although female intellectuals
considered the maternal role their primary function, they noted vehemently
that this in no way implied they were inferior or less important than men.

75
In fact, women recognized their special skills were as essential to
human progress as men's abilities, and therefore, they demanded that
both sexes share the same rights and responsibilities. Hence, suffrage,
greater participation in politics, equal opportunities, and legal
reforms became popular topics among Ecuador's chief women writers of
the pre-World War II period.
Of all the feminist writers, Cardenas was the most
proponent of women's suffrage in Ecuador. Time and time
sarcasm she bitterly attacked men's assertion that women
outspoken
aga in, with
were not
qua 1ified to vote:
¿Quién fue el ¡luso, el falaz que quiso que la mujer,
ese ser tan inferior, tuviera iguales derechos cfvicos
que el hombre? ¡Eloy Alfarol ¿Quiza en su vision, de
grande alcance político, no vio que la "bella durmiente"
algún día despertaría? Y es así como ahora la mujer
ecuatoriana es tratada de beata ignorante; ¡masa
.inconsciente, rebaño de imbéciles! ¿Quisiera que me
dijesen si los hombres que votan, todos son Sócrates,
Cicerones, Demóstenes, Sénecas, Catones y Brutos? Lo
mejor es que la mayoría de los que así se expresan
jamas en la vida han sido capaces ni siquiera de
entender lo que es el derecho al voto. ¿
While Ecuadorian women were the first Latin American females to
receive national suffrage (1929), there were occasional attempts by
legislators to rescind the law, supposedly because of women's poor
educational background and close ties to the Roman Catholic Church.
Cardenas, however, rejected the official arguments and emphasized male
shortcomings:
¿Las razones para quitar el voto a las mujeres? Las
de siempre: que la mujer no está preparada, que son
rebaños de curas y frailes, etc. Querría decir que los
hombres sí lo están y que a ellos no les maneja ni
sugestiona nadie.

76
Y la historia prueba hasta la evidencia que un buen
gobernante y un verdadero hombre de Estado es el más raro
y extraordinario de los milagros y que si los pueblos andan y
progresan es a pesar de la política siempre manejada por los
hombres. ¿Rebaños?
Que ciertos viejos liberales-radicales quieran privar
de sus derechos cívicos a la mujer ecuatoriana, es muy
expli cable.
Los viejos siempre están en pugna con el avance de la
civi 1 ización. 23
In 1938, Cardenas again reproached efforts to deny women suffrage,
however on this occasion, in an article entitled "El proyecto de ley
electoral," she revealed the furtive means adopted by the legislature
to encroach on women's rights:
Tengo que decir a las mujeres ecuatorianas que, a
través de rodeos y limitaciones, se quitó el voto a la
mujer en el proyecto de ley electoral que la comisión
ha presentado al Gobierno. No puede votar quien no tenga
solvencia económica. Con esta disposición se da lugar a
discusiones sin cuento, para buscarel resultado de impedir
el sufragio femenino salvo a viudas, cocineras y sirvientes
a las cuales se les exige un papeleo endiablado y, por fin,
si logran probar esa solvencia, les queda aún el trámite
de certificados de escuelas y colegios. Las mujeres de
la clase acomodada no pueden votar por su dependencia
económica. Las mujeres del pueblo, por su falta de
instrucción. Total ninguna.^
Generally speaking, Cárdenas was not seeking any favors or special
treatment for women, but rather she was urging male politicians to accept
their female counterparts as full-fledged citizens, worthy of the same
rights and privileges as those enjoyed by men:
Lo justo, lo natural es que a la mujer se le exijan
las mismas condiciones que al hombre.
¿Que al hombre le basta leer y escribir para ser
ciudadano? Pues, lo propio para la mujer. ¿Que al
hombre se le va a exigir algo más? Pues, que se le exija
también algo más a la mujer.^5
Notwithstanding Cárdenas1 vehemence, other writers did not consider
suffrage to be an essential issue for women, most likely because the

77
electoral process has never played a meaningful role in Ecuadorian
2 6
politics. Also, female intellectuals tended to believe women were
still not prepared to undertake the.serious responsibilities identified
with suffrage. Vasconez wrote: "No vamos a llamar a la mujer a un
campo de acción para el cual aun [sic] no esta preparada; no le insinuaremos
que se presente en la palestra política, que intervenga en los comicios,
27
ni vaya a la Legislatura, . . ." In similar fashion, Borja commented:
"En la gran desorbitación de las funciones políticas de nuestras
democracias, el ejercicio del voto no es lo que mas nos interesa, porque,
vuelvo a ratificar mi opinión tantas veces expuesta, de que el voto de
la mujer sin preparación cívica, sólo sirve de instrumento ciego en
, . • • • , ..28
las grandes orientaciones nacionales.
In the case of Rendón, she went as far as denying the need for
suffrage and suggested women could get greater mileage out of a more
subtle approach to politics:
Ella no necesita ir a las urnas electorales para sufragar
por el candidato de sus simpatías; le basta influir en la
voluntad de su esposo, hermanos e hijos, para ganarse los
votos. Sus razonamientos, aunque no sean acatados en el
instante, pero poco a poco y sin hacer sentir al hombre, le
sujetan a sus deseos; en verdad, ella no necesita de quien
represente sus derechos en las Camaras Legislativas, ya que
imperando en el corazón del hombre, puede dictar leyes en
favor de su sexo, y al hacerlo, hócelo en el bien de ella
29
y en el de sus semejantes. J
Feminism: The Theme of Equality
Whereas many of
sexist arguments that
women, she refused to
Cardenas' female contemporaries tended to rationa
preserved political inequalities among men and
accept a double standard which condoned male
i ze
ignorance while punishing female ignorance. Moreover, she rejected the

78
idea that women's domestic duties prevented effective political
participation outside of the home: "No creo yo que todas las mujeres
estén preparadas para esos pues tos, ,como los hombres tampoco; pero sí
las hay y muy buenas, desde luego; ... De lo que sí tenemos que
convencernos es de que no esta reñida la Política ni la Administración
con los deberes de las mujeres en el hogar: ellas se alcanzan para
„ 30
todo y cumplen con sus deberes mejor o mas a conciencia que el hombre."
In effect, Cardenas' feminist writings frequently argued that women
were not inferior to men because of natural or divine law, and given an
equal opportunity, they could compete successfully with the so-called
stronger sex. In terms of participation in the political arena, she
wrote:
¿Por qué no puede la mujer ocuparse en la Política? La
Política no es lo que la juzgan nuestros hombres, o más
bien dicho, lo que de ella han hecho los hombres que se
creen políticos, una cosa áspera y dura, miserable y
grosera, un maridaje de traiciones y ambiciones, cuyo
fruto es el medro de los más audaces y más cínicos.
La Política es el engrandecimiento de la Patria, no
sólo materialmente, sino moralmente; . . . Política es
el arte de saber gobernar. . . . La mujer no sólo por
afición debe ocuparse en política: debe hacerlo como
un deber, para poder preparar a sus hijos a que sean
buenos servidores de su Patria en cualquier terreno en
que les toque actuar. . . .
Ahora, ¿por qué no puede la mujer ocupar un puesto en
la administración del país? ¿No hay mujeres como Rosa
Borja de Icaza, suficientemente preparadas? ... Y, por
ultimo, señores míos, hay que conformarse con la evolución
de los tiempos, y dejarse de las nimiedades de antaño. La
mujer está capacitada y preparada para competir con vuesas
mercedes.^
Vasconez also protested man's reputed superiority: "Protestamos
contra el concepto que atribuye a la mujer la sujeción y al hombre la
libertad: de dos seres de la misma naturaleza, ha de ser el uno
superior al otro? No desempeñan los dos importantísimas funciones,

79
no son necesarios, ambos, a la armonía? ¿Por qué la mujer, en cualquier
estado, madre o hija, esposa o hermana, ha de ser inferior al hombre?
•3 0
Habra diversidad de funciones, pero.no de naturaleza, . .
It is clear the'double standard with its numerous contradictions
tormented many promising female intellectuals who had sacrificed and
studied to become useful citizens only to discover that their talents
and skills were not taken seriously by a male-dominated society.
Vasconez, in an article entitled "Tristeza," depicted the pessimism
and sense of futility experienced by many of her contemporaries who
had fought persistently against longstanding prejudices and injustices:
"Tristeza cuando encontré sombrío el porvenir de la mujer. ¿Ideales?
Alegrías ficticias, amores pocas veces sinceros, educación deficiente
siempre, perjudicial a veces, y luego, la supuesta inferioridad de
la mujer respecto del hombre, inferioridad dada no por la naturaleza
33
sino por la sociedad y las costumbres.
Despite women's bleak situation, Vasconez did believe they were
capable of effecting some changes. However, as she explained in 1922,
female unity and organization were essential in their struggle to
win equality because as isolated individuals they were weak and in¬
effective, while as a group they would be stronger and more aggressive
when defending their rights: "La mujer, mas que el hombre, necesita
asociarse, pues que poco a nada conseguiría al ir sola a defender sus
ideales. Habéis hecho muy bien en asociaros, porque, solas, os creen
débiles e incapaces de ejercer derechos; mientras que, unidas por el
vinculo.de ideas y sentimientos idénticos, formaréis un núcleo que no
„ 34
podra menos que ser respetado." Similarly, on another occasion she

80
commented that women had to take charge of their own destinies: "La
reforma en la educación femenina será lenta si la mujer misma no toma
parte en ella. Muy recomendable sería que fuera la mujer antes que
35
los hombres y que los gobiernos quien trabajara por su mejoramiento."
With regard to equality before the law, Rendon studied Ecuador's
legal codes and wrote about the many contradictions that were prejudicial
to women. She deplored the adultery laws which punished women outright
while considering men guilty only when they committed the crime in their
own home; she criticized the laws for punishing the prostitutes while
ignoring the procurers; she attacked the abortion laws for punishing
women while ignoring men's complicity, either as seductors or as those
who convinced women to carry out the crime. In effect, Rendon protested:
El Código Penal, no castiga al hombre que fue causante
de estos delitos que ocasionó su abandono [el de la mujer],
la necesidad, el hambre, la desnudez. Y sin embargo, que
tanto ha adelantado el feminismo, todavía tenemos esos
vicios ancestrales, que no desaparecen del mundo que se
precia de civilizado. La lucha de la mujer por recobrar
su dignidad y ocupar el puesto que le corresponde, como ser
dotado de la misma inteligencia del hombre, recorre los
continentes, demostrando al mundo que es capaz de todas
las conquistas del pensamiento’ en todos los postulados y
profesiones del hombre.36
Other Themes
It should be remembered that the chief writers of this second
stage in women's prose development were highly educated, aware of the
many problems common throughout the world, and consequently, they did
not limit their prose works to the feminist themes. For example, Cárdenas,
Borja, and Rendon frequently wrote about the urgent need for pacifism
in the world, particularly since they considered violence and strong-arm

81
tactics in politics the chief obstacles to realizing justice and freedom.
Appealing to young people to reform their ways, Cardenas wrote:
Y perdóneme la juventud: ella es en cierto modo la
responsable de las tiranías, porque ella también quiere
afianzar su ideal y su idea por medio de la violencia.
Ahí está el gran error, porque la juventud no quiere
entender que sólo con la pluma y la palabra que razona
se puede evolucionar y sembrar los principios y afianzar
las ideas. Jamás con los atropellos e insultos; estos
no consiguen sino hacer reaccionar en sentido contrario
a las masas.^7
Borja suggested that a considerable part of the overall instability
common to the Gran Colombian countries could be attributed to their long
history of violence in which "la devastación política atropelló hasta
sus propias intuiciones, i, [sic] en su dolorosa disgregación, asesinó
a Sucre, mató a Bolívar, y a través de las pasiones, dejó para esta
defectuosa civilización el atavismo de la desconfianza, causa perturbadora
de toda interpretación psicológica justa y recta en el proceso emocional
, , ,38
de las masas.
Women's pacifism, of course, was consistent with their marianista
thinking, especially since wars andviolence endangered the lives of their
children. Therefore, many female intellectuals espoused non-violence
because of their maternal instincts, quickly incorporating it into their
activities designed to better society. Borja explained:
Para que la mujer realice la fraternidad grando-
colombiana [sic] tiene que desarrollar en sus hijos, con
su preparación al futuro, el sentimiento de paz, afirmado
siempre en la ultilidad colectiva, creadora de empresas y
cultura; y en el sector que le corresponde, formar legiones
de verdaderas madres que suavicen fronteras y den a nuestra
civilización, en el hondo sentido de la vida, la verdadera
expresión de Humanidad.39
With regard to a mother's fear of losing a child at war, Rendon
dramatically offered:

82
¡Paz! ¿Cuándo la encontraremos sobre este valle de
lágrimas? La esperanza no deja de alimentar nuestra
mente. Ella flota en el espacio como el Arco Iris.
Le debemos buscar a porfía. ¿Y, a quién le corresponde
más de cerca, sino a la MUJER que amamanta a su hijo?
¡Que sea el ALELUYA UNIVERSAL para todas las conciencias!
La mujer que en sus brazos mece al niño y en sus
cantares y arrullos le adormece y enjuga su llanto,
tiembla de pánico al pensar que a su hijo por quien
derramó su sangre y tuvo noches de vigilia y de
inquietudes, le verá marchar a la guerra.^
Further on she continued: "El mundo espera impaciente nuestra inmediata
cooperación. . . . Para esto no se requieren condiciones especiales.
41
Toda mujer está capacitada para ejercer su apostolado de paz."
Moving completely away from maternal concerns, Cardenas was a
fiery critic of Ecuadorian politicians, tirelessly attacking their lies
and failings. Generally speaking, the country's political situation was
in a shambles and Cardenas was set on making her readers aware of the
realities. In typical fashion, she complained: "La política
genuinamente ecuatoriana; ... lo que aquí se llama política y se
practica es una guerra ciega de pasiones, atropellos y, consiguientemente,
de insultos y calumnias, en que la moral.y la dignidad desaparecen; es un
huracán de fuerzas brutas que se arremolinan y acometen y destruyen con
42
furor demoníaco."
Like numerous other women writers, Cárdenas was deeply concerned
over Ecuadorian porblems, and consequently, she frequently felt impelled
to use her writing skills when defending national ideals and values. For
example, after being sharply criticized for having published the results
of a political survey dealing with Ecuadorian dictatorships, she responded
unflinchingly: "¿Qué importa que perros en jauría aúllen ferozmente en
43
el ocaso de mi vida? No lograrán amedrentarme."
Obviously, Cárdenas

was a writer committed to her profession, and to the truth: "Véome
obligada a romper la promesa, hecha voluntariamente a personas que
amo y estimo, de no ocuparme en las.cosas públicas; pero ya una vez
que defendí la libertad de imprenta, sostuve que guardar silencio en
kk
ciertas ocasiones estimaba yo como un crimen."
With regard to freedom of the press, she wrote categorically:
Ella es el faro que alumbra el camino de los energúmenos
que se llaman políticos; ella es la voz del pueblo que
sufre y calla. Ella, la prensa, es la patria misma,
pues ¿quién sino ella da el grito de alarma cuando
tratan de humillarnos?
La imprenta con dogal es la peor vergüenza de una
nación, y esa vergüenza la debemos a la Asamblea de
1929.^5
Vasconez also was actively involved in analyzing national problems
and in an article reminiscent of Bello's Silva a la agricultura de la
zona tórrida, she discussed the important role agriculture would play
in Ecuador's future:
En esta paradisíaca tierra ecuatoriana guarda el
suelo tesoros de leyenda y son esos los tesoros que
enterraron los Incas. Esta pródiga madre, al
proporcionar a sus hijos noble y ventajosa ocupación, hará
que la espada, pronta a desenvainarse en desastrosas
guerras fratricidas, sea en el "útil arado convertida."
El trabajo argícola abrirá en el Ecuador la anhelada
nueva ruta en que se ejercitará el esfuerzo de miles de
seres, sedientos de actividad y de oro.
La agricultura creará en el país una raza de hombres
sanos y fuertes, porque le arrancará del apiñamiento e
infecundo afanar de la ciudad.
Further on, in almost prophetic fashion, Vasconez continued: "Y
tendiendo la vista al porvenir, allá una tierra ignota, un bello país
encantado surge en ese que un día será el verdadero Oriente ecuatoriano.1
In conclusion, 1922—19^5 was a significant period in the develop¬
ment of female prose writers in Ecuador, particularly since an increas-

84
ing number of women were turning to literature as their most effective
means of making known their beliefs and concerns. As illustrated by
Cárdenas, Vásconez, Borja, and Rendon, women writers were producing
committed literature designed, on the one hand, to defend women's rights,
and on the other hand, to criticize the nation's most flagrant short¬
comings. Moreover, while female writers were challenging many traditiona
stereotypes and proving women were capable of being first class citizens,
eager to contribute to the nation's future growth and progress, their
literature clearly reflected the chief female concerns and priorities
of the period, a source of material essential to fully understanding the
women of Ecuador.
Women Writers: 1945 to the Present
Following World War II, an increasing number of women were exposed
to greater educational opportunities and the Casa de la Cultura
Ecuatoriana offered financial and moral support to aspiring intellectuals
As a result, women writers entered a third phase in their prose develop¬
ment; one characterized by the emergence of purely artistic and esthetic
themes. Literature, music, the plastic arts, philosophy, and religion
became the chief topics explored, rather than the earlier socio-political
ones. Logically, with their broader education, women began to identify
with those issues that encompassed more than the Ecuadorian or Latin
a • ,- 48
American rea 1ity.
Interestingly enough, whereas many women writers active before
World War II tended to publish a steady flow of material, the post¬
war writers usually have felt no urgent need to communicate with

85
the reading public, and therefore, their prose production frequently has
been sporadic and in some cases, meager. Piedad Larrea Borja and Lupe
Rumazo, however, are exceptions to this trend, for they both repeatedly
have published a variety of works dealing with their intellectual
concerns. The following discussion, then, will focus on the prose of
Larrea and Rumazo, Ecuador's principal female contemporary essayists.
Piedad Larrea Borja
Piedad Larrea Borja (1912) is an exceptional woman in Ecuadorian
literature, especially since she is the only female to date who has
been elected to Ecuador's Academia de la Lengua (October 25, 1968),
and consequently, is one of the few Spanish-speaking women recognized
as a member of Spain's Real Academia de la Lengua. According to
Horayma Carvajal:
Piedad es una autodidacta. Audaz, admirablemente audaz
en explorar las escarpaduras de las severas disciplinas
mentales y los laberintos filosóficos de todos los tiempos.
Valiente en el empeño de abrirse paso, con su grande
inteligencia y el poder de su intuición, por los reinos del
conocimiento; ávida por rasgar los velos del enigma, encontrar
el camino seguro, la respuesta cabal, la meta definida y
exacta. De saber el cómo y el por qué de las cosas, de
encontrar el tesoro de la verdad tras la quimera y el
espejismo. Investigar, enriquecer su mundo con la
austera dádiva de la sabidurfa. Captar la voz omnipotente
del cosmos, ir más allá por los senderos que abrieron los
geniales espíritus en el espacio y ep el tiempo; vigilante
siempre su abierta pupila iluminada.
Despite Larrea's broad cultural interests, she began her writing
career in much the same fashion as her predecessors--concerned with
socio-political issues. With regard to pacifism, for example, she
wrote:
¿Dónde los beneficios de la guerra? ¿Donde los males
que haya remediado? ¿La humanidad, la vida, deben algo
a los tan ponderados inventos de guerra? Sería terrible el
aceptarlo. Sería inhumano y cruelmente paradojal el

86
concebir siguiera que la vida pueda mejorar con los ma’s
refinados inventos para causar la muerte; generalmente,
multitudinariamente igual, inmiser icorde para todos. Que
la humanidad pueda enaltecerse con la negación absoluta
de todos sus nobles principios. Que el progreso sea empujado
por fuerzas de destrucción.52
Further on she lamented those conditions which traditionally have caused
wars:
Ambiente propio para la guerra hay en medir a las
naciones, no por la sabiduría de sus leyes, su progreso
o sus libertades. No por sus pensadores, sus estadistas,
sus científicos o sus artistas, sino simplemente por su
potencialidad de comercio o de armamento. Ambiente propicio
para la guerra hay, en fin, en dar sólo sentido militar a
las palabras gloria y heroísmo. La legión callada de los
heroes de la justicia, de la ciencia y del derecho, de
todos los héroes civiles sin estatuas ni epopeyas,
continua siendo legión ignota.
Moreover, Larrea explained that pacifism was akin tó women's chief
function in life: "He aquí porque [sic] el pacifismo deberá ser la
meta de todo ser humano. Y deberá ser especialmente, apasionada obra
de mujer. Porque encarna lo más sutil y alto de nuestra misión creadora
y materna. Y es aporte que todas las mujeres le debemos a la humanidad.
Las madres en la creación de la nobleza espiritual del hijo."^
Turning her attention specifically to the motherhood theme, Larrea
affirmed during her early years as a writer: "Como en todas las
civilizaciones primitivas, en las civilizaciones indianas de esta
América nuestra, la dignificación de la mujer empieza a arraigarse
en los pueblos de la dignificación del que es su más alto atributo:
55
la maternidad."
Although these concerns are not typical of Larrea's work in its
entirety, they do represent a logical beginning for a woman who was
educated during Ecuador's most active feminist period. It is evident

87
she experimented with existing prose models until establishing her own
style, and consequently, may be considered a transitional figure in
Ecuadorian female prose who led many, women writers from a pre-World
War ii nationalistic perspective to a post-World War ii universal one.
As early as 19-46, for example, when publishing her first collection of
essays, Ensayos, Larrea demonstrated the novelty of her work by including
(along with the traditional material) such pieces as "Sentido y
transcendencia del arte" and "De la estética en el misticismo."
Moreover, after her initial attempts at writing, Larrea was the first
woman writer since Marietta de Veintemilla published her Conferencia
sobre psicología moderna (1907) who was no longer writing chiefly for
56
newspapers or magazines. In effect, rather than being an articulista,
Larrea has become an essayist concerned with the content as well as the
poetic elements of her prose material.
Unlike many of the earlier writers, Larrea has not limited artistic
expression or the role of the artist to a purely social and educational
plane. Besides content, beauty and form are important since, "la
belleza de la forma es atributo imprescindible en la manifestación
artist ica.""^ In fact, Larrea has written that the continuous struggle
to master their craft and achieve perfection is incumbent upon the
artists:
Es necesario saber, y para ello, el dolor nuevo para
el artista, la tortura de la gramática y el estilo y
el contrapunto y el movimiento de los dedos y los
secretos del matiz y de la línea, interpuestos, como
legendaria valla defensiva, entre la inspiración, el
imperativo que le grita el arte, y el medio de expresión
para darle cuerpo de palabra, de música o de forma. La
predestinación artística, como toda predestinación,
lleva en sí un mandato de superaciones, hasta lograr

88
la perfección. Sueño inalcanzable casi siempre; pero
al que habrá de darle el artista su vida.58
It is apparent Larrea regards the artist as a very special
individual called upon to fulfill certain definite needs of modern
man. Whereas Borja assigned a moral role to the artist, one which
59
would teach man to be noble and compassionate, Larrea has stated
that the artist is to console man in a world characterized by sorrow
and loneliness. She clearly explains: "En el beneficio milagroso de
cada encarnación, en este hacerse voz de todos los silencios, y queja
de todos los dolores y jubilosa resonancia de todas las alegrías y
grito de todas las torturas, el arte designa y predestina, con
idéntica trascendencia de misión, a todos los que deben llevar la
consolación a los hombres. " ^
Consequently, Larrea's concept of art, in general, and literature,
in particular, does not conform to the committed type characteristic
of early feminist prose in Ecuador. Rather than an attempt to move
or instruct large bodies of people, she has defined art as a means of
spiritual communication between the artist and the individual in need
of solace. More specifically:
La expresión ["el arte está siempre 'en función social1" ]
me duele ... y ... la traigo aquí para que diga más
claramente de un pensamiento que querría encerrarlo más
bien así: el arte en realización misional, o: en
manifestación apostólica. Si ella lleva la consolación
a los hombres, si eleva sus espíritus en santas elevaciones
de superación o de refinamiento cerebral o sensitivo, si
dice de su dolor y sus torturas, de sus dichas y de sus
amores, ¿no realiza ya su misión de mejoramiento, de ese
mejoramiento que, para ser plenamente colectivo deberá ^
arraigar en la vitalidad única y latente de lo individual?
This almost mystical relationship that supposedly exists between
the artist and the individual, this ineffable communication between two

89
almas, is illustrated in Larrea's essays on Chopin. Instead of writing
a biographical sketch about one of her favorite musicians, Larrea tries
to demonstrate her total identi f ica.tion with Chopin, achieved by allow¬
ing the music to act as the catalyst:
Para el mundo interior de Chopfn, el otro, el de
fuera, en lo ffsico no contaba. El dijo el mensaje
no recibido de elemento alguno, nacido en las rafees
mismas de su vida. Y a la Humanidad legó simplemente
su alma. Pura. Desnuda de paisaje. Limpia de elementos
externos. . . . Porque el arte de Chopfn es su vida. . . .
Por eso despierta en nosotros la emoción que sólo conocen
las fuerzas eternas de la vida: el dolor y el amor.
62
Further on, she continues:
Por eso la música será la única poseedora de todas las
reconditeces de su alma y de su pensamiento. . . .
Recordemos más bien a Vicent d'Yndy [sic] y a Schumann
y a Berlioz y a Listz [s i c 1. Memor i as , notas, explicaciones,
recuerdos, críticas, crónicas. En todos la palabra
diciendo o aclarando o explicando sus emociones o sus
conceptos. Pero Chopfn, no. Chopfn sólo encuentra para
lá vibración infinita de su alma suprasensible, la
vibración del piano. Y para decir de su tormento o de
sus esperanzas, de su angustia y sus amores y sus ensueños,
sólo el signo del pentagrama. ■>
Larrea's deep sensitivity and ability to perceive the indescribable
emotions and realities that surround hér are manifest once again in her
work when she writes "Itinerario emocional de Roma":
Y no dejáis tampoco a vuestros ofdos escuchar la
voz de Roma al final de vuestro viaje. Esa voz, la
del ayer, la de hoy, la de siempre; voz tentadora de
sirenas; eterna y universal voz del agua. Esa voz viva
de las fontanas, ha de cantaros su canción de melancolfas
para la partida. En la Fontana de Trevis--la del dios
Neptuno, la de la abundosa y clara fuente virgen--la voz
tentadora se hace promesa de retornos . . . Y si la
moneda que echó en ella, en la melancolfa de mi despedida
a Roma, no ejerce su virtud, su virtud de mi regreso material,
junto a la vuestra habrá de ir recorriendo sus recuerdos
mi emoción. ^

90
Other works published by Larrea are: Abenhazam en la literatura
arábigoespañola_, Juglaresca en España3 and Habla femenina quiteña. ^
In short, whether writing about music, literature, or linguistics,
Larrea is an essayist whose work has been an exercise in evoking the
mysteries and emotions of other times, other people, and other places.
Moreover, rather than protesting society's shortcomings, Larrea has
offered modern readers an opportunity to explore new worlds and new
sensations, which perhaps is her way of consoling her fellow man.
Lupe Rumazo
66
During the last fifteen years, Lupe Rumazo (1935) has emerged
as one of Ecuador's principal contemporary essayists (regardless of
sex) who has cultivated a broad spectrum of literary themes, ranging
from moral ism in Faulkner to structuralism in Sarduy. Upon reading
6 7
her three collections of essays, Rumazo's concept of Latin American
letters becomes clear: she rejects both the criollista-type form and the
purely structuralist trend prevalent among numerous contemporary writers.
On the one hand, the localist writers fail to produce sound literature
because of their highly limited perspective, while on the other hand,
the structuralists are too removed from the human aspects essential to
literary expression. Summing up, Rumazo writes:
Ni realismo ni formalismo puros, por tanto. Ni
realismo que excluya el libre juego de lo creativo,
en sentido estricto; ni formalismo que trate de volar
sobre las cosas como desasido de ellas. Mas bien un
compromiso verdadero con la realidad libertada de las
"circunstancias," a fin de que tienda a la universalidad.
Es decir: una llama que no queme solamente hoy, sino
siempre y en todas partes. 0 bien: descubrir en cada
página la glándula pineal del organismo literario: esa
especie de tercer ojo interno, hermético, sin cuyas vividas
perforaciones es incompleta la vision de los ojos externos.°°

91
In effect, Rumazo has criticized the tendency to write committed
literature which attacks the many social problems of Latin America
while ignoring the far-reaching elements of human existence: "La
literatura joven, que serfa el caso de la nuestra, latinoamericana,
quédase con frecuencia en el planteamiento de los problemas; delata
^69
lo injusto, por ejemplo, pero no va mas alia." J In addition, she has
rejected the latest structuralist experiments (i .e. , Sarduy and the
novela de lenguaje) because they tend merely to imitate foreign models
while ignoring the crucial realities of Latin America:
Si en America existe ... la margen buena de la
experimentación vital, que desborda por creadora
cualesquiera esquemas, estructurales o no--Asturias,
Neruda, Carpentier, Cortazar, Sábato, César Vallejo,
Rulfo, Borges, Onetti, Pareja Diezcanseco, Vargas Llosa,
Uslar Pietri, Jorge Icaza en Atrapados, José Donoso,
Otero Silva, Alfonso Rumazo Gonzalez en Aquelarre, Clara
Silva, Gustavo Luis Carrera--, existe también la de la
experimentación buscada, de hombro débil arrimado a
hombro fuerte extranjero. Suena ya la cadena en los
pasos del escritor americano. Los eslabones tienen
nombres: Fuentes (solo en parte, . . .); Cabrera Infante
(a pesar de su valfa), Sarduy, Basi 1 i a Papastamatiu,
Isel Rivero, Néstor Sanchez, Gustavo Sainz. Recios es¬
critores, varios de ellos, . . .--no descalificamos
enteramente su producción--. •. . Causa y agobia ya su
pregón: "voto por el lenguaje, hago obra de lenguaje,
el lenguaje es mi personaje.'0
With regard to Sarduy, specifically, she protests:
Confundiendo el juego y el arte--por jugar se puede
hacer lo que se quiera--Sarduy desata un cancer de las
palabras, crea el caos, produce un relato débil, aunque
de meticulosa elaboración, desencadena una tempestad barroca.
En realidad experimenta. La experimentación suya no se
explica como trasunto de una justa reacción socio-económica,
ni porque el escritor crecido de espfritu, vigoroso en sus
élitros, vuélvase cuidadano del mundo fntegro, ni porque
exprese la fecundación febril y de vasos comunicantes de una
misma cultura occidental. No. Sarduy trabaja con esquemas
dados, siguiendo normas de otros que no se injertan
fntimamente dentro de su ser, como no podran hacerlo

92
integralmente tampoco en nuestra América. No hay in-~j
fluencias . . . sino imitación, deplorable imitación.
The ideal literary model, according to Rumazo, is the one which
combines lo americano and the universal elements naturally identified
by all readers--a literature which reveals the uniqueness of Latin
America without shutting off the continent from the rest of human
experience. Rumazo has called this type of literature intrarrealismo,
questioning the appropriateness of Seymour Menton's terminology,
neorrealismo: "Neorrealismo, como neoclasicismo o neoromanticismo,
indican rev ita1 ización, resurrección. Nosotros ... no volvemos la
vista al realismo literario. Ya se ha visto que sólo una parte y
justamente la que no hace generación sigue difundiendo tal simiente de
fndole social. En nuestra concepción lo social pasa a segundo plano
aunque lo explotemos; interesa mas, . . . entregar un asir nuevo de los
72
hechos, seres y cosas." Consequently, she has invented what is
supposedly a more precise term:
INTRARREALISMO, lo nombrarfa yo . . . por metido dentro
de la realidad cotidiana y por introducido doblemente
en la realidad metafísica. Realismo dos veces real,
pues amalgama lo temporal y lo permanente, y a ambos
cuestiona. ... Y que sin tener la estructura de un
movimiento ni la corporeidad de una escuela, es ya
definitivamente coexistencia o coincidencia de idéntica
tendencia. Hay un rumbo marcado en las nuevas voces
americanas, una fijación de una única personalidad,
aunque cada autor conserve su estricta individualidad.
Rumbo que por un lado implica desasimiento del realismo
social y por otro puesta de primeras piedras, al menos
dentro de la literatura americana. La "rebelión meta¬
física" ciertamente ofrece carácter inaugural si va
acompañada de una tónica diferenciada: lenguaje escueto,
objetividad, poder de sugerencia, tiempo presente,
escepticismo, fuerte conciencia histórica, técnica moderna,
cot idianei dad, anti - i nsu1 arismo y, esencialmente, tono
americano inconfundib1e.'3

93
The most interesting point, and the most debatable one, made by
Rumazo when discussing intrarrealismo is her assertion that Latin
American women have constituted the principal voices in this new
1iterature:
Pero su victoria mayor [la de las mujeres] radica en
la forja del INTRARREALISMO, ímpetu nuevo, que indirectamente
convierte las voces innovadoras en voces generacionales,
El laboreo viene sencillo y hermoso: "se trata de ver y
tocar rafees y sacarlas a la luz." 0, valga decir,
introducirse muy dentro en la realidad, sin olvidar el
esplendor de lo metafísico. Procediendo como hijas de
Jano, el dios bifronte que tiene en mención de Ovidio
"dos rostros porque ejerce su imperio sobre el cielo, la
tierra y el mar," las autoras intrarrealistas cambian la
faz de América al involucrarla en preocupaciones uni-
versales, sin apartarla de lo suyo propio e intransferible.
Although her terminology and her discussion about the des ireabi 1ity
of combining americanista and universal elements in literature may be
acceptable, Rumazo's thesis falls on two basic counts. In the first
place, with regard to fiction, she emphasizes women's role in producing
iyitrarrealista literature while playing down the contributions made by
Borges, Carpentier, Yanez, Asturias, and even some of the modernists
who are now understood to have also refVected their Latin American
reality in universal terms (i.e., Dario's "El rey burgués," Azul, 1888).
An argument which denies the successful blending of americanist and
transcendental elements in El señor presidente, Al filo del agua} or
Los pasos perdidos because the authors often employ highly intellectual
techniques, appears to be rather simplistic thinking. In the second
place, although perhaps less objectionable, to include poetry in a
discussion of intrarrealismo, or any other derivative of realism, is
questionable since poetry is usually subjective, not realistic.

3k
Apparently, Rumazo was aware of some of her essay's limitations
since in 1969 she published an article entitled, "Teorfa del
intrarrea 1ismo," in which she rectified:
¿Las escritoras, las novelistas, las ensayistas o
poetisas solamente? Mas tarde, profundizando en la
generación masculina de la última promoción, pude
dar con un renacimiento correlativo. ... He hallado
que la tendencia intrarreal ista masculina existfa en
todo caso, aunque la pendulación fuera quizá más fuerte
de la orilla femenina. Unos y otras querfan para su
América idéntico destino. Ese destino--que Unamuno
llamé "la ameri can i dad" y que ya mostró con prodigalidad
de rico noble el Modernismo, también americano--significaba
concretamente ampliar el domicilio de la América Latina,
tan crecida, ubicándolo en el propio lar y en el mundo
total.75
Notwithstanding some disputable conclusions, this essay on
intrarrealismo, in general, is a very valuable review of the numerous
Latin American women writers who have made major contributions to the
continent's literature. On other occasions, Rumazo has tried to
interpret the Latin American female experience, but outside the
1 iterary context:
En América--esa América que no es una, sino muchas
distintas--no hay un exclusivo tipo femenino. De la
india esclava, hoy todavfa ente de conquista, a la
negra de las prolongadas zonas hirvientes, casi no
media trecho. Son las sometidas, las atormentadas,
el grado máximo del abajamiento. Al 1f no se vislumbra
todavfa lo que puede ser una mujer; se conoce sf una
parte, y muy noble: el sacrificio. Luego: la del pueblo,
mestiza en las montañas, mulata en las costas, también
aplastada, pero menos, apenas sf puede instruirse. Ambiciones,
generalmente, muy tenaz, inagotable, hace de gran motor que
eleva e impulsa a sus hijos. De muchas de esas madres brotan
los varones mayores de América. Hijos esforzados de fuente
cercada. La de estrato medio, bachillera o universitaria,
muy otra concepción tiene de la existencia. No acepta
una situación dada, aboga por un mejoramiento; hace filas
en las cruzadas feministas; vive ella misma con los ojos
fijos en la cristalización de un plan vital. Ya el ser
femenino empieza a irradiar. En las de sociedad, hoy en

95
mucho con nivel universitario, el dinero y la mixtificación
momifican cualesquiera fmpetus esenciales. Las extraordinarias
se salvan; el gran número desciende a convertirse en objeto
refinado, hermoso, decorativo, pero parasitario. La mujer
pierde ahf un significado.
De todas estas capas, escasamente de la primera'y en ^
grado máximo de la intermedia, emerge la mujer de letras.
In conclusion, besides the topics mentioned above, Rumazo in
other essays discusses the use of time in the modern novel; she comments
on such authors as Camus, Tolstoy, Kafka, Ortega, Hemingway, and Garcilaso
de la Vega. In general, it may be said that she is an essayist who has
read widely and who has written about her many literary and Latin
Americanist concerns, constituting the latest manifestation in the
development of Ecuadorian women prose writers. Whereas Larrea broke
away from the traditional mold of committed literature to exalt the
human emotions and her own sensitivity, Rumazo has tended to combine
her intellectual pursuits with her genuine concerns of Latin America
(above all Latin American letters), contributing to the so-called
intvavrealista literature. The main shortcoming of her writing, however,
is the obvious attempt to display all her knowledge in each essay, a
characteristic which invariably leads to the digressions and confusion
common to Juan Montalvo's classical essays. By her own confession, she
is a very meticulous writer who continually tries to foresee the reader's
questions and doubts: "No soy escritora de ritmo rápido, sino de
faenar lento, de segurísimo deambular, de revisiones reiteradas,
siempre consciente o inconscientemente con la presencia de un tribunal
, r n77
al frente.
Some of the other women who have published prose worthy of mention
during the last thirty years are Eulalia Pérez Chiriboga, Marfa Luisa

96
Bustamente de Pérez, María Esther de Andrade Coello, María Guillermina
García Ortiz, Violeta Luna, Jenny Romero Pape, Aliz Fernandez Salvador
de Raza, Germania Moncayo de Monge, Isabel Moscoso de Dávila, and
. 73
Martha Paez. Unfortunately, however, their production has been
sporadic; some have abandoned prose to devote more time to poetry while
others have stopped writing because of lack of time, insufficient funds,
or the absence of public support, in general.

97
Notes
Chapter IV
This chapter's discussion of prose refers only to expository
writing. Fiction will be treated in Chapters V and VI.
2
This chapter only discusses the works written by Cardenas,
Vasconez, Borja, and Rendon because, unlike other women writers of
the same era (i.e., Marfa Luisa Calle, Zoila Ligarte de Landfvar, Blanca
Martfnez de Tinajero, Delia Ibarra de Dueñas, Marfa Piedad Castillo de
Levf, and numerous others who preferred to use pseudonyms), they published
whole collections of articles and essays, making their prose more acces¬
sible. It should be noted that there exists a plethora of female prose
material in the many newspapers published in Ecuador. Since this other
material is similar in purpose and perspective to the works of Cardenas,
Vasconez, Borja, and Rendon, the latter may be considered representative
of the writers who were active during 1922-19^5-
3
"Literary Archetypes and Female Role Alternatives: The Woman
and the Novel in Latin America," in Female and Male in Latin America:
Essays, ed. Ann Pescatello (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh,
1973), P- 20.
Ibid., pp. k~5-
9Honor al feminismo (Quito: Imprenta Nacional, 1922), p. 9.
^"Marianismo: The Other Face of Machismo in Latin America,"
in Female and Male in Latin America: Essays, p. 91.
1'vida de Mariana de Jesus (Quito: Imprenta "Bona Spes," 19^0),
p. 13-
8
"Influencia de la mujer como factor importante en el mejoramiento
humano," Aspectos de mi sendero (Guayaquil: Editorial Jouvin, 1930),
p. 100.
9Ibid. , pp. 120-123.
]0Ibid. , p. 107.
^Zoila Rendón, La mujer en el hogar y en la sociedad, 3rd ed.
(Quito: Editorial Universitaria, 1961), p. 78.
^Ibid. , pp. 81-82.
^9Ibid., p. 1hQ.
^Borja, "La mujer moderna y la obrera," Aspectos de mi sendero,
pp. 128-129.

98
'"’"La mujer y la polftica," Oro, rojo y azul (Quito: Editorial
Artes Gráficas, 1943), p. 59-
Actividades domésticas y sociales de la mujer (Quito:
Talleres Tipográficos Nacionales, 1925), PP- 7“8.
^"Por la mujer," Oro, rojo y azul, pp. 40-41.
18
See Elsa M. Chaney, "Women in Latin American Politics: The Case
of Peru and Chile," in Female and Male in Latin America: Essays, pp.
104-139- In this study, Chaney points out that Latin American women
public officials usually look upon themselves as supermadres whose public
work differs "only in magnitude from the nuturant [sic] and affectional
tasks women perform for husband and family" (p. 104) .
19
A few such groups were: La Gota de Leche, El Belén del Huérfano,
the Red Cross, and La Legión Femenina de Educación Popular.
20
Honor al feminismo, pp. 5~6.
21
"Nuestro programa," Hacia la vida (Guayaquil: Imprenta y
Talleres Municipales, 1936), p. 52.
22
"La mujer y su derecho a votar," Oro, rojo y azul, p. 16.
This article was written originally in 1932.
23
"El voto femenino y la suficiencia de los hombres," Oro, royo
y azul, p. 34.
24
Oro, rojo y azul, pp. 104-105.
25„
El voto femenino y la suficiencia de los hombres," p. 35-
26,
It should be noted Ecuadorian women were not granted suffrage
because of their own efforts, but rather because of the efforts made
by conservative interest groups in Ecuadorian politics which were seek¬
ing a stronger following for possible future elections.
27
"Por la mujer," Ensayos literarios (Quito: n.p., 1922), pp. 29-30.
28,,
Temas sobre femenismo," Hacia la vida, p. 89.
29
30,
La mujer en el hogar y en la sociedad, p. 50.
La mujer y la polftica," Oro, rojo y azul, p. 61.
^Ibid. , pp. 59_60.
32
"Prólogo," Actividades domésticas y sociales de la mujer,
pp. ix-xx.
33
Ensayos literarios, p. 56.

99
34
Honor al feminismo, p. 2.
35fie
'Por la mujer," Ensayos literarios, p. 39-
36,
'La mujer en los diversos organismos humanos," Previsión
Social, 22 (September-December 1948’, January 1949), 160.
37
"Las tiranías en América," Oro, rojo y azul, pp. 44-45.
This article was written originally in 1933-
38.,c
39
40
41
'Reflexiones," Hacia la vida, pp. 16-17-
Tbid.
La mujer en el hogar y en la sociedad, pp. 161-162.
Ibid. , p. 167.
42,
43.
¿Política?," Oro, rojo y azul, p. 26.
Encuesta: ¿Que debe hacer el Ecuador para librarse de las
dictaduras? (Quito: Litografía e imprenta Romero, 1939), p. 189-
44
"Política y religion," Oro, rojo y azul, p. 31. This article
criticized the campaign to nationalize the clergy while driving out of
Ecuador foreign priests.
45
"Libertad de imprenta," Oro, rojo y azul, p. 37.
46,
Canción de primavera," Ensayos literarios, pp. 23“24.
L,e' s
48,
Ibid., p. 24. Ecuador's present oil prosperity is due to the
Oriente's petroleum deposits.
Naturally, there still were women who cultivated the committed
themes. However, this trend began to manifest itself more and more in
fiction, as will be discussed in Chapter V. Also, poetry absorbed a
great deal of women's socio-political concerns.
49
50
Larrea has been named Secretaria Perpetua of Ecuador's Academia.
Galería del espíritu: Mujeres de mi patria, pp. 120-121.
3'she began writing for the El Día newspaper in Quito, signing her
articles with the pseudonym Ximena de Lombay.
52
"Paz en la tierra,"
Ricke," 1946), p. 145.
53!2>id. , pp. 151-152.
Ensayos (Quito: Editorial "Fray Jodoco

100
5^Ibid. , pp. 152-153.
'’'’"Biografía de la mujer en el Ecuador," Ensayos, p. 57-
■^It should be remembered that much of Cardenas, Vásconez, and
Borja was originally published in Ecuadorian journals.
57
Larrea, "Sentido y trascendencia del arte," Ensayos, p. 16.
^Ibid. , pp. 18-19.
59,
60,
61
El arte como función social," Hacia la vida, p. 102.
Sentido y trascendencia del arte," p. 1*4.
Ibid. , p. 15.
6 2
"Federico Chopfn, expresión del romanticismo," Nombres eternos--
Senderos (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 195*0, pp.
29-30.
^Ibid., p. 36.
6*4
Nombres eternos—Senderos, p. 22*4.
^Aberihazam en la literatura arabigoespañola (Quito: Editorial
Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, i960) ; Juglaresca en España (Quito:
Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1965); Habla femenina quiteña
(Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1968). The latter
suggests language is a product of one’s culture, and since women are now
approaching rapidly men’s cultural level, the linguistic differences
between the sexes (i.e., lexicon, intonation, syntax) are disappearing.
^Rumazo also has written short stories; her fiction will be
studied in Chapter VI-
^En el lagar (Madrid: Ediciones EDIME, 1961) ; Yunques y crisoles
americanos (Madrid: Ediciones EDIME, 1967); Hoi beligerante (Madrid:
Ediciones EDIME, 197*4).
68,
69,
'El novelista comprometido," En el lagar, p. 205-
'Algo más que feminismo en Simone de Beauvoir," En el lagar,
p. 73.
70,
'La sobrehaz de la literatura estructural (escorzo)," Rol
beligerante, pp. 75“77. This essay also published in Letras del Ecuador,
XXIV, 141 (January 1969) , 4-5.

101
"Un hijo americano del es t ructura I i smo: Relajo literario,"
Rol beligerante, p. 91.
72
"En torno y dentro de la literatura femenina americana en su
ultima generación: Teorfa del int'rarrea 1 i smo," Yunques y crisoles
americanos, p. 52. Rumazo makes reference to Seymour Menton's use
of "neorrealismo" in El cuento hispanoamericano, 2nd ed. (Mexico:
Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1966) , where he states (pp. 293-294):
Para su temática, los neorrealistas rehuyen tanto de
la fantasfa de algunos de los cosmopolitas [Borges, Rulfo,
Mallea, Arreola] como del ruralismo de los criollistas.
... No hay protesta ni contra la naturaleza ni contra
los explotados humanos. Dándose cuenta de la mayor complejidad
de los problemas, no ofrecen soluciones fáciles. ... El
énfasis esta en un solo episodio por medio del cual el
lector puede crearse todo el fondo que quiera. El
estilo es escueto, sin las descripciones épicas de los
criollistas ni el exper¡menta 1 ismo de los cosmopolitas.
73
74,
Ibid., pp. 82-83.
Ibid., pp. 126-127. Following the essay there is an index of
all the names referred to in the study (pp. 13l-135).
75
Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos, 23k (June 1969), 7^0-7^.1 .
^ "En torno y dentro de la literatura femenina americana . . .,"
Yunques y crisoles americanos, pp. 3k~35.
11
Rol beligerante, p. 11.
78
These women's works are listed in the bibliography with the
exception of La intervención de los gobiernos en las universidades del
país, by Martha Paez, a work still to be published (as of July 28, 1975).

CHAPTER. V
THE NOVEL
Unlike journalism and the short, polemical essay, the novel has
not appealed to many aspiring women writers in Ecuador during this
century. In fact, there have been only fifteen novels published by
women, the first dating from 19^0 when Blanca Martínez de Tinajero
published En la paz del campo.^ The principal reasons for their
limited participation in the genre have been treated in Chapter I--
i.e., social pressure, lack of education, absence of publishing houses,
high costs of paper, insufficient time. Unfortunately, with respect to
2
this evident dearth of female novelists in Ecuadorian literature, the
possibilities for significant change in the immediate future do not
appear more promising. Reflecting this quagmire, Eugenia Viteri,
author of A noventa millas3 solamente3 has stated: "Deseando escribir
cada vez mejor, dejé la novela porque ella requiere mayor trabajo,
esmero, tiempo, dedicación. ... El factor tiempo en este siglo, es
algo muy importante para los que llevamos una vida intensa. Compartir
mis actividades de maestra, de madre, atender el hogar y tratar de
vivir, de pensar en mi permanente deseo de escribir, coartado por la
k
falta de tiempo es mucho, quizas demasiado."
Nevertheless, despite the limited production and the seemingly
insurmountable obstacles that have discouraged would-be novelists,
most of the fifteen works published during this century constitute an
102

103
expression of feminist literature to the extent they reflect women's
position in Ecuadorian society. Of course, it should be remembered
there is a basic difference between.feminine and feminist writing. The
former term most often suggests a negative meaning since it has been
associated with much of the so-called "pulp" literature (i.e., soap
operas, fashion magazines, and gothic romances). The feminist material,
however, is committed literature that contributes to the cause of
women's liberation, performing "one or more of the following functions:
(1) [to] serve as a forum for women; (2) help to achieve cultural
androgyny; (3) provide role-models; (4) promote sisterhood; and' (5)
augment consciousness-raising."^ The magazine and essay forms discussed
in previous chapters, clearly point to a unified attempt by many
Ecuadorian women intellectuals to defend feminist interests and
objectives. And, tho the novel's sparse production precludes any
definition of its feminist qualities, its limited examples show that
there exists in it a feminist position or perspective.
Feminist critics often reject claims that women share psychological
or personality traits (i.e., passivity, sentimentality, frivolity), yet
among these antagonists there is general agreement that they do exhibit
group characteristics which is the result of their constituting a
caste, "subject to special restrictive and limiting social influences."^
Thus, Ecuador's women writers, in general, and the novelists, in
particular, share characteristics common to their works which are
largely the result of their having to overcome prejudices and social
conventions unknown to men. Viteri's remark concerning the incompatibility
between the roles of novelist and mother/housewife reflects only one of the

104
numerous feminist problems that have conditioned many women, consciously
or unconsciously, to write about a major preoccupation--their suffering
in a male-dominated society.
In effect, although the fifteen novels examined in this chapter
do not constitute a new literary movement nor a new novelística, they
do deserve to be studied as a unit separate from the overall Ecuadorian
narrative because, despite their numerous stylistic differences, they
represent a response to reality viewed from a female perspective. In
short, this chapter will focus on the fifteen novels from a feminist
point of view, studying the image of women that is presented by the
writers and the major concerns discussed in the works.
The first three novels were published by Blanca Martinez, an
author primarily concerned with depicting the local customs and beauty
of her native Ambato.^ Because she had used journalism on numerous
occasions to give voice to the many inequities inherent in a male-
dominated society, Martinez did not see any need to follow a similar
feminist pattern in fiction. Indeed she wrote novels which conformed
to the costumbrista and criollista schools, explaining in the prologue
to Luz en la noche: "Hay que 'mirar con detenimiento y describir con
exactitud, pues que la exactitud recóndita es virtud inmarcesible de
poesía, nuestros paisajes y costumbres, inconscientes y profundos
modeladores del alma.1 . . . Las frases [estas] . . . indican el camino
de verdad y de belleza que debemos seguir todos cuantos intentamos
mirar nuestros paisajes y describir nuestras costumbres" (p. 5).
Consequently, in the three novels, the reader continually
encounters detailed descriptions of Ambato's landscape and customs:

105
El crepúsculo se avecinaba, rápidamente. La
sombra gris azulina fue asaltando las alturas mientras
las cumbres lejanas resplandecían aún. Un momento hubo
que aumentó el colorido hasta casi convertirse en
púrpura; luminosidad increíble, pero corta. Sólo en
el mis agudo picacho del Tungurahua se alargó esa
despedida gloriosa. Luego, rápida, se extinguió.
{En la paz del campo, p. 3*0
Ante su vista se extendían extensas y ondulantes
sementeras. Las nubes desaparecían de prisa y el
Chimborazo principiaba a desembarazarse de su capotón
de nieblas, mientras que los perfiles de la cordillera
oriental se doraban, afirmándose el matiz violado de sus
quiebras. (Luz en la noche, p. 12).
Concluida la ceremonia, la gente salió en busca de la
fanesca y otros potajes propios de ese dia [el Jueves
Santo]. . . .
En los corredores, habitaciones y bajo nítidas
tenduchas de tela se alineaban bateas con naranjas y
plátanos, chirimoyas y aguacates de Patate y Pischilata.
Luego, cestillas de capulíes; cacerolas humeantes de
fanesca, purés y picantes de pescado. El pungente olor
a condimentos se mezclaba con el sabrosísimo del dulce de
higos y del pan recién sacado de los hornos.
Sentados o de pie, hombres y mujeres; ancianos y niños,
charlan alegremente. {En la paz del campo, pp. 126-127)
In terms of feminism, while En la paz del campo does not offer
much insight into women's position in Ecuadorian society, it does contain
the following observation about Lola's Cultural and educational
deficiencies:
Pero ella no tenía la culpa de ignorar. La tuvo el
medio ambiente. El prejuicio. Ese temor ridículo y
malsano de sus padres, que temieron perderla si la
ponían en otro colegio que en el de monjas. Todo
encubierto, haciendo crimen de lo más sencillo.
Imaginándose que mirar un desnudo era falta
imperdonable. Cegando su razón, enturbiando la
ve rdad.
Los padres de Lola, fueron como la mayoría. Siempre
preocupados de la cuestión sexual. Ocultando la natural
y eterna atracción, comenzaba bajo las frondas paradisíacas,
(p. 392)

106
Obviously, society's concern over women's virginity deprived Lola of
the freedom to move about and grow intellectually.
This same sexual double standard appears again when Lola's
neighbors discover she has made love to Juan, the novel's protagonist.
They reproach Lola but only call Juan a sinvergüenza while demanding
a higher standard of morality of Lola: "¡Jesús! la barbaridad que
ha cometido la Lolita, y el escíndalo habido en el hotel! ... es
horrible! ... Si la Lolita debe meterse en un convento y no salir
mas" (p. 463).
Nevertheless, since Martinez's chief aim in En la paz del campo
is to entertain the reader, the remarks mentioned above are incidental
feminist interludes. This unconcern for feminism is clearly pointed
out by Angel Rojas' comments on the novel which fail to touch upon
Lola's dilemma: "Amenísima es la novela de Blanca Martínez de Tinajero,
. . . Es en cierto sentido, una novela de costumbres de la clase acaudalada
de la sierra. ... Se advierte cuanta facilidad tiene Blanca Martínez
para escribir y qué habilidad innata posee para mantener suspenso al
lector. La trama no puede estar mejor hilvanada. Las vidas burguesas
allí retratadas van marchitándose suavemente, ajenas por completo al
hervor social que ruge en derredor de la campiña eglógica y de las
g
anchas casas de estilo andaluz."
But for the purpose of this study, En la paz del campo is important
because the public reaction it generated illustrates the prejudices and
social pressures women writers in Ecuador have had to overcome. More
specifically, when the work was submitted to Ambato's official selection
committee for publication, the editorial board rejected it since the

¡07
sensuous character of Lola (supposedly a portrait of the ambateña) was
considered offensive to Ambato and unbecoming of a lady writer: "Señora,
su novela no puede ni debe ser publicada, ya por consideración a Ambato,
ya por consideración a Ud.: por Ambato, porque la novela denigra a
esta ciudad e infama a sus mujeres; por Ud., porque sería desdecir
de su ilustre abolengo, de su rango de dama ambateña, de su alto papel
9
dé escritora y de su delicada misión de educadora."
Interestingly enough, rather than becoming upset over the author's
creation of a passionate woman, unworldly and imprudent, it is apparent
the editorial board reacted basically against the character's being from
Ambato, particularly because Beatriz, the forastera who embodies chastity
and spiritual love, is described by the protagonist as the superior
woman: "En medio de esta escena recordó a Beatriz .... Y bastó su
recuerdo para que aumentase, no ya su frialdad, sino su repugnancia
por Lola, igual a las otras; vulgar; con absoluta carencia de alma"
(p. 263).
In any event, Martínez attacked official claims that references to
Lola's sexual desires were not fitting for a woman writer:
¿Que soy "mujer y educadora, de ¡lustre abolengo,
que mi rango de dama ambateña es elevado"? . . . Sí.
Mujer, pero que piensa por sí misma; que razona libremente;
mujer ligada al campo, su maestro, sin doblez y engaño;
el mismo siempre; perfecto, gusto; que no se equivoca y
que impulsa por las sendas del subconciente [sic], del amor
por lo bello, donde gusta descansar la VERDAD y donde se
aprende lo desdichado que es el mundo encadenado por
prejuicios, hipocresías, convencionalismos, no sólo
sociales sino también mentales y hasta del corazón,
lastimado en la misma entraña por la mediocridad, la
injusticia, la desviación de criterios, que transforman
al hombre en un ser inferior a veces a esos insectos del
campo, pero que siquiera viven, sin darse cuenta, recta,
sencillamente, sin velos. Errores que transforman a la

108
mujer en un ente sin iniciativas, temeroso, débil con
su alma sin alas, sin poder pensar por sí misma, considerada
inferior, incapaz de atraer a la libertad consciente, con¬
vertida sobre todo cuando no se ha desarrollado en el
conocimiento de las leyes inmutables y eternas, en la hembra
a la que se la conquista, para luego olvidarla cuando el
cuerpo ha pagado su tributo.10
Further on, after cogently pointing out that characters similar to
Lola had appeared in other novels (for example, in her father's A la costa)
without provoking anyone to suggest women from other cities had been
disgraced,^ it becomes obvious Martinez thought of herself as a victim
of a traditional concept of female propriety that denied both Lola's
right to love passionately and her right to be a free-thinking author.
Public response was more favorable with the publication of
Purificación (19^2), Martinez's second novel, a work dealing with a
young priest's struggle to overcome his love for Carmen while desperately
clinging to his clerical vows. Although the author uses the novel
chiefly to focus on the question of religious celibacy, she nevertheless
makes some comments about women's role in society. Not surprisingly,
women are expected to achieve fulfillment through marriage and mother¬
hood. As the novel opens, Don Ramón thinks about his daughter, Carmen,
a thirty-four-year-old unmarried woman whose deformed back threatens
her realization as a woman:
¿Por qué su naturaleza poseyó aquel germen? . . .
¿Dónde estuvo el comienzo de su hija? ¿Cuál fue y en
que parte comenzó a evolucionar? . . . ¡Su hija no era
sino continuación de la vida comenzada hacia milenarios,
cuando Dios gustó extenderse en la nada y en el más
infinitesimal átomo. . . . ¿Carmen estaría condenada a
no ser el medio para la creación de otros seres? . . .
• ¿No estaría acaso en ella la sustancia para otra vida
humana, tal vez un nuevo superhombre, mejor quizás que
Jesus? ... Su hija! a pesar de su desdichado rostro
y de su lesión podía concebir y continuaría entonces
esponjándose la vida. ¿Pero dónde estaba el que la
amase . . .? Don Ramón deseó más que nunca que su

109
hija sirviese para perpetuar la humanidad. ¡No querfa
que se detuviese Dios! (p. 11)
Carmen is also troubled by the possibility of not becoming a wife
and mother, and while praying one day, she realizes she can never find
solace in a beata-type life: "Jesus no sabe amar como ella quisiera.
. . . No! no podfa recibir caricias de Jesús como las deseaba" (p. 19)
Further on Martínez writes: "Su pesadez espiritual cedfa y concluyó
refiriendo lo que consideraba grave falta: no conformarse con su
soltería" (p. 39) •
In effect, women are portrayed as leading meaningful lives only
within the wife/mother context, a concept never entirely rejected by
Ecuador's most vehement feminists. When describing Carmen's love for
Pedro, the young priest, Martínez reinforces traditional stereotypes
by commenting on women's assumed vital role in the male's search for
fulfillment:
Y ella desde hace un tiempo amaba a Pedro, y deseaba
decírselo personalmente, saliendo así de lo usual, porque
le parecía ridículo que fuesen los hombres los que primero
hablasen. No sabían dejar expresar al alma, a veces herida.
Mientras que hablar una, sin temor y sencillamente debía
ser deliciosa. Llegar a esa como puerta cerrada y
golpearla para luego recorrer esos desconocidos jardines,
proporcionando a la vez alegría y acaso también paz al
solitario, porque cada alma masculina es un solitario
recluido en la torre de su orgullo, de su amor propio o
pesimismo. Necesitan que la desconocida se resuelva a
quedarse en aquel silencioso retiro, frío en ocasiones y
humillado en otras. El amor es tan sólo comprendido por
ciertas mujeres que saben darse íntegra y lealmente.
Entonces comienza la verdadera vida para aquellos que la
han cubierto de mujeres, (p. 119)
Martínez does very little to add to this view of women in her
third work, Luz en la noche (1950), a thesis novel somewhat reminiscent

I 10
of Gal lego's Doña Barbara (i.e., archetypal characters of good and evil,
determinism, positivistic solutions to national problems). At one point,
Doña Mercedes is said to believe, "la casa y los menesteres domésticos
bastaban para asegurar el porvenir de una mujer" (p. 75). Jaime, the
novel's protagonist, criticizes the frivolous ways of certain women:
"Los dos, sobre todo Jaime, odiaban la pretension de las ridiculas
imitadoras de la moda que no vacilaban en adoptarla, sin estudiar su
tipo ni su estatura. . . . [Eran chicas] que solo ansiaban hallar el
novio joven o viejo, comerciante o doctor en leyes para liberarse
del horrible cuco de la soltería" (p. 113)- Also, it becomes apparent
that the ideal woman is Inés, Jaime's wife who is willing to make great
sacrifices for her male protector: "Inés no tenía mas anhelo que amar
y ser amada de Jaime, de entregarse a él sin recelo ni desconfianza"
(p. 287).
In general, Martinez's three novels, characterized by numerous
poetic descriptions of Ambato's people and countryside, the traditional
love stories, and the omniscient narration that hinders effective
character development, seem to represent a very uneventful beginning
for the future Ecuadorian novelists. However, it is worthwhile
recalling that in En la paz del campo, Martínez challenged traditional
taboos with her frank treatment of a we 11 - respected woman (Lola was
supposedly the great-granddaughter of one of Ambato's heroes of the
Independence period) who could not control her passions, a theme never
before presented publicly in Ecuador by a woman writer.^ In this
respect, Martinez was the first woman who attempted to break down
some of fiction's thematic limitations which reflected male-dominated
societal patterns.

la noche, several women
Shortly after Martínez published Luz en
gradually began using the novel as a forum for the defense of their
feminist interests, depicting women.as victims of a macho-dominated
1 3
society. In 1953, Mireya de Bravomalo wrote La pena fmmos nosotras,
a work that repeatedly attacks the sexual exploitations women tradition¬
ally have suffered in Ecuador. From the outset of the novel, Gracia,
the protagonist, laments women's having been reduced to mere sex objects
El destino de una mujei—balbucía para sí
solamente ha de ser el de permitir que la amen,
sea esto cierto o falso su alma y sus sensaciones
infinitas no pueden expresarse porque el hombre
fanatizado en su egolatría, piensa que sus manos
y su boca y sus gestos han de ser la norma de la
vida . . . en su ceguera instintiva, sólo busca
el despertar pasional en la mujer y al amarla
pierde las emociones íntimas, las inefables
fruiciones del pensamiento, de las ideas, aún de
las ingenuidades del alma femenina, (pp. 3_i0
Further on she continues: "A las mujeres se nos niega el derecho a
pensar, pero hay momentos en nuestras vidas en que, verdaderamente nos
repugna ser objeto del ludibrio masculino" (p. 10).
Gracia's concern about being used by men appears to be a natural
reaction to her first experience with love--after trusting Roberto
and sharing with him her most intimate secrets and feelings he left
her. Consequently, she continually feels threatened; she fears she
will be taken advantage of again: "Gracia tenía miedo y mas que eso,
asco de que la tomaran por una cosa, un objeto animado que despertara
las pasiones instintivas en un hombre; y estas reflexiones eran para
la muchacha tanto mas importantes, cuanto sabía que estaba profundamente
enamorada" (p. 31).

Since people basically tend to think about women in terms of their
femininity or sex appeal, the author makes clear Gracia is just one
among many victims. Also apparent is the need for women to correct
demeaning stereotypes and attitudes. Consequently, the author appeals
to her women readers by using characters who employ the first person
plural when commenting on their exploited condition: "En todas partes,--
prosiguió Zoila--debieran formarse estas asociaciones [de mujeres];
para poner fin a la desgraciada condición de las mujeres que creen
que la feminidad es la carta credencial que les abre todos los ánimos;
una mujer, por culta e inteligente que sea es, primero que nada, una
1
expresión feminista de la vida y esto resulta siempre, desagradable
y monótono y por eso, los hombres nos tienen aun como a objetos" (p. A7)-
Gracia quickly adds that men "son muy, pero muy vivos, para conseguir
lo que se proponen; por eso nos hablan siempre de los encantos femeninos
que no son tales para ellos, si no fuente de placer" (p. 48).
With regard to those who might suggest women have made gains in
Ecuadorian society, particularly in education, the author cogently points
out that, at times, apparent reforms merely make male abuses more subtle:
Gracia, en su calidad de mujer pensaba en que la
Universidad es, ante todo, una agrupación de hombres
tratando de aparecer como inteligentes, gracias a
las disciplinas académicas y que si era permitido
a una mujer seguir estudios superiores, este hecho
sólo se debía a que consideran agradable oír a una
mujercita espigando en la enramada selva de las
catalogaciones del Derecho y la Sociología y, sobre
todo, porque los alumnos necesitan coronar Señoritas
en cada Asociación, durante las fiestas anuales del
estudiantado, (p. 13)
Notwithstanding the novel's numerous feminist passages which
severely attack the macho, Gracia defines happiness and fulfillment

113
in terms of being loved and respected by a man so as to become, ultimately,
a mother: "Gracia, como mujer aspiraba, ante todo a recibir el amor
como medio de mejoramiento personal,, puesto que sentfa una fruición
intensa al presentir la maternidad. . . (p. 11). This attitude is
not really surprising nor contradictory if one recalls the marianista
orientation of Ecuadorian feminism, a notion that exalts motherhood.
Unfortunately, however, love with respect is to elude Gracia who in a
moment of deep loneliness perceives the chasm that exists between her
dreams and reality:
. . . por que razones ha de luchar una mujer contra
el destino si el de ella es en definitiva el mismo
bajo cualesquiera circunstancias? Creer, enganarse,
dejarse amar, aceptar el germen, cuidarlo y entregar
a la vida un ser: y sentir, hondamente la pena de haber
vivido sin mayores emociones superiores, con una ley
impuesta, con las ideas simples que sobre "su honor"
tiene el hombre; y a cambio de eso, como recompensa a la
brutalidad del hombre--cumpliendo también su destino--
la lealtad, la lealtad. (pp. 60-61)
Consequently, Gracia's forlorn state of mind andurgent need for
love make her vulnerable before Roberto, the ex-boyfriend, sealing her
fate as a victim of carnal pleasure. Following a vain attempt to
convince Roberto to marry her, especially since she was convinced
"él la había mancillado y su obligación era dignificarla por el matrimonio"
(p. 79) > Gracia's tragedy is complete: abandoned, pregnant, and dis¬
graced. In effect, the earlier illusions of motherhood and fulfillment
turn into a nightmare--one which threatens to victimize all women who
are not sufficiently strong or fortunate enough to resist men's false
promises and self-interest.
Understanding the hopelessness of her situation, Gracia reveals her
bitterness when reproaching God for having made women the victims of
Creation:

114
Dios mío, cuanta alegría pusiste en el mundo y cuanto
dolor a la vez . . . por qué nos hiciste tan frágiles
a las mujeres y tan brutales a los hombres?
Aquí estamos Dios mío, yo que pequé y esta inocente
hija que será la prolongación de mi calvario, dales mas
triunfos y alegrías a tus hijos dilectos, a los reyes de
la creación, solázate Dios mío con las luchas infames de
los hombres, llena el mundo con sus vicios y sus calumnias,
puebla el universo con sus hijos mal'habidos, de la debilidad
de las mujeres saca más fuerza para el delito, (p. 138)
In conclusion, La pena fuimos nosotras is the story about one woman
who symbolizes the potential suffering and despair all women must be
prepared to confront during 1ife--whether it be the pain experienced
during childbirth or the humiliation of merely being a source of male
pleasure. With resignation and apparent defeat, Gracia explains:
"siempre fuimos la pena honda, siempre amamos en el dolor, siempre
fuimos la tristeza escondida para ser paz en la amargura del mundo"
(PP- 138-139).
Although the feminist protest is not as emphatic as in La pena
fuimos nosotras, Bertha de Izurieta's Juventud inmoladadoes stress
the deplorable social consequences that arise when women are deceived
by men. The author's chief concern is the problem of the abandoned
and unwanted child who eventually becomes a juvenile delinquent and
criminal. Throughout the work, Izurieta attacks Ecuadorian society
for not understanding nor being sensitive enough to the deserted youth's
plight: "¡Ingresaban [a la Casa Correccional de Menores] manos limpias
de vició y degeneración . . . sin un afecto que.le redima, sin un
ambiente purificador, huérfano del amor materno, al amparo del cual
se han hecho vidas famosas, sembrando de nombres ¡lustres la historia.
Carolos se iba a convertir en un ser degenerado e inconforme!" (p. 86).

115
As exemplified by Elena Dogam, the novel's female protagonist,
one of the major causes of the aforementioned problem stems from man's
belief that he can use women for his sexual adventures, and later,
renounce all obligations and responsibilities that might arise.
Naturally, the woman is the victim. In Elena's case, despite a
successful career at school and all her aspirations of becoming a
school teacher, she is willing to sacrifice everything for her first
love, Patricio. However, after spending a year in the army, Patricio
returns to Quito with new ideas regarding Elena and love:
En esta confusion sentimental se entregaba a
Patricio Medina, justamente cuando en él ya no había
ese recuerdo de antaño, . . . cuando ya no concebía
que Elena podría ser su esposa, dada su miseria
económica, . . . i i¡Cuando había aprendido maliciosa¬
mente que la hombría se fragua en la inmolación moral de
mujeres sinceras!11 [Ahora] Patricio estaba solamente atado
a sus instintos brutales, . . . Elena como recompensa a
sus instintos brutales, se inmolaba para siempre, (p. 60)
Elena becomes pregnant; obviously all is lost: she cannot return
to school as an unwed mother. Society will no longer consider her chaste,
and her life is now limited to a daily struggle for survival. The deep
rooted suffering characteristic of women described in La pena fuimos
nosotras is apparent in the reaction of Elena's mother who for years
struggled and sacrificed for her daughter's education and future: "Todo
estaba terminado, no había sino que seguir adelante en aquel camino que
pronto habría de encontrar el final; así continuaba María su vida
silenciosa, a veces llena de lágrimas, otras desfallecida, ya no podía
enderezar sus fuerzas que las sentía perder día a día . . . ." (p. 64).
With regard to Elena, she dies shortly after giving birth—alone and
abandoned—leaving behind her son who never has a chance to develop into

116
a respectable citizen, capable of making positive contributions to
society.
To appreciate fully the underlying feminism in Juventud inmolada,
it must be remembered that the problem of abandoned children, according
to Ecuadorian feminists, is an issue directly linked to women's overall
suffering and exploitation by men. Since motherhood is considered to
be a woman's principal source of strength from which she can influence
society by properly educating her children, any abuse of this institution
may be likened to sacrilege. Therefore, the unwed or abandoned mother
is stripped of her dignity and denied the opportunity to effectively
raise her children because society does not provide her with adequate
protection, facilities, and means (i.e., day care centers and alimony
benefits) to accomplish her mission in life. In effect, just as in the
case of Gracia {La pena fuimos nosotras), Elena's experience also
reminds women of the ever present dangers inherent in a male-dominated
society.
In Lo que deja la tarde Matilde de Ortega'^ presents the feminist
question in a light different from that of the two previously examined
novels. By means of first person narration (intended to yield a
psychological portrait of a female protagonist), Elsa Maria explains
she is not in conflict with any one man, but rather with the many social
conventions which stifle her growth as a human being. Because she is
the daughter of very soci a 1-minded, boirgeois parents, Elsa Maria is
expected to conform to a code of manners and etiquette befitting a lady
of prudence and self-control: "Nunca he podido caminar, reir, hablar y
menos jugar, sin que las monjas hayan encontrado en todo esto una marcada

117
tendencia hacia la indisciplina" (p. 29). In addition, she laments that
her mother "no acepta aun muchas cosas que otras madres han aceptado
ya como son el dejarme salir sola a.la calle, ir a una función de moda
al teatro o al cine, visitar a una amiga, etc. Si ella no puede
i
acompañarme estoy obligada a ir con una sirviente" (p. 28).
Reminiscent of Teresa de la Parra's María Eugenia (ifigenia), Elsa
María hopes to begin living her life as she sees fit upon being graduated
from high school: "Por fin se acabo la infancia; ahora soy una mujer,
una mujer como todas, con grandes anhelos y ambiciones, con deseos de
gozar y de vivir; ¡sobre todo de vivir!" (p. 27). Unlike her older
sister, Inés, and consistent with the desire to vivir, Elsa María
actively rebels against established standards and correctly perceives
the major difference between the two sisters: "Inés no podría pensar
en las cosas que yo pienso. Se escandalizaría, se asustaría al ver su
pensamiento transportado a regiones prohibidas por mama, por las
monjas, por personas sensatas. Tendría que darse golpes de pecho para
arrancar esas locuras y alucinaciones que se adueñan del corazón sin
murallas, sin convencionalismos. ¿Por qué no se puede pensar libremente?"
(pp. 78-79). More specifically, Elsa María comments that whereas Inés
exemplifies obedience and discretion, "soy tan diferente a ella, pues
para mí lo más esencial en este momento, es ser dueña de un lápiz de
labios y esa ha sido la primera cosa que he comprado, para con su ayuda
sentirme más mujer" (p. 31)-
In effect, Elsa María recognizes her own qualities and rejects
much of the lifestyle proposed by her grandmother, for example, archetype
of the traditional woman in Ecuador:

1 18
¡Ahí ¡leerl Otra forma de estar ociosa. Deberías
tejer o bordar, eso es femenino, la lectura es para los
abogados o para los hombres de letras.
A ningún hombre le gustaría oír de labios de una
mujer esas ideas tontas. Debes saber, y una vez por
todas te digo, que el sitio de la mujer esta en la
casa, no en las oficinas públicas ni en las cámaras.
(pp. 322-323)
With regard to marriage, the grandmother insists: "El hombre tiene
muchas preocupaciones, por eso, la mujer no debe esperar nada ni menos
exigirlo, por lo contrario, para que reine la armonía debe sacrificarse
y olvidarse de sí misma" (p. 368)
Elsa María, of course, rejects the sacrificial role expected of
women and replies emphatically to her grandmother: "Eso era en tu
tiempo, ahora es diferente, pues tanto la mujer como el marido están
en igualdad de condiciones y no tenemos por qué ser esclavas" (p. 368).
Moreover, as she explained earlier in the novel: "Si me toca un mal
marido, a los cinco minutos le entablo demanda de divorcio. No soy el
tipo de mujer abnegada que tanto abunda en la familia" (pp. 206-207).
Nevertheless, despite her unorthodox ideas and vehement protests
against many longstanding conventions, Elsa Maria does not challenge the
basic role women are expected to fulfill (motherhood). In fact, she
reveals her acceptance of the prevailing standards of Latin American
womanhood (their appearance and their roles as wives and mothers)when
she enthusiastically writes to her uncle:
Después de haber pasado todas estas pruebas [en el colegio],
me siento un pozo de ciencia; verdad es que no soy sabia,
pero para una mujer la educación recibida es suficiente,
asi dice mi madre y estoy de acuerdo con ella. Después
de todo, para que quiero saber más, si mi única actividad en
el futuro va a ser casarme y manejar una casa con muchos
hijos. Porque tú debes saber, padrino, a esta hora, cuáles
son mis intenciones para el futuro; casarme lo más pronto, ser
una buena y abnegada ama de casa y tener doce hijos, (p. 32)

Consequently, among other things, Lo que deja la tarde is the story of
a woman who desires greater freedoms within the traditional framework of
female life in Ecuador. That is, rather than attack the macho abuses
which result in female exploitation, Elsa Marfa's feminist concerns
are directed against those social mores which continually have denied
women, especially young unmarried ones, the right to live as free
adults.
18
Sangre en las manos by Laura Pérez de Oleas Zambrano deals
specifically with abortion, a burning issue for all feminists. However,
instead of stressing the need for legalized abortion which would give
women greater control over their own bodies, the novel is directed
against the immorality and sordidness of abortions in Quito. Each
chapter presents a case study of the tragedies experienced by women who
have allowed themselves to be a part of feticide; in general, the author
unifies the narrative by centering all the episodes around one key
figure--Estenia German, "la maga del aborto."
As might be expected, there is little concern for character
development; Pérez de Oleas Zambrano instead makes a point of stating
her views directly to the reader, and in effect, converts the work
into a public platform of social protest. So there be no misunder¬
standing, she intrudes in the novel to explain that Estenia German
is not the cause of the abortion problem which has victimized women
from all social classes: "Si la guillotina o la silla eléctrica se
aplicaran a la maga del aborto que es Estenia German, pronto sería
reemplazada" (p. 209)-
Naturally, continues the author, there are times when abortions
should be permitted, and in fact, it is "hasta un deber en determinados

120
casos morales y en otros que la medicina señala como necesarios para
la vida o salud de la madre" (p. 209). However, she quickly adds:
"Lo que se debe condenar es el abuso. Que se haya hecho de la ciencia
una cloaca de escape para la corrupción, que es explotada, muchas veces,
por mujeres o profesionales que no son especialistas en esta rama de
la ci rugía" (p. 209)•
Also, besides the death of the fetus and the physical dangers
each mother confronts when having an illegal abortion, it is apparent
the author is deeply concerned with the moral issue, particularly in
terms of young women who might lose sight of their responsibilities and
obligations as future mothers: "Y en lo que respecta a la etica social
este abuso resulta nefasto, porque crea en las almas juveniles un falso
concepto de la maternidad, viendo en el hijo tan sólo la consecuencia
del placer; consecuencia de fácil desaparición y que motiva la ruptura
del freno moral tan necesario a la mujer joven" (p. 209). Moreover,
illegal abortion threatens to undermine the longstanding belief that
marriage should be a major goal for women: "En la mentalidad de la
niña que se acerca a la pubertad debe residir el conocimiento de su
misión sexual .... Hay que señalarle su destino que es de compañera
del hombre; pero mediante la formación de un hogar honrado. Que toda
locura y concesión adelantada al solicitante, la apartan de la felicidad
verdadera, que la joven sólo la obtiene en el matrimonio de amor"
(pp. 210-211).
The solution to the abortion problem, according to the author, is
basically society's total commitment to youth's moral edification:

121
Mas amor al hijo. Más ética profesional. Más
responsabilidad paternal. Más conciencia en el acto
sexual hacen falta para que disminuya el exceso de
abortos que va en mengua de la población ecuatoriana.
Las bases de la educación.juveni 1 deben ser de sólida
moral y completo conocimiento de sus deberes. El
muchacho desde los bancos del aula necesita saber que
la circunstancia que le hizo nacer macho no le da derecho
a canalladas. La sociedad no hace alto en sus deslices
amorosos; pero esto no le autoriza a abandonar a una
mujer que va a ser madre. ... No se imagine que sólo
la hembra debe llevar las consecuencias de un acto
que lo hicieron en común. No es ella sola la responsable.
(pp. 209-210)
In addition, with regard to women specifically: "La niña debe ser
educada y preparada a que no sea fácil presa del hombre. ... Se le
debe formar de tal manera que no necesite del hombre en los vaivenes
de la vida. Ella sola debe bastarse y ganarse el sustento. . . . Para
que un revés de fortuna no la deje a merced del macho, siempre en
acecho de la fémina que de él necesita" (p. 210) .
Naturally, the novel's thesis would not be complete without
exalting the positive qualities of a woman who is willing to accept
her child, even though she has fallen prey to machismo. Gracia,
therefore, symbolizes the supreme maternal sacrifice; she understands
her chief role in life is to procreate, and despite having been raped
she refuses to commit feticide while courageously accepting the challenge
of being an unwed mother. With perhaps excessive emotion and zeal,
Pérez de Oleas Zambrano writes:
Mas no arroje sobre los leños a la víctima inocente:
libre está ella de error y de pecado. . . .
Mujeres del mundo. Mujeres de América . . . Mujeres
ecuatorianas. Ved que ya Gracia alza la santa hostia del
amor. Es la hora de la ofrenda propiciatoria. Poneos de
hinojes [sic] y adorad al niño que ahora es sangre y alma
. . . Que manana será un fusil, . . . para rechazar al
intruso. Dos brazos que arrojarán mil bombas al enemigo;

122
un cerebro que encontrará nuevos caminos a la ciencia,
al progreso . . . y un corazón más para amar a la Patria
y mor ir por ella . . .
Mujeres del mundo: de vuestras entrañas destrozadas, de
vuestros vientres matirizados y deformados; de vuestros
pezones abiertos manará la savia que henchirá de fortaleza
a vuestra Patria. Vosotras sois las creadoras de Vida; las
que formáis los ejércitos de defensa con el desgarramiento
de vuestra carne; las que ofrendáis el fruto de amor y
dolor sin esperar recompensa, cuando la Patria os lo
pide; . . . porque una mujer-madre ama a todos los hijos
del mundo.
Salve, mujeres fecundas. Salve, madres. Salve, madre
ilegítima . . . .(p. *425)
In short, abortion is a threat to women because it frequently
weakens their commitment to motherhood, and consequently, their major
source of power in society--their means of contributing significantly
to Ecuadorian development and growth--is whittled away until women's
existence is rendered meaningless. It is before this danger that Pérez
de Oleas Zambrano writes Sangre en las manos, hoping to convince women
that abortion is more than feticide—it is suicide, at least in terms of
their participatory role in society.
Up to this point, the novels discussed have revealed their feminist
orientation by portraying women as victims of sexual exploitation and/or
stifling social conventions, and above all, they have reaffirmed the
essence of motherhood, a theme crucial to marianista thinking of the
first half of the century. Another kind of feminist-re 1ated novel
is the historical work which attempts to make women proud of their
female heritage by studying the achievements of outstanding women of
19
the past. A clear example of such a work is Raquel Verdesoto de
^20
Romo Davila's Manuela Saenz, a biographical novel in which the
dominant feminist concern centers around glorifying Saenz as a key

123
revolutionary figure, who aside from being one of Bolivar's lovers,
was supposedly instrumental in aiding the Liberator during the Independence
period. Obviously, the two volume novel which deals with the years of
actual fighting and the early Republic is an attempt to convince readers
of Saenz's heroism, and in turn, present a model from which women can
draw strength and self-esteem.
At the outset, the author quickly describes Saenz as a rebel and
potential enemy of royalist authority: "Después Manuela tomará actitud
de desafío frente a la sociedad, al despreciar sus convencionalismos"
(I, 25). Later, the author adds: "pero al final siente odio por los
realistas que sacrifican a tantos quiteños" (l, 36). Besides these
characteristics, the reader learns that "Manuela ama la libertad" (l,
46), and above all, she resents Spanish occupation in America: "También
medita que pertenece a una sociedad, a una cultura, a un mundo en
donde un grupo de conquistadores tiene todos los derechos y otro se
halla en condiciones deprimentes, solo por haber nacido en suelo
conquistado" (I, 52).
Naturally, the comments mentioned above are used in the novel to
illustrate that Saenz's love for Bolívar, and her subsequent separation
from her husband, were not founded on sheer sexual desire, but rather
arose from a kind of sublime attraction between two personalities that
were dedicated to securing America's freedom. In fact, their love
became a source of inspiration that led both heroes to greater heights:
"En virtud de esta pasión, Bolívar tiene más brío, se siente mejor y más
héroe. Manuela irradia más belleza, más atracción, ya que a diferencia
de otros amores que anulan el ser, éste le hace sentirse fuerte, al

124
mismo tiempo humana y con capacidad de sacrificio" (l, 94). Further¬
more, Sánez's love for Bolívar heightened her interest in struggling for
the principle of social justice: "El amor hacia Bolívar ha vuelto a
Manuela más humana, ha limado prejuicios de clase social, y por eso siente
alegría de codearse con mulatos y negros, ennoblecidos por una casaca
mi 1 i tar" (I, 102-103).
Regarding Saenz's actual role during Independence, the novel
emphasizes both the close working relationship that existed between
Saenz and Bolivar and the influence she exercised during the period:
Manuela se ha constituido en la persona de mayor
confianza para Bolívar; ella es la que en momentos
de mucha labor permite o no las audiencias, y por sí
misma resuelve algunos asuntos. . . . Manuela desempeña,
con gran inteligencia, las funciones que se le encomiendan.
Su trabajo lo real iza a conciencia, en carácter de
archivadora celosa y suspicaz, no facilita originales
de documentos .... Y para aquello de descubrir
conspiraciones, Manuela resulta magnífica, con algún
adecuado disfraz encuentra la pista de las celadas
que acechan a Bolívar. (I, 158-159)
This same activity and intense involvement by Sáenz continued
into the early years of the Republic, especially during the conflict
between Peruvian and Gran Colombian interest groups: "Manuela queda
en Lima, soportando los momentos difíciles de una nueva época en la
política peruana. Manuela está resuelta a afrontar todas las dificultades
que se le presenten, cuidará celosamente los intereses de Bolívar, que
son los intereses de la libertad" (II, 27). In effect, "Manuela no
solamente ayuda a vivir a Bolívar, en cuanto a su problema principal
de organización de los pueblos colombianos y en la consolidación de
su independencia, no, sino también a vivir su vida, a llevar la casa
a prestar atenciones a sus allegados" (II, 59~60).
Generally speaking, then, Manuela Sáenz attempts to illustrate
that rather than just having been another of Bolivar's lovers, Sáenz

125
was strongly committed to America's independence, and was a woman of
high ideals who played a key role in the period's events. In this
respect, the biographical novel is a feminist work which should be
considered part of the ever-increasing literature that has tried to
reevaluate women's contribution to history and other fields.
21
Although La profesora3 A noventa millas3 solamente3 and Yoimar
are not feminist or protest novels per se, they too provide important
commentaries and descriptions of women's conditions in Ecuadorian
society. For example, Enriqueta Velasco's La profesora deals with the
problems rural teachers must confront (i .e. , insufficient funds, materials,
and public support), and more specifically, it reveals how local political
bosses oppose quality teachers who threaten existing power structures by
effectively educating the people. As might be expected, it is the female
teacher who suffers most since she cannot defend herself against the
frequent physical abuses inflicted upon her by provincial authorities:
"En tanto, el Gamonal, el que engaño, el que mintió y destrozó una vida
[la de una mujer], es respetado y considerado por todos, su carcajada
se escucha en los salones de la Sociedad y continúa como ave de mal
augurio de casa en casa, en busca de una nueva víctima . . .1" (p. 32).
Moreover, it is made painfully clear that many women instructors must
accept sexual advances so that they do not lose their teaching positions
which are controlled by local officials.
Eugenia Viteri's A noventa millas3 solamente is a Cuban political
novel that nonetheless succeeds in presenting some idea of women's
situation in Ecuadorian society, even though the latter theme is a
secondary aspect of the work. Basically, Viteri tells the story about
Elisa, a Cuban girl who is uprooted from her country when her parents

126
decide they would rather live in Miami than in Castro Cuba. Through¬
out the novel, Elisa observes the humiliation and decay suffered by
Miami Cubans, and gradually she recognizes the need to return to her
homeland: "Se hundió tía igual que todos. Huyeron creyendo encontrar
la solución, descubrir un camino y se equivocaron. ¡Vinieron por
ideales1. Aquel sistema no les gustaba, se decían demócratas. ¡Demo¬
cracia y libertad, cuánta mugre escondes!" (p. 53). More specifically,
Viteri explains:
Pensé luego que junto a los que dejaban su país por su
propia voluntad, irían niños, adolescentes a quienes no
se les consultaba y si tal ocurría, era a medias, sin
esperar su opinión. Me ubiqué en el caso de la adolescente
que amaba su tierra, sentía hondo sus raíces, vivencias,
amistades, paisaje y como ella, digo concretamente, Elisa,
no quiso salir. Cuando maduró, se hizo mujer, pensó en
volver a lo suyo para dejar de ser una extranjeri 11 a
cualquiera en un mundo que estuvo a punto de ahogarla
por su inexperiencia y desconocimiento de ese "mundo"
tan diferente del suyo. Entonces volver, volver, volver
fue su mejor sueño.22
With regard to the portrayal of women in the novel, the reader
encounters Berta, an archetype of the traditional female whose life
centers around pleasing the men in her life (i.e., husband and sons):
Berta maneja el hogar, sabe de sus problemas y los
resuelve. Berta es de aquellos seres que son felices
trabajando para otros. Mas, si los otros son su marido
y su hijo. Además de cocinar, fregar pisos, vajillas,
realiza trabajos extras. Su naturaleza, su humanidad
sana, robusta no conoce el cansancio. V ni su marido
ni su hijo han tenido tiempo de enterarse que trabaja
demasiado. La quieren, se saben mimados y la explotan
dulce, pacientemente, abusando del amor de esta mujer
fuerte. No conciben que debe trabajar menos. Si se quejara,
si protestara ... no hay tiempo y es feliz preparándoles
sus comidas, prodigándoles cuidados, (p. 131)
Obviously, Berta's brief appearance in the novel serves as a concrete
example of women's abnegation and silent suffering, a reminder of the
limited social and domestic roles traditionally open to women.

127
Overt feminist protest does appear momentarily in the novel when
Olga Marfa explains she is a prostitute because marriage would deny her
freedom: "-¿Casarme yo? ¡Qué va! . . . [Es que] si tú intentas
divertirte un poquito con otros, no averigües como vas a morir, ni si
los rusos serán los primeros en curar el cáncer, porque de seguro,
no tendrás tiempo de saberlo, ni de contraer dicho mal. Partes rumbo
al cementerio con unas cuantas balas en tu pellejito suelto. Te
consideran de su propiedad particular, de exclusivo uso doméstico y
yo querida, mía,’ entiendo el amor a mi manera" (p. 88).
At another point, Lili de Rodríguez talks about the frustration
and despair of being relegated to an anonymous source of man's sexual
pleasure:
Demostrarle al mundo que eres distinta, que en tí [sic]
hay algo más que en cuerpo bien formado, que gustas de
meditar, que amas la belleza, que sientes el amor como
algo profundo, eterno, no es sencillo. Luego, cuando
conquistas respeto y surges limpia . . . descubres que
el objeto de tu amor, el hombre de tu vida, pertenece
a la escala de machos inquietos, susceptible de
enredarse con Nelly Ceresuave y sus hijas. Lola,
Meche Matahari, María Josefina, Jacqueline, Fresia,--
la relegada de toda la vida--y mil mujeres más . . .
observas tu cuerpo y sientes tu sangre manchada y es como
si en tus olores se confundieran los de todas esas aves
taciturnas, criaturas angustiadas, muñecas de amargo
destino. (pp. 120-121)
However, the most significant element in the novel, at least in
terms of women role-models, is that Elisa is presented as a revolutionary
figure capable of making important and difficult decisions (i.e., return
to Cuba) after serious thought. She is one of the few female protagonists
created by Ecuadorian women novelists that is neither mainly concerned
with motherhood nor basically involved in some romance which links her
destiny directly to a man. In effect, Elisa is defined in terms of

128
being a patriot rather than a traditional woman who usually has been
considered servile and dependent upon male support. In a conversation
with her younger sister, Elisa's strength of character and mind is
clearly revealed:
-¡Elisa . . .!
-¿Qué te preocupa, dime, Clarita?
-¿Qué es la vida?
-. . . Una . . . una . . . etapa, un ciclo. Se nace,
se vive y se muere.
-¡Todos!
-¡Absolutamente!
-¿Se puede escoger la muerte, Elisita?
-Sí. Se la hace, se la escoge.
-¿Y por qué, pues?
-Por ideales y por amor a nuestros semejantes.
-¡Amor, ¿cómo amor? [sic]
-A través de lasciencias que permite [sic] salvar vidas,
prolongarlas. Las artes proporcionan éxtasis, gozo, plenitud,
recreación. Las luchas políticas por construir sociedades
nuevas.
-Elisa, quiero ser como tú, sabes tanto.
-No, no. Tu tienes que saber mas y ser mejor. (pp. 158-159)
It is interesting that Clarita admires her sister because of Elisa's
intelligence and apparent understanding of the complex questions dis¬
cussed in the above citation. In a manner of speaking, Viteri,
knowingly or not, has created an alternative role-model which suggests
women are capable of distinguishing themselves outside of the mother or
sex object contexts. Clearly, Elisa is a dynamic woman totally committed
to the Cuban revolution:
--¿Tomaras tú un fusil, Elisa? ¡Vamos di!
— ¡Sí!
—¿Tu serás capaz de matar?
--Para tener derecho a una mesa limpia, a una
vida honesta, sí. (p. 179)
Just as in the case of A noventa millas, solamente, Mireya de
Insua's novel, loimav, not only reflects some of the problems experienced

129
by Ecuadorian women, but also presents a protagonist who seems to imply
that a new pattern of behavior is opening up for women. With respect
to the traditional female-male relationships, the author immediately
points out that Yoimar has had to struggle against numerous macho
advances: "Era ya parte de su naturaleza errar por los empleos, de
los cuales salía siempre víctima ... de la [sic] morbosas intenciones
de los hombres" (p. 2). Moreover, after arriving in Quito and being
warned "que se cuidara de los hombres de la capital" (p. 5), Yoimar
(fifteen years old) is almost raped by her employer.
Although this concern over male abuses sounds very much like the
author's first novel, La pena fuimos nosotras, a radical change in the
protagonist's concept of sex gradually develops--she enjoys sex for
herself and recognizes that her instincts are stronger than traditional
moral teachings: "Creyó que era dueña absoluta de su persona y que
podría dominar su instinto. Los hechos ocurridos demostraron lo
contrario. No era invulnerable a los llamdos de la pasión o del amor,
llámese como se llamase esta manifestación física o sentimental"
(p. k8) . Later, one reads: "Un desvanecimiento y deseos de entregarse
la dominó por completo. No opuso resistencia. Sintió un placer
endemoniado al oír jadear al muchacho estrafalario" (p. 53)-
The most interesting part of Yoimar and her attitude toward sex
is that despite her sensuality, which exists for herself rather than for
her male partners, she is described as being a good person: she becomes
a nurse because of her interest in helping others; she is intelligent
and constantly strives to improve herself; she is conscientious, hard¬
working, and dependable. According to Fernando, Yoimar's wealthy

130
fiance: "--Esta criatura es impresionante-- ¿Dónde saca esa natural
distinción y elegancia y esa manera de expresarse tan honda y filosófica,
tan nítida y encantadora? Debe ser algo ancestral en ella pues no ha
tenido ni el ambiente, ni el tiempo suficiente para adquirir tanta
cultura siendo tan joven . . . 11 (p. 82). In effect, Yoimar is not a
prostitute nor a libertine; she is as worthy of respect and sympathy as
those reputable men who are not obliged to suppress their sexual
instinets.
Notwithstanding the author's apparent challenge of traditional
sex roles, however, the novel points out that Yoimar's intimate relations
with Fernando and Mario are misinterpreted to mean that she has given up
her freedom. Fernando comments: "queridita mía, yo sabré protegerte y
honrarte . . . pero eso sí, desde hoy en adelante, tú seras sólo mía"
(p. 5*0- Further on in the text, Mario explains that Yoimar belongs
only to him:
--Te estaba esperando . . .
--¿Con qué derecho?
--Con el que me has dado dos veces . . .
--Nada te da derecho a esperarme o espiarme como
si fuera algo tuyo . . .
--¿Y no lo eres? (p. 59)
After Yoimar tells Mario she is to marry Fernando:
--¿Casarte? Mira chiquita yo no lo permitiré.
--¿Y quién eres tú para permitir o no lo que yo
decida hacer?
--Soy tu dueño. (pp. 59_60)
Despite the various technical weaknesses (poor character develop¬
ment, melodramatic scenes, a hurried ending), Yoimar is a provocative
novel because it suggests women's attitudes toward sex are evolving

131
in Ecuador. For, not only Yoimar's ideas, but Carla's as well imply
a shift in sexual mores:
Carla era fantástica. .Desprejuiciada, amoral,
alegre, charlona y coquetera, era más carne que
espf ri tu.
El caso típico de la mujer puramente hembra,
astuta y calculadora. Tenía tres amantes. El uno
le daba dinero. El segundo le hacía feliz sexual-
mente y el otro era el candidato seguro para el
matrimonio. Sabía combinar tan bien las entrevistas,
que ninguno sospechaba de la existencia del otro.
Tenía siempre lista una respuesta o una disculpa
que la librara fácilmente de cualquier aprieto, (p. 39)
If this novel is taken to represent the rise of new women's sexual
attitudes, then it is likely the near future will reveal more clearly
an interesting conflict between the sexes in Ecuador.
To date, Bruna, soroche y los tíos by Alicia Yáñez Cossio is the
most important novel to have been written by an Ecuadorian woman, and
in fact, it is perhaps one of the principal narrative works in Ecuadorian
23
contemporary fiction. Unlike the novels discussed above, Yáñez
avoids limiting her focus to a specific feminist problem or an isolated
story of one individual. Instead, she presents a total vision of
Ecuadorian reality from the Conquest to the present. The kaleidoscopic
view is presented in a fashion similar to that of Cien anos de soledad.
And, like García Márquez, Yánez moves from the particular to the universal
2k
by superimposing on one family society's experiences and conflicts.
In effect, the novel's characters are archetypes that embody significant
trends and concepts found throughout Ecuadorian history (i.e., the
importance of Spanish heritage, contempt for those of Indian lineage,
strong reaction against change and outside influences, Church domination).

Generally speaking, the novel is composed of three parts: (1) a
prologue that refers to Bruna*s successful escape from her soroche-
ridden city, (2) thirty-three chapters which narrate the development
of Bruna's family, and (3) an epilogue which is a reaffirmation of
Bruna's having freed herself from a world that continues to live in the
past. The importance of the novel's structure is that it convincingly
combines Ecuadorian and universal reality by juxtaposing a contemporary
figure’s struggle against the Establishment with a series of episodes
and events that readily recreate a specific historical and geographic
context. Consequently, much of the work's value comes from its having
made possible multiple interpretations that appeal to a broad range of
interests. For example, some readers may associate Bruna's struggle
against established social structures with that of the international
youth movements characteristic of the 1960's; others may see in Bruna
the struggle of one individual against a dominant society; or, there
may be those who prefer to consider the novel strictly in terms of
Ecuadorian reality.
For the purposes of this study, Bruna, soroche y-los tíos is
essential because it is narrated by a young woman whose rebellion and
rejection of conventions are strongly tied to her womanhood: "Consciente
de que la vida era el supremo don que podfa tener y por el cual valía
la pena hacerse todas las magulladuras posibles. Si se vivía una
sola y única vez era necesario sentirse plenamente ser humano, persona,
mujer" (p. 3^7)- Moreover, Yánez presents several female archetypes
which in addition to revealing Bruna's family origins also serve as a
kind of historical summary of the confining roles that traditionally

133
have been available to women, and against which Bruna rebells. When
referring to one of Bruna's ancestors, Yáñez explains:
Las viudas no tenían otra alternativa que seguir
dócilmente a sus maridos hasta la muerte, de la misma
manera que lo habían hecho en vida. Las mujeres no
tenían ningún tipo de instrucción, no se les permitía
ni hojear un libro por temor de que se hicieran hombrunas.
Sólo podían tener contactos con la aguja, la escoba y las
ollas. Cuando sus pensamientos se atrevían a ir más allá
de los aleros de sus tejidos, eran causa de escándalo y
ellas mismas se reprimían, porque creían que obraban
mal. Estaban imposibilitadas de hacer ningún otro
movimiento que no hubieran hecho antes sus madres y
sus abuelas. Las mujeres eran unos ovarios gigantescos,
vestidos de negro, donde se gestaban hijos en serie y
supersticiones en.masa. (pp. 76-77)
Further on, the author refers to the tragic consequences of women's
longstanding submissiveness and passivity: "Dentro de la familia
de Bruna, las mujeres--a excepción de Camelia Llorosa que se independizó
de ambi ente--todas fueron víctimas, o juguetes de las circunstancias,
por la cobardía que las mantuvo atadas a los hombres y por el egoísmo
de ellos, que nunca quisieron soltarles de la mano" (pp. 139-1^0).
The two major characters who best illustrate the frustration and
futility of traditional female roles are- Bruna's aunts, Clarita and
Catalina ("caca de gallina"). The former is the typical spinster
figure that laments her solitude while resigning herself to a "larga
y triste soltería en la que los gatos desempeñarían las veces de hijos,
y las hojas de geranios, la de pañales tenidos a secarse en las macetas
del patio. Comprendió que le estaba vedado para siempre el camino
prohibido que conducía al beso" (p. 301). As for Catalina, she is the
pious woman who spends her entire life praying and crusading for greater
mora 1 i ty :

Consideró que su nacimiento era en función expiatoria,
y fiel a su destino, se dedicó a purgar las faltas propias
y ajenas, subiendo y bajando todos los días de los cielos
a los infiernos y suspirando por una silla gestatoria,
hecha a su medida, y que tuviera el poder volátil de las
escobas de las brujas para poder inspeccionar lo que
hacían los habitantes de la ciudad, y sacar su cara
arrugada por el bien común. Si tfa Catalina hubiera
vivido unos años mas tarde no habfa parado hasta conseguir
que la nombraran censura de espectáculos públicos ....
(p. 223)
Clearly, the tragedy of these two women is their not having lived
full lives characterized by a broad range of experiences. On the one
hand, because she adheres to her older sister's social prejudices,
Clarita refuses many marriage proposals, and in the process, confines
herself to the lonely and unfulfilled world of spinsterhood repressing
forever her capacity to love and be loved: "Llevó su soledad con
entereza y elegancia espiritual, sin quejumbramientos, ni posturas de
vfctima, como si en el fondo de ella misma se sintiera culpable de no
haber mandado al diablo a su hermana cuando aún era tiempo de hacerlo"
(p. 305). On the other hand, Catalina loses herself in religious
fanaticism and forgets about the positive aspects of human life: "Tía
Catalina se incapacitaba cada día más para toda actividad que no fuera
la relacionada con las indulgencias. Cada vez estaba más agria y
toleraba menos a los sobrinos" (p. 229). In effect, both women reflect
the kind of lifestyle that is intolerable to Bruna, a young woman who
is struggling to experience her total humanity.
Of course, to "sentirse plenamente ser humano, persona, mujer,"
one must understand completely the obstacles in life/society that deny
freedom and creativity, and then, actively rebel against those barriers.
Bruna recognizes the double standards that offer men unlimited opportunities

135
to move about and experiment in life while relegating women to the home.
After Bruna's brother (Gabriel) decides to study in Paris she laments:
"Un chico puede ir a Parfs, o al fin del mundo. No tiene una virginidad
que cuidar, ha nacido con el privilegio de ser hombre. Mientras ella
no puede ir sola del colegio a la casa que dista pocas cuadras. Ha
nacido con el estigma de ser mujer, esta condenada al 'ghetto.1
Contra su virginidad atenían los que pasan por su lado, los pájaros
que están parados en los alambres de la luz, los árboles con sus brazos
alargados, los montes cuando hacen sus juegos de luces y juegan al
escondite, el arco-iris y todas las personas . . ." (p. 2148). It
is apparent Bruna understands that society's insistence on protecting
women's virginity-conserving their purity--has condemned her to
second-rate status. She reveals her envy and dissatisfaction with
this status quo when she refers to the "privilegio de ser hombres,"
as opposed to "el estigma de ser mujer."
Bruna expresses an aversion to conventional sexual patterns, and
moreover, she manifests her own radical thinking on the matter: "Si
supiera que no me van a dar una paliza, andarfa desnuda por la huerta.
. . . ¡Estoy harta hasta la coronilla de tanto rezo!" (p. 256).
In addition, Yánez writes:
Las ropas con que andaba cubierta la llenaban de
vergüenza. No era partidaria del nudismo, pero pensaba que
a la humanidad le hacfa falta caminar un trecho bastante
largo todavfa para liberarse de prejuicios y de la carga
de convencionalismos que afeaban la dignidad humana y hacían
aborrecer, sin saber por qué la belleza de un cuerpo
adolescente . . . Habría menos ma1 icia--pensaba--cuando
las partes sexuales no fueran ni más, ni menos que los
dedos y la cara. Se debía aspirar a que, cuando un
hombre se encontrara con una mujer desnuda, no se la
quedara mirando con la boca abierta, ni que sus pensamientos
hicieran con los ojos la metamorfosis de una cama de lo que

136
era una mesa ... Y una mujer, al encontrarse con un
hombre en las mismas condiciones, no debía huir, ni
sentir incomodidad alguna.
La cumbre de la civilización debería ser que cada
uno viviera su propia vida como le viniera en gana.
(pp. 256-257)
Due to this spirit of rebelliousness and antagonism for social
customs that have hindered women's development, it is logical that Bruna
relates to the lives and experiences of Haría lllacatus, Camelia
Llorosa, and "la jovencita bailarina," the three women who to varying
degrees challenge the status quo during the course of the novel. In
the first case, María lllacatus is Bruna's great-great-grandmother who
represents the family's beginning: she is the wealthy Indian princess
captured by a Spanish conqueror in search of riches. More importantly,
however, as a woman, María symbolizes the ultimate tragedy of the
Conquest: "Y la mis profunda escencia de ese drama, estuvo formada por
el dolor y la vergüenza de la mujer india. Fue ella la víctima
propiciatoria para aquellos semidioses barbados, monstruosos y
magníficos." Yánez explains how María was forced to abandon her
culture and traditions in order to become a Spanish lady; even the
family portrait attempted to deny her identity:
Estaba vestida como una gran dama a raíz de su
desdichado matrimonio. Quien hizo el cuadro, . . .
influido por los convencionalismos de la época, le
quitó la piel que tenía, y así desollada, la puso
en carne viva la piel que le presentó el marido para
que posara. María lllacatus perdió la piel cobriza
en el lienzo con el mismo estoicismo con que perdió su
razón de existir. . . . Era la imagen de lo que quisieron
que ella hubiera sido. (pp. 36-37)
In short, María is presented as the first victim of the family--she
is raped, and she is expected to conform to an image and lifestyle

137
imposed upon her by a conquering society. However, Marfa does not
submit completely:
Pero entre ella y el hombre blanco se interpuso una
muralla de silencio, detrás de la cual, le llegaban como
piedras el desprecio y la burla de la gente blanca, a
los que ella correspondía encerrándose en su concha,
negándose a coger el tenedor para llevarse los alimentos a
la boca, resistiéndose a aprender todas las cosas nuevas
que le eran impuestas. Se mantuvo impermeable a ciertas
acciones que le parecían ritos absurdos, como manejar el
abanico para despejar el rubor, o sentarse frente al
bastidor metiendo y sacando la aguja para poner en la tela
unas flores que se sentían prisioneras como ella . . . .(p. bb)
Interestingly enough, after studying the family portrait, Bruna
succeeds in perceiving Marfa's spirit of silent defiance: "Las venas
azuladas del puño derecho demostraban una rebeldía soterrada, una
audacia en potencia de quien era casi una niña por la edad y el
abandono en que la hicieron vivir" (p. 38). Also, it becomes obvious
Bruna understands Maria's suffering; she identifies with her ancestor's
loneliness and oppression, and consequently, there arises a strong bond
of solidarity between the two, at least in Bruna's imagination: "A
Bruna le dolió siempre el ver a su antecesora india clavada en el
salón de las visitas, aislada de todo afecto y referencia por un muro
de silencio y de palabras equívocas. . . . Hubiera querido llevarse
el gran cuadro, colocarlo a la cabecera de su cama, para sacar a la
abuela del recuerdo y darle el calor que no tuvo en vida" (p. 50).
Thus, whereas Bruna pities Clarita and Catalina, recognizing the
void in their lives, she respects and admires her great-great-grandmother's
courage and steadfast resistance against being completely absorbed by
a foreign culture and a macho husband. Moreover, Bruna is deeply
attracted to Maria because she understands that her ancestor's affliction

138
is not only that of an Indian, but also that of a woman. Significantly,
Marfa murders her husband/conqueror only after realizing he has stolen
her children, a direct affront against her condition as mother/woman:
"Pero se llevo la sangre de Marfa lllacatu [sic]a.l quitarle los hijos.
. . . Al besar a los hijos para despedirles, puso a cada uno, debajo de
la camisa, un pedazo de su alma recién llegada" (pp. bS~bG). Later,
Marfa "vio que sus hijos habían perdido lo que ella les puso debajo
de la camisa ... y sacando unas afiladas tijeras las clavo en el
corazón del hombre" (p. bj). In effect, Marfá lllacatus symbolizes
two essential things: (1) the Conquest, from the point of view of a
physical and cultural violación', and (2) the dignity and valor of which
women are capable when oppressed.
Bruna's other ancestor with whom she clearly relates is her great
aunt, Camelia Llorosa, the first woman to have escaped temporarily from
the soroche confines of the family's city. According to the narrative,
Camelia's parents arranged for her to marry a Spanish nobleman so they
could benefit from the fiance's nobility while he received the advantages
of their wealth. Consistent with the dictates of tradition: "El
parecer de la niña no fue consultado porque se sabfa de antemano que
lo mejor que podfa sucederle a una mujer era unir su destino y su
cuerpo al de un noble" (p. 88). Unfortunately, by the time Camelia
reached Spain to join her husband he had already died of old age.
Nevertheless, her trip to Europe was not a total loss since
she did experience a kind of intellectual and cultural awakening.
Whereas before leaving home "Carmela no pensó nunca en rebelarse, por
entonces estaba incapacitada para autodeterminarse por sf misma, los

139
principios con los cuales había nacido estaban fuertemente adheridos
al sexo, . . (p. 90), after living abroad and meeting new people
"hizo el gran descubrimiento de que la educación que le habían dado
era absurda: la mujer podía vivir al margen del ■'ghetto1 y tenía unas
insospechadas posibilidades que debían ser explotadas sin que sucediera
ninguna catástrofe. ... Se hizo mujer entera, absoluta, dueña de
sus decisiones y de sus actos" (p. 9*0 •
During her return to the "ciudad dormida," it is clear Camelia
has undergone a total metamorphosis while in Europe: "ya no se trataba
de la novia delicada que debía hacer el viaje a lomo de tortuga, sino
de la mujer que podía competir físicamente con los robustos arrieros
y sicológicamente poner a raya a una partida de maleantes con la
fuerza de su dialéctica" (p. 97)- Moreover, after arriving home she
becomes the dominant figure in society: "La hegemonía de Camelia
Llorosa llegó hasta el extremo de constituirse en el oráculo de la
política: mantenía una copiosa cor re-spondenc i a con todos los expatriados
e insurrectos desterrados; se entretenía en avivar y sofocar cuartelazos
y rebeliones, según estuviera su genio. En sus tertulias literarias
se conspiraba en grande escala, se derrocaban gobiernos y se fraguaban
revoluciones, como si se tratara de un pasatiempo con que mitigar el
sopor de las horas muertas" (pp. 106-107)-
However, despite Camelia's worldly knowledge and her unquestionable
social influence, it is only a matter of time before she succumbs to the
deadening effects of the soroche. Shoeing unusua.lly poor j udgment, she
begins her fall by marrying the most inept of her suitors, and consequently,
Yáñez points out: "Empezaban los primeros síntomas visibles del soroche,
tenía una venda de cemento puesta sobre los ojos" (p. 109)- In short,

Camelia lets herself be deceived by the false promises of a fifty-year-
old man who is sexually impotent, and hence, for the second time her
illusions of motherhood and marriage are destroyed. As a reaction
to her humiliation and sorrow, she withdraws to a convent and never
forgives herself for "haberse dejado engañar por un hombrecillo
insignificante" (p. 120).
To recapitulate, Marfa (courageous rebel) and Camelia (worldly
intellectual) reflect women's potential qualities, and despite their
final tragedies (Marfa's suicide and Camelia's humiliation), they
offer Bruna some idea of possible alternative role-models. But,
before Bruna can break away completely from the conventional social
patterns she must convince herself that rebellion will lead to freedom
and happiness rather than frustration. At this point, she meets "la
jovencita bailarina," Bruna's sister-in-law sho has managed to escape
successfully from the stifling traditions characteristic of the world
that lies beyond "la ciudad dormida," and consequently, Yáñez explains:
"Bruna ya no era una niña, desde entonces sintió que no estaba tan sola
en el mundo, y fue poco a poco vertiendo sus ideas en palabras que
sacaban de quicio a los parientes; fue rumiando poco a poco un plan
de vida, sabiendo que en otros lugares existfa la posibilidad de que sus
pensamientos fueran reales y no repicaran a escándalo" (p. 256)-
Clearly, from a feminist point of view, Bruna, soroche y los tíos
is an extremely important work for three reasons: (l) it illustrates
many of the restrictions and injustices women have suffered (women as
victims); (2) it illustrates the valiant attempts made by some women to
challenge stereotypes and social prejudices (women as rebels); and (3)

it proves women can struggle for their freedom and be successful (women
as complete human beings). Moreover, whereas most of the other novels
written by women have concentrated on presenting female characters as
victims who never realize their aspirations nor their potential (i.e.,
Lola, Gracia, Elena, Elsa Marfa, Yoimar), Bruna, soroche y los tíos
offers the reader a positive sense of feminine Identity by creating
a protagonist who Is capable of being victorious In her struggle to
live fully: "Se independizó del recuerdo porque necesitaba equilibrio
para su vida, mediante una lucha ardua y tenaz de la que salió magullada
y dolorida, pero al final fntegra y contenta de sí misma" (p. 3^7)-
In effect, the novel represents a high point in Ecuadorian feminist
fiction because it offers female readers a literary model to emulate at
a time when "women who are re-examining their lives may . . . depend
on literature to introduce new possibilities and to help them evaluate
the alternatives open to them."^
Generally speaking, then, with the exception of the remaining
three novels which do not offer any significant feminist-related material
27
(Hambre rubia, La casa de tía Berta, and Verónica: Historia de amor),
most of the works present a specific image of women in society, and
frequently they constitute a protest against the injustices suffered by
the female sector in Ecuador. In addition, while much of the literature
is of questionable artistic quality, it must be remembered that the
novels are historically significant because they represent women's initial
attempt at writing novels; and for the most part, as social documents
they move the reader closer to understanding some of women's major concerns.
Their stylistic, structural, or aesthetic deficiencies cannot be separated

from their pioneering social mission as Angelina Gatell has
noted:
Indudablemente, la muj.er ha hecho mucha mala
literatura, tanto epistolar como de otros géneros.
Pero hay que tener en cuenta que la literatura ha
sido para la mujer algo asf como una rebelión, como
una forma de manifestarse. ... Y ha habido mucha
mujer que se ha agarrado al bolígrafo, asf, como a una
tabla de salvación. Y ha dicho: yo tengo que escribir
porque si no escribo estory perdida. Y ello sin tener
la mas mínima vocación ni el mas indispensable talento
literario. Sí, existe una pléyade de señoras que no
son escritoras; son inconformistas nada mas. Por eso
creo que parte de esa mala literatura que ha desprestigiado
y ha contribuido a esa discriminación entre mujer y hombre
escritores, se debe precisamente a esto: a que la mujer
ha empleado la literatura como un medio de liberación. No
como un medio de expresarse, sino como ^g medio de liberarse
y de enfrentarse incluso con el hombre.

Notes
Chapter V
Quito: Imprenta del Ministerio de Educación, 19^+0. This novel
was written in 1937.
2
This study does not include Elsa Katz, Zoraida Maechler, and
Lastenia Larriva de Liona because they are naturalized citizens of
Ecuador, educated and raised in foreign countries.
3
Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1969.
¿i
Taped interview with the author; Quito, March 13', 1975-
^Cheri Register, "American Feminist Literary Criticism: A
Bibliographical Introduction," Feminist Literary Criticism: Explorations
in Theory, ed. Josephine Donovan (Lexington: The University Press of
Kentucky, 1975), p. 19-
^Ibid. , p. 13-
~¡En la paz del co.mpo; Purificación (Quito: Talleres Gráficas del
Ministerio de Educación, 19*<2); and Luz en la noche (Ambato: Imprenta
de Educación Primaria, 1950). It should be pointed out that her father
was one of Ecuador's major novelists of this century, Luis A. Martínez,
who published A la costa (190*0.
g
La novela ecuatoriana, p. 218.
Cited from Blanca Martínez de Tinajero, Contestación a una crítica
(Ambato: Editorial Atenas, I960), pp. 1*4-15-
*^Ibid. , p. 31.
1 ]Ibid. , pp. 2*4-25.
12
Whether or not the author was originally conscious of the novel's
potential explosiveness is of little importance here, particularly since
she did defend her right of expression by eventually publishing the work.
1 3
Guayaquil: Imprenta Municipal, 1953.
1 *4
The author is apparently not using feminista to mean feminist,
but rather feminine or female.
Editorial "Minerva," 195*4.
Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1955-
''The -importance of these traditional roles for Latin American
women is clearly pointed out in Susan A. Soeiro, "Recent Work on
Latin American Women: A Review Essay," Journal of Interamerican
^Qui to:
1^Quito:

Studies and World Affairs, XVII, b (November 1975), ^97~516. This
article was part of a collection of eight scholarly studies on Latin
American women, edited by Ann Pescatello and published in the November
1975 issue of the cited journal.
18
Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1959-
| Q
As pointed out by Susan Soeiro ("Recent Work on Latin American
Women: A Review Essay," p. A98), the problem with the historical and
biographical studies of individual women is that "they bypass the
crucial issue of the ordinary female's role in society," and thus offer
little understanding of women, in general.
20
2 vols. (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 19&3)
21
Enriqueta Velasco de Batallas, La profesora (Latacunga: Editorial
Cotopaxi, 1965); Mireya de Insua, Yoimar (Guayaquil: n.p., 197*0- It
should be noted that Mireya de Insua is the same author who wrote La
pena fuimos nosotras (Mireya de Bravomalo), however, since her first
novel she has remarried. Also, Yoimar was published at the author's
expense; she contracted a Mr. Altamirano, employee of ZEA Printers,
who rented the machinery at ZEA.
22
Taped interview with the author; Quito, March 13, 1975-
Viteri visited Havana in 1961; she has not been to the USA. It should
be noted that much of the novel is autobiographical, and therefore, many
of the episodes and secondary characters present Ecuadorian reality and
not that of Cuba or Miami.
23
Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1973- In 1972,
the novel received the "Premio Unico Nacional de Novela," sponsored by
the El Universo newspaper of Guayaquil.
2b
The novel loses much of its impact because of the many similarities
to Cíen años de soledad (i.e., a sleepy city, a story about one family,
episode of insomnia, the bishop's children that are numbered, the
combining of reality and absurdity). Nevertheless, Yáñez has said the
similarities are pure coincidence since her novel was near completion
when Garcia Marquez published Cien años de soledad.
25
Piedad Larrea Borja, "Biografía de la mujer en el Ecuador,"
Ensayos, pp. 59-60.
26
Cheri Register, "American Feminist Literary Criticism: A
Bibliographical Introduction," pp. 20-21.
27
Nelly Espinoza de Orellana, Hambre rubia (Mexico: Libro MEX
Editores, 1959); Ana María Izaj La casa de tía Berta (Quito: Editorial
Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 197*0; Zoila María Castro, Verónica:
Historia de un amor (New York: UNIDA Printing Corporation, 1975)- Hambre
rubia was selected for first prize in the Certamen Literario Internacional
del "Círculo de Escritores y Poetas Iberoamericanos," on November 22,

1958 in New York. Basically, the work deals with a Latin American
(Ecuadorian) woman's experiences in the USA, and her gradual under¬
standing of this country's lifestyle.
28
Cited from a published round-table discussion: Jacinto Lopez
Gorge, "¿Existe una literatura especfficamente femenina?," La Estafeta
Literaria, 501 (October 1, 1972), 17-

CHAPTER VI
SHORT STORY
Unlike the novel, the short story has a relatively long tradition
among Ecuadorian women writers, primarily because it has always been
easier to publish the shorter pieces of fiction in journals and news¬
papers. The earliest of these published works date back to the late
nineteenth century: "Paulina (impresiones y recuerdos)" (1889) , and
"El eterno Don Juan" (1895)^— two sentimental love stories solely
concerned w.i th entertaining the readers. In addition, according to
Morayma Ofyr Carvajal, the first woman short story writer in Ecuador was
Elisa Ayala Gonzalez (1879-?), a costeña who portrayed the superstitions
and folklore of the coastal peoples: "Buceó en el alma y la tradición
popular, extremendamente rica en el litoral, en el ambiente montuvio
supersticioso y encontró motivos permanentes para su fantasía y
entregó un aporte magnífico a la literatura del Ecuador y del
2
Continente."
Curiously enough, Ayala Gonzalez was read abroad before Ecuadorians
knew of her; she wrote for such foreign journals as Nubes Rosadas and
La Revista Argentina (Argentina)^ Sucesos and Et Nacional (Chile), Adelante
(Uruguay), Hero and Cosmos (Cuba). During the early years of this
century, her short story "La procesión de las animas" earned first
prize in the "Concurso Internacional Abierto en España," sponsored by
La Voz de Valencia. Moreover, in "Homenaje a Elisa Ayala Gonzalez,"
1 kS

1*7
published in 1918 by the feminist magazine, Flora, one learns that she
did not begin to publish her work in Ecuador until 1916, twenty-two
years after her first story, "La mal idicion," was published by America
k
in New York.
Besides these early writers, numerous other women throughout this
century have published stories in national and foreign journals (i.e.,
Mercedes Gonzalez de Moscoso, Marfa Natalia Vaca, Nela Martfnez, Carmen
Vela de Manzano, Mariano Barzal lo, Inés Barrera, Carmen Acevedo Vega,
Mireya Ramírez). Nevertheless, much of the material has gone unnoticed
because the periodicals rarely have reached a large reading public:
short-lived publications, inadequate communication between cities and
regions, and high illiteracy rates are a few basic reasons which explain
the limited circulation. As Alejandro Andrade Coello has commented:
"Cortas han sido quiza las referencias de luminosas mujeres en este
ensayo, no obstante de que casi he agotado las fuentes de información,
tan limitadas y dispersas. Por esta circunstancia, la búsqueda ha sido
fatigosa. No todo se encuentra en archivos y bibliotecas, porque
muchas rosas puras y encendidas, ... de la inteligencia femenina
se ocultan en revistas y periódicos de vida efímera, que algunos se
han perdido para siempre en el turbión político. . . .Consequently,
Ecuadorian critics and students of literature often have referred
erroneously to the absence, of women writers in fiction: "Una rapida
ojeada a la act i vi dad de la mujer ecuatoriana en la literatura nos
arroja un saldo desalentador. Pocos nombres se salvan del olvido.
. . . [Las mujeres] han oficiado únicamente en el sagrado y doloroso
campo de la poesía, mientras tanto, el cuento y la novela han
permanecido inéditos."^

Theoretically, women writers should have received greater
exposure and recognition with the growth of the Casa de la Cultura
Ecuatoriana (founded in 19^*0, an institution which has established a
national publishing house to promote Ecuadorian literature. In general,
besides having attempted to centralize publishing, the Casa de la
Cultura Ecuatoriana also has created an atmosphere in which intellectuals
and artists throughout the country currently have greater access than in
the past to one another's work. With regard to women, specifically, the
Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana has published many of their short stories,
either as collections or separate pieces printed in such literary
magazines as Letras del Ecuador or Cuadernos del Guayas? However,
despite improved distribution and circulation of literary materials
during this post-World War II period, critics have continued to pay
little attention to women's fiction; existing criticism is limited to
superficial comments that neither interest readers in the works nor
encourage other women to write.
In effect, while most critics have studied enthusiastically the
short stories of such writers of note as de la Cuadra, Gallegos Lara,
and Gil Gilbert, it is apparent that rather than search the libraries
and archives for misplaced texts, they have thought it more convenient
simply to deny outright the existence of women's fiction in national
literature. Enrique Noboa Arizaga, for example, commented not too long
ago: "El quehacer de la literatura femenina ecuatoriana, en lo que a
novela o relato se refiere--hay que reconocerlo con lealtad--no ha sido
del todo realizado. Seguramente ha faltado algo; quizas ideas o tal
vez técnica apropiada. Por ello no hay mucho que destacar en la obra
g
realizada por las mujeres que escriben en el Ecuador."

To counter this critical trend, therefore, the following dis¬
cussion will complete the analysis of women's contribution to Ecuadorian
letters by studying some of the major short stories found among the many
written during the last thirty-five years. As in previous chapters, our
commentary will be organized thematically, focusing on women's problems,
urban concerns, the Indian motif, and contemporary anguish.
The Short Story as a Reflection of Women's Problems
Because of the large number of stories written by women (particularly
in comparison with the novel) that deal with a broad range of subjects,
one might be inclined to lose sight of the thematic importance of women's
problems in the short fictional works. Also, whereas much of the essay
and magazine material is primarily feminist—writers overtly defending
women's rights and describing their chief concerns--, and whereas the
novel with its broad scope is often an attempt to develop extensively
the suffering and fears experienced by women, the short story is not
as polemical or complete in its presentation of female characters and
issues. Obviously, the very nature of the genre demands succinctness,
and consequently, the authors have limited thefiselves to describing
specific scenes and episodes in the lives of female characters.
Nevertheless, upon closer examination, it becomes clear writers
have made a definite effort in the short story to explore such problems
as abortion, sexual exploitation, and social prejudice. Mary Corylé,
for example, besides writing about the exploited Indian also presents a
g
small gallery of female characters in her collection entitled Gleba.
Similar to the novel, La profesora (Velasco de Batallas), "Maestra de
escuela" (pp. 4A-A9) describes the hostile environment in which female

150
rural teachers find themselves; they are frequently the victims of
sexual assaults: "--Ya ve, Curita,—dijo el que hacía de jefe de los
Comisionados--; como no hay mujeres .b1 ancas en el pueblo y esta
grandísima perra está acostumbrada a darnos todo . . . Pero esta vez
le dio por resistirse y, en la huida, la bruta se quebró la pata . . .
Así y todo, no nos ha ido tan mal" (p. 49). Further on, the priest
comments: "—Bienaventurada tu, Maestra, que, por echar la simiente
en la mente de los niños, recibes en tu vientre la semilla maldita de
los hombres que humillan e infaman tu casta" (p. 49).
"Empleada por fin" (pp. 74-81) is another story which depicts
women as victims of a macho society; this time Corylé describes the
plight of an innocent young girl who is deceived by her employer.
Thinking her promotion and salary raise are due to her dedication and
diligence, she naively accepts a luncheon invitation offered by her
boss, "El Ministro," and as might be expected, after drinking too much
champagne she succumbs to her host's sexual advances. Naturally, Alicia
becomes pregnant and is promptly dismissed from her job: "--Alicia:
el estado de usted no es como para asistir al Ministerio, menos, como
Secretaria Particular del Ministro. Voy a concederle una licencia
indefinida, . . . Por lo demás. . . no fue culpa mía ... Ya sabe:
desde mañana no tendrá que venir al Ministerio" (p. 8l).
The tragedy of the unwed mother is further explored in "Mama
Emilia" (pp. 57-63), a story about an elderly woman who dedicates her
life to protecting abandoned mothers. As one character points out, the
necessities of life often force women to commit the basest of crimes:
"Me encontró el Patrón,--si no hubiera sido por él, no hubiera venido

151
al mundo ese desdichado--1e conté que mi hijito estaba mal; entonces,
él me dijó: si quieres ... Y también le he de proteger al chico--.
Caí, Nina, caí: por necesidad, no por mala ... Me dijo diez sucres,
otra vez cinco" (p. 57). Later, Mama El i lia explains compassion is not
the only reason why she has become a guacdian for unwed mothers: "--Y,
desde ese tiempo: Ya más de cuarenta años--me dediqué al cuidado de
otras desgraciadas como yo: víctimas, casi todas, de la pasión, de la
pobreza o del engano. Si somos mujeres, por qué se nos exije [sic]
virtudes de ángeles?" (p. 62). Moreover, since she is convinced her
brother lied about her baby dying at birth, Emilia adds that "no sólo
la compasión y caridad cristiana me llevan a atenderles y aconsejarles
a las pobres: quién sabe si alguna de ellas será MI HIJA" (p. 63).
It is significant Emilia recognizes the possibility that her
assumed daughter may also be a victim of a male-oriented society that
paradoxically demands women be chaste while expecting men to be sexually
agressive. In effect, Corylé is presenting a very definite image of the
female in Ecuadorian society, one which continually appears throughout
women's literary works.
Interestingly enough, Corylé does conceive of a woman character
who fights fire with fire; rather than resign herself to man's trickery,
the protagonist of "La mujer fuerte" (pp. 6A-73) defends her honor.
According to the story, she is deceived into eloping with her first
lover, a man who does not really love her. After two years of careful
planning, she invites the macho-type to her birthday party, shooting
him seven times before all the guests, and then exclaiming it is the
happiest day of her life because she has taken vengeance. Corylé ends
the story by affirming: "He aquí a la mujer fuerte" (p. 73).

152
While "Maestra de escuela" and "Empleada por fin" merely present
two tragic events experienced by many women, such stories as "Mama
Emilia" and "La mujer fuerte" are extremely important in so much as the
writer attempts to suggest probable female reactions to female problems;
that is, the author is conscious of women's unique position in life, and
consequently she tries to go beyond surface reality and describe those
motives and fears common to womankind. From a feminist literary point
of view, it should be remembered "that feminists do recognize the obvious
physical differences between men and women. Menstruation, pregnancy
(and the fear of it or desire for it), and childbirth are important
aspects of female experience and valid subjects for literary expression.
To counterbalance the use of women as sex objects in contemporary
literature, feminist critics seek subjective descriptions of female
sexuality."^
Consistent with this desire to mirror in literature women's own
experiences, Carmen Acevedo Vega describes the suffering experienced by
a woman whose husband repeatedly forces her to have abortions because they
are too poor to support a larger family.^ Keeping in mind the importance
of motherhood in Ecuadorian society, after many years of living in
quiet desperation--of becoming pregnant and planning for the future, and
then suddenly having to destroy those dreams--it is not surprising the
woman finally reaches a breaking point. Pregnant, once again, and fearing
another abortion, the protagonist decides she must defend the child, and
consequently there remains no other alternative than the murder of her
husband.
The problems and fears women endure when confronting an abortion
are treated even more clearly in "Las noticias," a story written by

153
Eugenia Viteri. Whereas Acevedo Vega concentrated on one woman's
refusal to have an abortion because she could no longer suppress her
maternal instincts, Viteri deals strictly with the anxieties and
doubts experienced at the time of the operation. From the outset,
the reader learns the protagonist is deeply concerned that, just as
her friend, Clemencia Gómez, she too may die from hemorrhaging.
Moreover, when considering what she is about to do, the feelings of guilt
gnaw at her conscience: "Sacudió la cabeza tratando de olvidar, pero
las not icias--aferradas a su cerebro--gi ran, se reducen y crecen como
danza infernal. Ayer fue encontrado un feto de . . ." (p. 35)-
In addition, the protagonist's feelings of emptiness and remorse
are greatly intensified when Viteri contrasts the precise descriptions
of fear and loneliness with an almost matter of fact way of presenting
the actual abortion: "Dos dedos en el sexo interrumpen pensamientos
y recuerdos. Aprieta los labios, gime. Algo debieron colocarle allf,
se esta desgarrando" (p. 37). In effect, the swift and unemotional
reference to the anticipated climax makes it strikingly clear no one
cares about or understands the woman's psychological struggle. According¬
ly, the story ends as if a routine business transaction had just been
completed: "Entrega al doctor unos billetes de Banco y se va, triste,
sola . . . se va" (p. 38).
Viteri's concern for women's problems and reality is further revealed
13
in "Un regalo para Jacinta," a story about a thirteen-year-old-pregnant
girl who must account for her behavior before a group of female school
teachers. However, the author uses Jacinta only as a point of departure;
the story is mainly designed to examine how teachers react to the girl's

pregnancy. As might be expected, Jacinta is expelled from school, a
decision made by the women despite the similar desires and experiences
they share with the young girl. While Jacinta offers her version of
what occurred, Viteri leads the reader into the minds of each teacher.
For example, the old maid recalls: "‘Y a mí, nunca, nunca me pasó
nada ... En vano había recorrido en los noches la inmensa playa
solitaria de la Libertad. . . . Nunca me topé con un hombre ... Ni
con un loco . . .'" (p. 21). As for the young teacher: "'Lo mío fue más
romántico, y he tenido suerte. En tanto tiempo, no he quedado
embarazada. Claro, que sé tomar precauciones . . .1,1 (pp. 21-22).
Regarding Jacinta's teacher, she is severely upset by the girl's story
because "esta historia se pareció a la suya" (p. 22).
In short, while the teachers readily identify with Jacinta, they
are compelled to treat her as a social outcast in order to protect their
own reputations; after all, a sympathetic reaction to the pregnancy could
make the teachers suspect in the eyes of public opinion. Consequently,
it is clear Viteri is not only criticizing the characters' hypocrisy,
but also the tendency among many women to suppress their own instincts
and sense of justice while outwardly conforming to the attitudes and
beliefs imposed upon them by society.
Although from a different point of view, Alicia Yáñez Cossio uses
1A
the same theme of self-denial and suppression in "Hansel y Gretel,"
a story about a woman who continually strives to satisfy her husband's
needs while ignoring her own instincts and goals. Specifically, both
have pets, but it is Gretel who gives up her sea horse because Hansel's
leopard "nunca se domesticaría mientras el caballito de mar estubiera

155
[sic] allí" (p. 43); both enjoy music (Gretel plays the harp and Hansel
listens to a high powered stereofonic system), but it is Gretel who must
give up her pastime: "Gretel tenía un arpa, y cuando sonaba la música
e1ectron Ica, se encerraba en un armario con su arpa, pero por más que
pegaba las orejas a las cuerdas, no percibía ningún sonido. Las notas
morían en sus dedos, de manera que creyó que el arpa estaba descompuesta
y la arrinconó en el fondo del armario" (pp. 43-44); both are fond of
the outdoors (Gretel prefers the mountains and Hansel, the beach), but it
is Gretel who must conform to her husband's choice of vacation spots:
"Hansel era campeón de sky acuático, y Gretel, desde la playa le aplaudía
todas sus brillantes maniobras mientras sus manos jugaban haciendo
montarías y caminos de arena ... De vez en cuando, ella suspiraba por
la montaña, pero sus suspiros se iban con la brisa . . ." (p. 44)
Clearly, Yánez Cossío uses this short story to point up the tragic
consequences inherent in women's (symbolized by Gretel) patronizing
attitude toward men: they can never achieve a positive self-image as
long as their importance is primarily measured in terms of male
expectations. In fact, Gretel unknowingly seals her fate when she takes
the extreme action of undergoing "el tratamiento tipo C que era el mas
seguro porque no ocasionaba ningún trastorno orgánico: simplemente las
apetencias y las reacciones femeninas se hacían tan débiles que las
mujeres se adaptaban paulatinamente a las del ser masculino que estaba
más cerca, haciéndose al cabo de un corto tiempo una prolongación de él
. . ." (pp. 44-45). Thus, despite an absence of overt preaching, "Hansel
y Gretel" illustrates the need for women to assert themselves in marriage
and/or society in order to realize their full potential as unique human
beings.

156
To sum up, women writers have used the short story as a viable
means of presenting their own perceptions of the female's position in
Ecuadorian society. Moreover, as was frequently the case in the essay
and the novel, the short narrative works also make clear women are
dissatisfied with the suffering and exploitation that characterize much
of their daily lives. Consequently, the short stories about women's
problems may be considered a significant part of the feminist-related
literature already studied in this dissertation because they reveal
basic social conditions that undermine the quality of women's lives
in Ecuador.^ ^
Women's Concern for Urban Problems
Commitment to national and regional social problems characterizes
twentieth-century Ecuadorian fiction, particularly since the publication
in 1930 of Los que se van, and the subsequent formation of El Grupo
de Guayaquil (José de la Cuadra, Joaquín Gallegos Lara, Enrique Gil
Gilbert, Alfredo Pareja Diezcanseco, and Demetrio Aguilera Malta). Not
surprisingly, while the female writers' interest in women's problems is
consistent with this major trend, they have also used the short story
to focus on the poverty, frustration, and despair of people from low
and middle class backgrounds. By and large, the women writers rarely
have been exposed directly to the Ecuadorian campo (an area which has
provided socialist literature with many themes), and thus, they tend
to deal almost exclusively with urban problems.
The two major writers who have best re-created city life in the
short story are Zoila María Castro and Eugenia Viteri, women whose
work clearly disputes the observation that

157
al relato ecuatoriano, nacido en 1930, le ha faltado
la presencia de una mujer . . . [Ya] que eso se ha
debido precisamente "a la tendencia y a la línea de
los relatistas ecuatorianos del ano 30," que se
propusieron golpear en pleno pecho a la hipocresía,
decir la verdad territorial y humana de la patria,
contar las cosas como son, con el habla de los
personajes, con us [sic] actitudes diarias, no siempre
gratas--nunca gratas—al oído o la conciencia de quienes...
confundían la literatura con el bordado o la confitería.
Indeed the presence of Castro and Viteri in Ecuadorian letters proves
not all women have abstained from writing realistic fiction because they
confuse 1iterature with trivial activities (i.e., "el bordado o la
confitería"), or because of an inability to write with the straight¬
forward style and direct language needed to represent effectively
people's most pressing needs in daily life. If anything, the reason
more women have not published stories of this nature may be attributed
to the "discrimen que ha pesado sobre la mujer, [que] la ha llevado a
cuidarse de opinar, de escribir libremente y sin tapujos por temor a
que la juzguen y enjuicien con serveridad, [que] la critiquen peor o
la comenten con saña."^ Accordingly, a few male critics have marvelled
at the "masculine" characteristics presént in the stories written by
Castro and Viteri: "Relatos duros son estos. Tan duros que las
gentes gazmoñas, acostumbradas a una literatura femenina de sensiblería
y tono mejor, [sic] se han asustado por el tono atrevido que utiliza la
autora [Zoila María Castro]. Se diría que no es una mujer la que mueve
1 g
a ese mundo agitado y doloroso . . ." With regard to Viteri, "asombra
que sea una mujer la que revele y narre sucesos, la que nos traslade
diálogos y personajes tradicionalmente tan poco 'femeninos' y tan
alejados del mundo de una muchacha. Este es el valor fundamental . . .

158
estar escritos por una mujer y no ser femeninos, sino vitales,
vigorosos, cuentos en una palabra. Ambientes del hampa--marihuaneros
: 19
y rateros--, de hospital y supersticiones, de adulterio . . .
Turning to the stories themselves, the major portion of Castro's
20
short fiction is found in Urbe, a collection which presents various
examples of the frustrations and anxieties common to many city dwellers
(probably from Guayaquil). "Ilusiones" (pp. 12-17), for example, takes
the reader to Guayaquil's black section, La Marimba, and contrasts the
optimistic struggle of some to rise out of the ghetto with the resignation
of others who believe there is no escape. More specifically, after many
years of hard work and sacrifice, a street vender sees her son graduate
from high school with honors, and immediately she understands he has a
chance of being someone in life. Moreover, the youth becomes a source
of pride for many neighbors: "--Hace tiempo dije yo: para que vean
los blancos que nos creen tan brutos que no lo somo, que cuando uno
de nosotros se empeña, o mejor dicho, se le puede sostener en el
colegio, da bastante" (p. 16).
Unfortunately, however, all illusions are shattered when the
bachiller is run over by a car, confirming the skepticism of Gallinazo,
the neighborhood juveni 1e delihquent who has continually mocked the efforts
and aspirations of the other characters. Castro writes:
El cholo bruto se fregó como yo en otro tiempo,
estudia que estudia. Que se haga, pues, ilusiones, ahora
ahi tieso! Me alegro por la vieja hambrienta.. La muy
tonta se creyó que iba a tener hijo doctor, y no contó con la
Zancuda.
Lo estremeció el gusto de sentirse vivo. Muy adentro
de su ser desequilibrado brotaba la desolación de la madre
batalladora: "Al probre lo acosa la caterva de calamidades:
si no es la enfermedad, es el vicio; si no las terribles

159
necesidades, la muerte. Lo cierto es que vivimos
de cabeza." ...
Hizo un gesto escurridizo, y huyo, a consumir
en la cantina el fruto de su ratería. (p. 17)
Clearly, Gallinazo is an individual who realizes the odds against moving
up the socio-economic ladder, and therefore his only goal in life is
to satisfy his most immediate needs and desires, usually accomplished
by preying on other people to acquire the needed money.
"El 'jurero'" (pp. 21-24) and "El turno" (pp. 39-43) are two
additional stories that present characters whose lives center around
their ability to use their wits and to take advantage of any opportunity
that might present itself, regardless of the means. In both cases, the
protagonists (an unemployed youth and a poor mayordomo) give false testimony
when they recognize the possibility of making a profit. Like Gallinazo
(the vulture), the mayordomo witnesses an accident and exclaims
unscrupuously: "'¡A este del auto tengo que sacarle harta plata!"
("El turno," p. 42). As for the jurero, he justifies his actions and the
subsequent death of an innocent victim by reasoning: "Todos lo matamos.
El mismo se mato. Ah, ah, la plata matando a la plata, ah!" (El
'jurero'," p. 24).
Of course, the lack of compassion and the unethical ways inherent
in a surviva1-of-the-fittest attitude are not only found within the poor
socio-economic sectors of the city; many professionals also have achieved
their success by furtive means. "La copia" (pp. 29”35) describes the rise
of a young lawyer who betrays his ideals of honesty and integrity,
quickly learning how to deceive his clients and how to associate with
the right people: "En el transcurso de los meses se desorientaba:

160
sus ¡deas habituales perdían la fuerza que lo tuvo atado a sus ideales,
interesándose menos en los problemas de su club político" (p, 29).
Moreover, "de su alma brotaba la satisfacción producida por su habilidad
para salirse del montón" (p. 33)-
Hence, rather than avoid dealing with the hypocrisies and petty
ambitions characteristic of much of society, Castro's Urbe clearly reflects
people's imperfections and often-times violent nature. Furthermore, to
complete her pessimistic view of life, Castro includes in her collection
"Memorias" (pp. 25-28) and "La partida" (pp. 36-38), two stories concerned
with the loneliness and sense of failure that frequently distress many
individuals. Specifically, the old woman who sadly recalls her past in
"Memorias" sighs: "'Otra de las cosas horribles de la vejez es no tener
con quien conversar'" (p. 25). At the same time, the father in "La
partida" decides to abandon his family because: "El chico amaba a la
madre. El no le era necesario, ni para el cariño ni para la crianza. . . .
Partía arrojado por la familia: no 1 o necesi taba" (pp. 37~ 38). In
effect, although unknown by most Ecuadorians and overlooked by most
literary critics, Castro's short stories do contradict the traditional
belief that women writers have not contributed significant material
to that large body of Ecuadorian fiction committed to offering the
public a more complete understanding of social problems and idio¬
syncrasies (i.e. , reality).^
While Castro has limited her short-story production since 19^9
to various pieces published in different periodicals, Eugenia Viteri
has become Ecuador's most prolific woman writer in the genre

161
since publishing her first collection of stories, El anillo y otros
22
cuentos in 1955- Despite the incessant problem of insufficient time
(usually because of domestic responsibilities and fatigue), during the
last twenty years Viteri has continued her efforts to describe the
sorrows and social injustices suffered by many Ecuadorians. As she
explains: "Crecí, pues sin traumas, sin amargura, pero muy consciente
del dolor, de la injusticia; por ello quise expresar mi protesta, mi
rabia, sentía algo muy dentro de mí que deseaba exponer a los demás;
hice poemas--ma1 os poemas--, interpreté poemas que me emocionaban,
hice teatro, radio-teatro; luego creí haber encontrado el medio preciso,
directo para expresar esa permanente inconformidad que latía en mí y
23
escribí un cuento." Moreover, since Viteri has always been inclined
to befriend the unskilled workers of very modest means, she writes:
"Tuve problemas por esto con mi madre, pero no me arrepiento, porque
me ayudaron a conocer mejor su dolor, es decir, su drama. El trato
con estos seres me ha permitido conocer a fondo el problema social
para escribirlo; los he captado, los he sentido, los he tomado de su
2h
fuente natural . . . ."
Fortunately, because Viteri is very conscious of being an artist
she has not used the short story as a political platform for her opinions.
In fact, she has written of the need to combine social content with
artistic expression:
La renuncia a la gratuidad, la aceptación de la
responsabilidad del escritor, la dotación de un mensaje
a la obra de arte, no pueden llevar a la pérdida del
contenido artístico, a la renuncia de la belleza.
Si el escritor se expresa a través del poema, el
relato o el drama, no puede olvidar que es un artista
y no un político, por más que tenga una aptitud política.

162
Pero cuando acomete la creación artística no está
actuando como político sino como artista responsable.
Y un artista responsable enfrenta los hechos de su
tiempo, por violentos y trágicos que sean, con
objetividad y pasión, pero sin abdicar de su destino
creador.^5
Consistent with this literary perspective, therefore, Viteri has avoided
moralizing or using commonplace political innuendoes that normally limit
a work's appeal to a very specific political or geographical context.
Clearly, she has attempted to create characters and situations which
reflect the emotions and concerns of all humanity: "El localismo
limita, hasta empequeñece la obra de arte. Esto no quiere decir que
la esencia, la raíz, el espíritu del hecho o la anécdota esté ausente;
pero sí quiero guardar, mantener . . . ese equilibrio maravilloso entre
lo inmediato y lo universal. Regionalismo no; el mundo que nos rodea sí,
y esto ya es un i versa 1
Compared to Urbe, the most distinguishable feature in Viteri's
stories is that most characters care about other people; that is, there
usually appears a situation in which Viteri illustrates man's ability
and willingness to help others. This preponderant theme of human
compassion and comaraderie seems to be a kind of reaction against the
actual lack of solidarity among people in contemporary society. Accord¬
ing to Viteri: "En todo lo que he escrito he pretendido dar un
mensaje de solidaridad. Creo que al hombre de mi siglo le falta eso:
so-1 i-da-ri-dad, comprensión, paz. Se nota, se respira una marcada
ausencia de valores morales, acentuados en nuestra sociedad individualista
cien por cien, donde cada quien pretende los primeros, los segundos, los
. 27
terceros, es decir todos los puestos."

163
Essentially, then, Viteri has written numerous stories which
counter man's egotism and selfishness by suggesting an alternative
pattern of behavior based on compassion and disinterest. "El secreto"
(El anillo y otros cuentos, pp. 33—38) , for example, is about a man
whose dying wife confesses she has been unfaithful, and that their son
really has another father. The deceived husband immediately reacts;
he feels driven by the need to discover the real father in order to
avenge his pride and honor. Shortly afterwards, however, the protagonist
realizes that, despite everything, he is the only father the child knows.
Consequently, he puts aside his own feelings of shame, and rather than
reject the child—symbol of his cuckoldry--, he responds to the boy's
needs of love and affection: "Son acaso solamente hijos nuestros, los
que llevan nuestra sangre . . .? . . .'Sí", es mi hijo, el hijo de mi
amor!" Y padre e hijo, confundidos en un solo abrazo, se fueron rumbo
a la vi da" (pp. 37“38).
In "Un buen trabajo" (El anillo y otros cuentos, pp, M-^7),
Viteri offers another character who understands the need to make certain
sacrifices for someone else. Specifically, during his stay in a hospital,
Fernando promises a dying patient he will take care of the latter's
wife and children who have no means of supporting themselves. Un-
fortunatley, Fernando is also poor; his total capital comes to a
meager two sucres. Nevertheless, he wants very much to fulfill his
promise, and hopefully, alleviate somewhat the family's suffering.
Hence, Fernando invites the dead man's wife and children to eat in a
nice restaurant where he receives a beating because he cannot pay for
the meal. Later, he exclaims: "--Fermín, Fermín. Tus hijas ya tienen

164
qué comer. Hoy he conseguido un buen trabajo" (p. bj). Although it
is not clear how Fernando finds a job, the important point here is
that, despite his own problems, he is concerned about a total stranger's
abandoned family, and above all, in the absence of any legal or moral
obligation, he is determined to take care of Fermin's wife and children.
"El oficio" (El anillo y otros cuentos, pp. 85~93) represents a
slight variation to Viteri's concern for human solidarity, and moreover,
it is a story that further illustrates the marked difference in tone
which exists between Urbe and Viteri's work, in general. Unlike
Castro's characters who unscrupuously seek out their victims, the
protagonist of "El oficio" makes a conscious effort to earn money by
trickery, but without harming other people. In effect, when the youth's
father, a bogus spiritist, tries to persuade him to become a doctor or
a lawyer rather than another brujo, the boy emphatically points out:
" — ¿Abogado? ¡Eso sí que no, papá.' ¿Abogado como el doctor de aquí
al lado? Si eso es peor que este ... De aquí, la gente al menos
sale contenta. De la casa del doctor, los montuvios salen llorando.
28
Esa viuda del otro día como maldecía! ¡Abogado, nunca!--" (p. 92).
Na.turally, there are other aspects in Viteri's fiction that remain
to be studied (i.e., the role of children, the importance of using the
imagination as a means of escaping one's misery, and a closer examination
of women in the stories), however the most significant element is
certainly the author's apparent interest in deviate literature, a
rarity in Latin American narrative. On four different occasions Viteri
29
writes about homosexuals, a particularly explosive theme when con¬
sidering the importance in Ecuador (Latin America) of the Church and

165
the concepts of morality, femininity, and masculinity. Nevertheless,
despite the social pressures that have turned writers, especially
women writers, away from homosexuality as a viable theme, Viteri
has stated:
Si mi compromiso es con el hombre de mi siglo, de mi
mundo y mi deseo es llegar hasta él con mi mensaje
solidario aun [sic] en sus más oscuros instintos,
errores, desviaciones, ¿cómo no hablar de sus negativismos
también, cómo no hacerme eco de sus flaquezas? No hacerlo
sería mostrar del hombre sólo aquello que se considera
bueno, decente, presentable. Esto sería una gran
estudpidez, ignorancia o hipocresía . . . Todo,
absolutamente todo lo que es inherente al ser humano
me interesa, me amarga su drama, me preocupa su tragedia
física o moral. JSmás alejaré de mi temática estos
tópicos no para aplaudirlos, pero sí para tratar de
explicarlos, comprenderlos, desentrañarlos, en el
deseo--a lo mejor--de ayudarlo, jamás para colgarlo
sin antes oírlo.^
Iq "Los impuros" (Doce cuentos, pp. 55~58), her first story about
homosexuality to appear, Viteri is really concerned about the parents
of one homosexual; after the son commits suicide, the mother and father
try to explain how they failed in their parental roles, revealing their
guilt feelings and shame. Also, it is interesting to note that although
Viteri is careful not to mention the term homosexual, there can be no
mistake about the story's theme. That is, when one of the son's friends
visits the parents to pay his last respects, the mother explains: '"Es
el . . . un hombre con distinción y modales: he reconocido su voz.
En la habitación oscura no pude distinguirlos. Pero eran sus voces,
sus gemidos. Cada día, uno distinto. ¡Impuros!'" (p. 57). Curiously
enough, Viteri makes clear that while the parents are incapable of
understanding and accepting their son's lifestyle, it is the homosexual
friend who really has appreciated and perceived the dead youth's

qualities: "--aún tengo en mis manos su perfume, en mi piel su clima,
su plenitud en mi sangre! ¡Fuego era su alma, poema su cuerpo, sus
labios: herida canción!" (p. 57)
Unlike "Los impuros," no one refers to the virtues of the homo-
31
sexual in "Nuevas Lilianas," a story about a married woman who is
mistreated and persecuted by her sadistic and deviate husband, described
as: "Un enfermo sin cuidado, sin disciplina, sin amor, . . Besides
being the victim of her husband's cruel jokes (i.e., being locked in
a bathroom for hours while showering, and in complete darkness),
Liliana describes the tension and suffering she has experienced since
her wedding night: "No sé por que sentí asco . . . Junto a este hombre
yo debía compartir todos los días de mi vida. Ya en la casa, esta que
hoy me sirve de prisión, sin decirme una palabra, me instaló en la cama
y salió con ese paso suyo, precipitado y breve. Al ir a vestirme note
dos cosas: yo estaba intacta, como antes de mi matrimonio, sólo que
. . . mi pubis había sido . . . rasurado. Una semana después vino a
mi lecho y como explicación así de paso: 'Tuve que hacerlo para salvarme'
(emphasis added). This last statement, however, seems to suggest the
tremendous social pressure that has forced her husband to marry. More¬
over, although the story is told from Liliana's point of view-describing
her as the victim--, it may very well be that the man's sadistic behavior
towards her is his only means of fighting back against a society that
demands he conform to accepted male behavior.
More recently, Viteri has written "Florencia" (Los zapatos y los
sueños, pp. 1-6), a story which intimates that homosexuality may be a
satisfactory alternative for some women who consider marriage and

167
masculine domination too much to bear. It is significant that Viteri
has commented: "Ha habido casos en colegios, donde hay chicas que
dicen: 'Yo no me meto con hombres porque me desacreditan y me dejan
hijos. Entonces me causaría mas satisfacción meterme con una chica
32
que ni me desacredita ni me deja hijos."1 However, since not all
women deviates, or potential deviates, are willing to adopt such a
radical position in a highly traditionalist society, many have quietly
resigned themselves to the unfulfilling, but socially acceptable
institution of marriage.
Viteri focuses on this problem when referring briefly to the lives
of two women: Isaura, a confirmed lesbian, and Florencia, the ex-lover
who eventually chooses to search for "un capitán de ojos verdes"
(p. 3)- Unfortunately, after Florencia marries, all turns out tragically
for both women: while Florencia becomes an abandoned mother of five
hungry children, Isaura is never really satisfied with her singing
career. Also, the marked difference between the past and present is
clearly emphasized by Isaura who nostalgically recalls her relation¬
ship with Florencia: "¡Juntas eramos invencibles! Fuertes como la
hierba que agita el viento, baña el polvo, ... se mantiene erguida
cara al cielo. . . . Cogíamos peces que luego preparábamos en
improvisados braseros, con los pies en el agua penetrada de misterio
y nuestros cuerpos ardientes hundidos en la arena, comíamos felices!"
(p. 3)- As for the present, Isaura remarks: "Nunca le dije [a Florencia]
lo sucio de la radio. ¡Ella me creía triunfadora en un mundo de mujeres
reprimidas! Sus cinco hijos escuálidos, harapientos, la ataban a una
piedra. Empezaba cuando el sol todavía no se animaba a salir y se

168
iba con él, no para encontrar una mesa dispuesta, una sopa caliente.
Apenas para reventarse el cerebro y poner cara de palo al tendero de
la esquina que hace mucho no fía" (p, b).
Consequently, when Florencia dies of tuberculosis, and in complete
poverty, Isaura realizes they both have thrown away their opportunity to
be happy. With deep sorrow and an obvious feeling of loneliness, she
grieves over having lost her true love:
Se arreglo [isaura] un poco frente a un pequeño espejo,
tomé su cartera y al comprobar la falta de un pañuelo,
hurgó rápidamente en el cajón de su mesatocador. La
presencia de un retrato olvidado la sacudió e hizo que
se sentara vencida al fin. Con ojos extasiados contempló la
imagen de una mujer joven y alegre. En el reverso: Para
el amor de mi vida, Isaura.
"¡Eran otros tiempos, querida, ¡cuanto nos amábamos!
Y sin embargo, te marchaste con ése que ni siguiera tenía
los ojos verdes que tu anhelabas. No te importaron mis
besos ni las canciones que aprendí para ti. ¡Todo lo
cambiaste por un pecho viril, ah mujeres, mujeres.1" (pp. 5~6)
With regard to the remaining story, "Los exaltados" (Los zapatos
y los sueños, pp. 1-^), Viteri abandons the somewhat psychological method
of focusing on people's attitudes and reactions to homosexuality and
actually describes a forced act of sodomy. Briefly, when members of a
street gang try to beat up Pablo, Luis Arturo defends his friend by
challenging to a fight Jacinto, the head of the rival group. After
arriving at the designated meeting place, Luis Arturo and Pablo realize
they have been tricked:
Entusiasmado con lo que creía su triunfo sobre los
mequetrefes del patio, Jacinto dispuso que colocaran a
los dos muchachos uno a continuación del otro, con los
brazos y las piernas amarrados a sus cuerpos. . . .
Con gracia femenina y coquetería de estriptisera se
sacó el pantalón; un bikini rojo con rombos azules, después
y . . . agitándolo se deslizó sinuoso por encima del primer
chico. A la altura de la cabeza, puesto en cuclillas,

169
absorto y sombrío, hizo coincidir su falo en la boca del
muchacho. Se irguió esbelto, gracioso, ligero. Saludó
con un brevísimo movimiento de cabeza a sus amigos y
sin dejar de agitar su bikini con rombos azules, se
alejó cimbreante. Roncos de gritar y reír, histéricos
hasta las lagrimas, celebraban a Jacinto imitado
rápidamente. (pp. 3~^)33
In short, while it may be argued that "Los exaltados" is not an
example of deviate literature because the homosexual act described seems
to be simply a prank carried out by a group of juvenile delinquents,
it does, however, illustrate the daring with which Viteri writes. More¬
over, since the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana has decided to publish
~ 3 A
Los zapatos y los sueños, one might conclude that today's women have
greater freedom than their predecessors to express themselves in
literature. Indeed due to the efforts made by such writers as Viteri
and Zoila María Castro, two women who have openly challenged traditional
stereotypes and taboos, aspiring contemporary women writers do have
a significant, although still limited, source of material to draw on
for needed inspiration and artistic thematic guidance.
Other women who occasionally have-experimented with the short story
to reflect some of the social problems readily connected with urban life
(i-e-, the failings of bureaucracy, the poverty of slum dwellers, and
the hypocrisies of the professional class) are Carmen Acevedo Vega and
Violeta Luna, two writers who have mainly cultivated poetry. With
regard to their fiction, particularly noteworthy is Acevedo Vega's
"La línea 1 a short story that deplores the expansion of Guayaquil's
suburbio: "Bien dice Ud,, es la suerte del pobre; cada vez nos botan
más y más afuera sobre el fango, al manglar; nosotros sufrimos todas

170
1 as inclemenc¡as, fabricamos encima del pantano y nos resignamos a
vivir sin luz ni agua, y cuando ya está poblado viene el Municipio y
bota unas cuantas camionadas de cascajo en las calles, y en seguida
vienen los ricos a acaparar los solares" (p. 3). As for Violeta Luna,
besides apparent communist beliefs, her collection of short stories,
36
entitled Los pasos, amarillos, reveals the same openness and candor
that was seen in Viteri's work, especially in those pieces dealing with
rape ("Un ser anónimo," pp. 33“36) and lesbianism ("Cristina," pp. 59-64).
The Indian Motif
Although women writers have used literature chiefly to reflect their
urban experiences and concerns, if one considers the fact Ecuador is an
Andean country, it is not surprising some authors also have written works
which focus on the Indian motif. Basically, these writers have portrayed
the Indian from two very different points of view: (1) as an idealized
figure reminiscent of romanticism; and (2) as a victim of exploitation,
a theme common to twentieth-century indigenista literature. In the
first case, the major writers to have created Indian heroes and heroines
(i.e., wise men, brave warriors, pure and chaste maidens/princesses)
appear to be Eugenia Tinajero Martínez de Allen, author of Leyendas
37
indígenas, and Laura Perez de Oleas Zambrano, author of Historias¿
leyendas y tradiciones ecuatorianas. ^
In typical fashion, Tinajero Martínez avoids describing the grave
problems Indians face in modern Ecuador and writes "Los ojitos de
Mishqui-Huarmi" (Leyendas indígenas, pp. 7-11), a story about a young
maiden who is loved by both her fiance and the sun. After stealing

171
away the girl, the sun relieves the fiance's sorrow by converting him
into a rock; henceforth, this enables the young couple to be in
constant contact: "Cuando el sol la baña [la roca] en su luz por la
mañana, parece que por ella circula aún la ardiente sangre del indio
enamorado, y cuando viene la noche, puede este [sic] contemplar alia,
junto a la Cruz del Sur, dos estrellitas, que son los ojos de Hishqui
Huarmi, que le miran dulcemente desde lejos y por siempre" (pp. 10-11).
While most of the stories found in Leyendas indígenas are similar
39
to "Los ojitos de Mishqui-Huarmi," i.e., sentimental love stories,
the ones written by Perez de Oleas frequently glorify the Inca past and
exaggerate the Indians' noble, valorous character. In "Atahualpa, sabio,
profeta y poeta" (pp. 51-62), the author narrates a conversation she has
had with an old Indian who knows by heart the wise sayings Atahualpa
supposedly composed. Indeed after reading some of the examples, one
is inclined to think of the Inca as another Solomon:
Porque la obediencia y la sabidurfa valen más que
el oro que adorna mi persona, (p. 55)
No hurtéis el agua ni el sembrado, porque nada
dulce será lo escondido y rapiñado. (p. 55)
Huye, hijo mío, de las manos que derraman sangre, de
la lengua mentirosa, de los ojos torvos y de los pies
que corren hacia el mal. (p. 56)
Porque mejor es dar poco con justicia que muchas
víctimas y con iniquidad. (p. 58)
Further praise of Atahualpa and the Inca culture, in general, is
presented in "Cori Duchicela" (pp. 141-149), a story in which the author
directly intervenes when referring to the Conquest:
. . . aumento el dolor de los kitus por la perdida del
más grande y sabio de los Schyris, de aquel soberano

172
que no solamente supo guiar con sabiduría y bondad a
su pueblo, sino que fue, ademas, el Inca que llegó a un
grado extraordinario de cultura, tan avanzada para su
época, que en realidad causan asombro la finura y
cultivo que poseyó su espíritu, pues, según últimos
datos consignados en un libro recientemente publicado,
existen unos bellísimos y delicados poemas atribuidos a
Atahualpa. De ser esto verdad, quedaríamos perplejos
ante el horrendo crimen español que hizo, con Atahualpa
y su reino, desaparecer una gran cultura. (pp. 147-148)
With regard to the indigenista literature, however, the authors
are not concerned with extolling the Inca past, nor are they interested
in dwelling on idealized archetypes that often make the reading public
forget about the real Indians. One of the earliest stories of this type
v 4o
written by a woman is "Taita Imbabura: Leyenda indígena," a work
which reflects the humiliation and sexual abuse suffered by many Indian
women in Ecuador. Briefly, whereas most mothers believe their daughters
have given birth to caucasian-1ike children because of having been
raped by a mysterious wandering spirit, Taita Imbabura, Maria Juana knows
the girls have been raped by the local landowner. Consequently, she
prepares to defend her daughter: "No, y no; el malvado que ultrajó a
la madre no pisoteará el honor de su pr.opia hija! . . . María Juana,
blandiendo un afilado puñal guarda día y noche la entrada de su choza.
Su hija no irá a la cosecha; su longa no irá por las ovejas; su hija
no cree en la existencia de Taita Imbabura."
Of course, a problem with most indigenista literature is that
the writers rarely go beyond the external realities (i.e., poverty,
illiteracy, injustice) that are readily perceived by whites; moreover,
the thoughts and reactions of the Indian characters in fiction are more
consistent with a western mentality than an Indian one. For example,

173
Mary Corylé has written numerous stories which employ the traditional
indigenista pattern: the cruel and insensitive white man (i.e., priest,
landowner, government official) victimizes the poor and innocent Indian.
Consequently, one frequently reads in Coryle's stories such archetypical
passages as:
—Mira,--lo dijo el Cura—no me niegues, la Dolores
era blanca; entonces, son quince sucres que tienes que
pagar de los derechos. La misa con música y ocho ceras,
quince mas y diez responsos cantados, para que tu mujer
suba de contadito al cielo, a sucre responso ... Me
llevo la vaca, tú te quedas con lo demás.
--A los indios y los perros hay que darles palo a
que entiendan. --Y sacando las riendas de uno de sus
caballos desolló con ellas las tostadas espaldas de la
Ugi.
Zj 2
--No te dije animal, que si vuelves, te daría látigo?
Siendo indios no más, por quí mos di ahuantar-pes; bestias
tame cansan. Y por ísto hay llamadu,' para vir si dentramus
en Cuinca y acabamus con los huiracochas [caballeros]. Con
piedras, palos y algon
Quiren ostedes ayodar
Notwithstanding this simplistic view of the Indian, however, Coryle
is aware of the complex differences which exist between the white/mestizo
and Indian cultures, and therefore has written at least two stories that
go beyond mere dualism (i.e., good vs. evil). In "Curato de montana"
{Gleba, pp. 11-18), a young prist is bewildered when his Indian parish
rejects his honesty and efforts to help the community prosper, accusing
him of having caused the present drought:
Los indios, desde el primer momento, acusaron de tan
desusado flagelo al Huahua [Niño] Tai tito: porque había
quitado todas las fiestas; porque no dejaba dormir, cada
mes, la noche de Renovación del Amo Sacramentado, a los
priostes borrachos, hombres, mujeres, mujeres y hasta
huahuas, dentro de la iglesia; porque no iba con ellos
a los anejos y presidía las comilonas y borracheras
generales, que terminaban siempre en fenomenales grescas
a escopetica, como no mos di poder-pes.
7^3

17*4
y peleas. En fin, el Pueblo pagaba la masonería del
Párroco, que no podía ver esas cosas que tanto gustaban
a Taita Diosito. (p. 17)
Clearly, Corylé is pointing out a widespread problem which has
prevented the two cultures from living together in harmony: too often
well-intentioned whites antagonize Indians when they very se 1f-righteous1y
insist the latter adopt outright a set of alien values and beliefs.
This same sensitivity to and acceptance of the Indian world appear
in "Soplando el pingullo" (Mundo pequeño, pp. 55-62), a story which
illustrates the joy experienced by a dying boy who comes into contact
with his own culture. After refusing the many toys offered him on
Christmas Eve, he takes up a cornet and enthusiastically begins to
blow what he imagines to be an Indian flute, El pingullo: "El viento
silbando en la paja del cerro; los mugidos del ganado bravio; la
quipa convocadora de indios, para las mingas; ... el pingullo del
Tío Juancho llorando en la quebrada: todo esto oyó el longuito en
la música del juguete" (p. 62). In effect, Corylé recognizes the
Indians' deep attachment to their own culture, and is apparently
suggesting they not be expected to renounce it completely.
Another story that should be mentioned is Zoila María Castro's
"Amor" {Urbe, pp. 8-11), a work which describes the prejudice against
which a successful Indian lawyer-journalist-professor fights, particularly
when he falls in love with a white divorcee. As might be expected, the
protagonist can no longer conform to the inferior social status normally
associated with the Indian race: "No, él no se contenta con el amor
de las cholitas; y chicas del montón que lo consideraban su igual,
aunque triunfador con su título de abogado, su prestigio de periodista

175
y su cátedra universitaria. . . . Querfa casarse con la sensación y
la seguridad que subfa por la escala social" (p. 10). The obvious
point of interest here is the problems and pressures an Indian faces
once he is successful in terms of white society's values and ideals.
Essentially, then, although the Indian motif represents a
secondary theme in women writers' short stories, the available material
certainly demonstrates the authors' interest in Indian folklore, and
¿4
their concern with the suffering endured by the indigenous communities.
Indeed several writers have contributed to a greater understanding and
appreciation of the Ecuadorian Indian: on the one hand, the idealized
portrayals of Indian figures, many of which are based on Indian legends,
reflect an attempt by some women to conserve a vital part of national
oral history; on the other hand, such writers as Castro and Corylé
have tried to bridge the cultural gap between the white and Indian
races by avoiding a purely dualistic point of view characteristic of
much of indigenista literature.
The Theme of Con témporary Anguish in the
Short Story
The anguish and feelings of alienation of many modern writers who
face a paradoxical world in which scientific progress and advanced
technology seem to move people closer to total destruction has also
troubled Lupe Rumazo and Alicia Yáñez Cossfo, two writers who have re¬
vealed their contemporary fears in numerous short stories which describe
the individual's search for identity and meaningful existence. Rumazo's
be
"Edad fetiche,"
for example, presents a young woman's fear of being

completely absorbed by the dehumanizing effects of a machine-oriented
wo r1d:
176
Un señor me da un golpe en el brazo; quiero protestar,
pero ya se ha ido rápidamente; he visto su expresión de
sonámbulo. Va también al empleo. No tenemos el rostro
libre de los niños que se dirigen a la escuela. ¿No es
acaso el trabajo una escuela dedicada a enseñarnos las
relaciones con las máquinas? Yo detesto la mfa; enfrenta
su perfección eléctrica a mi incapacidad. "Todo le
sucede por estar nerviosa; contrólese y verá como no
comete faltas . . ." Mi máquina verde ceniza no tolera
desequilibrios. ¿Como introducir su frialdad dentro de
mí? A pesar de todo, la besaría en ocasiones; es mi
salvadora en trances angustiosos. ¿Por que besan los
esclavos a los patrones? (p. 5*0
Clearly, the protagonist is deeply troubled over the power of machines
to dominate and determine human behavior. Whether it be the "sonámbulo"
described above who apparently has worked so long with machines that he
no longer can vary his routine, or the protagonist herself who
admittedly feels inadequate because she is not as capable as her
typewriter, people are obviously governed by a machine-like mentality
which values efficiency and production more than interpersonal relation¬
ships that traditionally have given men and women a sense of importance.
Moreover, the narrator's suffering is further heightened when
she alludes to her own struggle against living a life of daily/routine
work that tends to numb one's sense of creativity and originality:
Luchan en mi dos tendencias: aquella que me obliga a
laborar en una forma excluyente y aquella que me señala
un peligro. "Usted ha vendido su tiempo, no su mente y
sus facultades; no caiga en el abajamiento con tanta
facilidad," me dice la segunda. "Usted debe triunfar en
su labor como ha dominado todo lo que se ha propuesto; , . ."
interviene, autoritaria, la primera, (pp. 60—61)
Later she laments: "Estoy desorientada. Sólo busco la perfección de
lo mecánico. Ya no intenta brindar ayuda; es inútil, me voy insensi-

177
bi 1 izando paulatinamente. El aspecto sensible y, sobre todo, el de
satisfacción personal va perdiendo día a día sus contornos, diluyéndose"
(p. 62).
This same concern over the dangers of modern technology is also
seen in Alicia Yáñez Cossió's collection of futuristic stories,
Triquitraque. However, whereas Rumazo talked about struggling against
the dehumanizing trends of contemporary society, Yáñez projects further
into the future and describes a world already controlled by computers and
the excesses of cybernetics. In "La nina fea" (pp. 29-31), for example,
one learns that the medical discoveries which have eliminated death also
have worsened today's overpopulation and hunger problems, and consequently,
people are shown to be even more alienated and disoriented than at
p resent:
Abajo, los estadistas han llegado a un acuerdo
mediante el cual no habrá otra guerra mundial, pero
la humanidad casi la desea porque en las ciudades no
hay espacio suficiente para convivir. ... El aire
es rancio y los alimentos sintéticos no abastecen.
Algunos piensan que dos bombas de hidrógeno serían
suficientes para limpiar el mundo. ... Se supone
que en algún lugar secreto existe una gran nave
inter-planetaria dispuesta a llevarse las semillas
humanas a otros planetas ... Se dicen tantas cosas
. . . y este temor es el que hace que los hombres se
odien entre sí y se miren como enemigos.
El miedo y la inseguridad ha ido formando poco a poco
una generación fría y desalmada, (p. 29)
In effect, people's increased dependence on science and automation
coupled with an ever-present fear of destruction have removed any
possible sense of human solidarity. Hence, after a child is killed
by a "vehículo supersónico" in "Uno menos" (pp. 18-21), Yáñez describes
the indifference that characterizes people's reactions to human suffering:

178
"La gente que transitaba de sus asuntos a su rutina y vio el espectáculo,
se encogió de hombros y dijo: 'Uno menos1" (p. 20). Moreover, the
child's death is further depersonalized when the author writes:
"Instantáneamente apareció en el lugar un carro de limpieza y con una
pala mecánica recogió los restos del nino. Los metió en su fondo junto
a la basura que traía. Luego limpió la calle con un chorro de agua y
desapareció . . (p. 20).
Yanez's futuristic view becomes even more pessimistic in "La IWM
Mil" (pp. 46-49), a story about a kind of pocket calculator which does
all of man's thinking: "Hace mucho tiempo, todos los profesores
desaparecieron tragados y digeridos por el nuevo sistema" (p. 46).
After a period of time, however, various people decide they want to
be self-sufficient, knowledgeable, and hence, they begin to study
•the alphabet in order to learn how to read. Later, enthusiastic over
their intellectual achievements, the members of the group travel
to Takandia, a land where there are no machines to govern their
existence. Notwithstanding this return to a completely human world,
Yáñez quickly points out that the future dangers described throughout
Triquitraque are still present: "Los hombres que han llegado a
Takandia se dan cuenta de que por primera vez en sus vidas están
entre verdaderos seres humanos y empiezan a sentirse felices. Buscan
amigos, gritan como ellos, y empiezan a quitarse la ropa y dejarla
tirada entre las matas. Los habitantes de Takandia se olvidan por
unos momentos de los visitantes para pelearse por las ropas que
encuentran tiradas . . ." (p. 4). In short, there seems to be no
escape from man's incessant search for something new and unknown--a

179
natural instinct apparently destined to lead humanity to eventual
dest ruction.
Of course, while much of contemporary anguish and fear has been
attributed to automation and subsequent depersonalization of life, not
all writers have described their concerns exclusively in terms of man's
struggle to overcome domination by machines. In fact, a significant
portion of contemporary fiction has focused on the sense of futility
that people experience when realizing they are unable to communicate
or identify with others. Consistent with this trend, Lupe Rumazo has
4 7
written "La marcha de los batracios," a story about a novelist who
decides to commit suicide because he cannot satisfactorily articulate
his i deas whi ch totally contradict established beliefs: "Estaba harto.
Sí, en un tiempo él había pensado que su novela habría podido producir
una conmoción. La novela hecha, terminada en trescientas paginas,
aunque estuviera íntegra en su cabeza; era una novela de la marcha, que
paradójicamente no marchaba. La novela detenida, como había que
detener hoy, y no después, la existencia.de su autor" (pp. 33_3^)•
Besides additional stories ("Barrer desperdicios" and "Ping-
pong," in Sílabas de la tierra) which illustrate the feelings of
loneliness and estrangement characteristic of contemporary life,
Rumazo's chief contribution to women's fiction in Ecuador is not her
use of innovative themes, but rather her ability to write with the
most avant-garde literary techniques presently in vogue in the Latin
American narrative. Unlike other Ecuadorian women writers who have
been primarily concerned with demonstrating to the reader a specific
problem, Rumazo writes psychological studies in which the characters

180
themselves discuss their inner-most thoughts. Consequently, because
she has abandoned a traditional (chronological) narrative technique that
deals mainly with immediate social problems, numerous stories are
marked by the author's experimentation with time, interior monologues,
stream of consciousness, and counterpoint.
For example, in "Edad fetiche" Rumazo recreates the manner in
which the human mind functions when she combines real conversations
with imaginary ones, and above all, when she abandons conventional
paragraphing and punctuation. Accordingly, during the narrator's
dreams about meeting her fiance, one reads:
¿Intuías que este es nuestro último encuentro?
¿Por que va a ser el último? . . . No me verás nunca
más. Faltan dos metros para que llegue el vehículo.
Le hago serías de prisa. ¿Por qué, por qué?, pregunta.
. . . Señorita, no ofa sus llamadas; no hay volumen
en su voz. Si no volteo a mirar, no me doy cuenta,
interviene el chofer, . . . Pablo pretende acompañarme.
No lo dejo ... Me ofendes con tu rechazo. Pues a mí me
ofende más que no te decidas a amarme; tú eres el hombre
que yo quiero. Siga rápido, rápido, le ordeno al con¬
ductor. (p. 135)
Similarly "La marcha de los batricios" reveals Rumazo's interest
in experimenting with new forms of presenting dialogue:
Y la familia de Mahler esperándole con un gran
almuerzo con pollo y él, no soy antropófago, por eso
no mato animales en mis obras. Y la esposa, riéndose de
la occurrencia, si hubiéramos sabido su aversión; pero
hay tantas otras cosas que hemos preparado para usted, y
él enigmático, con voz ronca, prefiero no comer nada,
solamente mirarlos; ustedes son míos, de mi misma sangre,
aunque a Mahler no lo quieran ciertos intelectuales, así
de frente y de pronto para desconcertarlos. Y ella,
furiosa, pero disimulando, deseando al mismo tiempo
saber qué dicen de su marido. Y él, les contaré eso,
. . . (p. 24)
In addition, both stories mentioned above show Rumazo understands
reality in terms of multiplicity and simultaneidad, a basic concept found

181
in much of contemporary fiction. Significantly, each work recreates a
total experience (i.e., the narrator's youth in "Edad fetiche;" the
novelist's last few days before committing suicide in "La marcha de
los batracios") by presenting a fragmented series of seemingly unrelated
events and ideas, independent of logical time/space patterns. As a
result, Benjamin Carrion has commented: "Lupe Rumazo nos prueba que
tiene capacidad y vocación para romper las ataduras de la receta
balzaciana del relato: contar sucedidos. . . . Tiene rotas las
ataduras--tan difíciles de rompei—de la vieja manera de contar, de
la que se esta sacudiendo, con ímpetu inesperado, la juventud literaria
latinoamericana. Sabe ella de los nuevos tempos para medir espacio y
tiempo. . . . Lupe Rumazo esta muy bien armada para . . . darnos [a
los ecuatorianos] un novelista de la gran línea latinoamericana que se
48
inicia.
Besides the themes and works already discussed, some women have
written children's literature intended to entertain and educate young
people. According to Manuel del Pino, editor of Antología de literatura
49
infantil ecuatoriana (cuento y teatro), children's literature is
"una narración generalmente corta, sugestiva, interesante, bellamente
escrita, llena de incidentes, que encierra siempre alguna enseñanza
moral y es producto casi exclusivo de la imaginación del autor. . . .
[Ademas,] se narran sucesos extraordinarios, prodigiosos, sobrenaturales,
de árboles que cantan y bailan, de pájaros que hablan y razonan, de
botas que caminan solas, etc." Consistent with this definition are
stories written by Mary Coryle, Teresa Crespo de Salvador, Julia Ramón

182
de Espinosa, Emma Hipatia Gordillo Rodríquez, Graciela del Pino A.,
and Angélica Martínez de Vinueza,"^

183
Notes
Chapter VI
Cornelia Martínez, "Paulina (impresiones y recuerdos)," Los
mejores cuentos ecuatorianos, ed. Inés Barrera and Eulalia Barrera
(Quito: Empresa Editora "El Comercio," 19^8), pp. 152-163; Rosario
Mera, "El eterno Don Juan," Los mejores cuentos ecuatorianos_, pp.
260-263.
2
Galería del espíritu: Mujeres de mi patria, pp. S3~3h. Accord¬
ing to Carvajal, Ayala Gonzalez published her first story in I89A, five
years after "Paulina (impresiones y recuerdos)". It is assumed Carvajal
was referring to Ayala Gonzalez as the first woman who actually dedicated
herself to writing short stories.
^Ibid., p. 95.
ii
I, 8-9 (July-August, 1918), 171. Once she began to publish in
Ecuador, Ayala Gonzalez wrote mainly for Guayaquil's La Ilustración3
publishing the already-mentioned stories: "La procesión de las ánimas,"
I, 2 (May 27, 1917), 53, 56; "La maldición," I, 1 (May 6, 1917), 22.
en e 1
"’"Cultura femenina:
siglo XX," p. 327.
Floración
intelectual de la mujer ecuatoriana
Cristóbal Garcés Larrea, review of Urbe by Zoila Marfa Castro,
in Letras del Ecuador_, V, 53-5i* (January-February, 1950), 15-
The Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana has núcleos in each region;
the núcleos have their own literary magazines and serve the interests
of their respective regions. Letras del Ecuador (Quito) and Cuadernos
del Guayas (Guayaquil) are the principal publications because they are
from Ecuador's two major cities. Unfortunately, due to economic and
organizational problems, much of the Casa's effectiveness has faltered
in recent years.
8 ~
Review of A noventa millas, solamente by Eugenia Viteri, Manana
(n.v., n.d.), p. 13. The review must have been written in 1969 or 1970
since Viteri published the cited novel in 1969-
9 r
Cuenca:
author's real
Editorial "Amazonas," 1952. Corylé is a pen name; the
name is Ramona Marfa Cordero León.
Cheri Register, "American Feminist Literary Criticism: A
Bibliographical Introduction," p. 1^. Register footnoted this state¬
ment, acknowledging Elaine Showalter, "Women in the Literary Curriculum,"
College English 32 (May 1971): 856; idem, "Women writers and the Double
Standard," Woman in Sexist Society: Studies in Power and Powerlessness,
ed. Gornick and Moran (New York: Basic Books, 1971), P- 3^*3; Barbara

184
A Ison Wasserman, The Bold New Women, rev. ed (Greenwich, Connecticut:
Fawcett Publications, 1970, p. 10; and Joyce Nower, in a letter to
Register, March 7, 1972.
'^"Los que no llegaron," La Semana,
3, 14, 15.
29 (January 2, 1960),
1 2
Doce cuentos (Quito:
1962), pp. 35-38.
Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana,
13
14,
Ibid. , pp. 19-24.
''Triquitraque (to be published by Ediciones Paulina, Bogota). A
copy of the original manuscript has been used for this dissertation.
^Other stories concerned with women's problems are the following:
by Mary Corylé, in Gleba: "Madre," pp. 50-53;, "En la policía," pp. 82-87;
88~92; "La doncella era una santa," pp.
133“137. Zoila Marfa Castro, "La
Publicaciones del Grupo Madrugada, 1949),
"Departamento de arriendo," Doce cuentos,
" Doce cuentos, pp. 75~81; "Maternidad,"
de la Cultura Ecuatoriana
sueños (to be published
Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, Núcleo del Guayas, 1976),
una noche de ébano," Los zapatos y los sueños, pp. 1-6
"Las hembras ciudadanas," pp
93-97; "Doña Figuración," pp
malograda," Urbe (Guayaquil:
pp. 18-20; by Eugenia Viteri
pp. 41-46; "La misa del Niño
El anille y otros cuentos (Quito: Editorial Casa
1955), PP- 23-24; "Florencia," Los zapatos y los
by Editori al
pp. 1-6; "En
(pagination for stories in original manuscript of Los zapatos y los
sueños is not consecutive). By Violeta Luna: "La empleada," Los
pasos amarillos (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1969),
pp. 13-16; "La celda," pp. 19-29; "Un ser anónimo," pp. 33~36; "Locura,"
pp. 111-113- Lupe Rumazo, "Barrer desperdicios," Sílabas de la tierra,
2nd ed. (Madrid: Ediciones EDIME, 1968), pp. 15“26. Mireya Ramírez,
"Treponema," in Antología de cuentos esmeraldinos, ed. Nelson Es tup man
Bass (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, I960), pp. 45“47-
^Review of Vi teri's El anillo y otros cuentos_, Letras del Ecuador,
XI, 103 (July-September 1955), 34. According to the review, the quoted
material paraphrases a statement made by Benjamin Carrion.
17
18
Taped interview with Viteri; March 13, 1975-
Critobal Garces Larrea, review of Urbe. See note 6,
19
See note 15.
Already cited in note 15-
21
Besides the difficulty in locating a copy of Urbe, many Ecuadorians
have had no contact with Castro because she lives in New York City.

185
Already cited in note 15- Her two other collections are:
Doce cuentos3 and Los zapatos y los sueños.
23
Taped interview w11h the.author; March 13, 1975-
^Ibid.
25
"¿Literatura evasionista o literatura
del Ecuador, XII, 107 (January-May 1957), 10.
2 6
Interview with author; March 13, 1975
comprometí da?
Letras
11Ibid.
28
More examples of this kind of compassion and human solidarity
can be found in Viteri's Los Zapatos y los sueños, a collection of
related stories about a group of ghetto residents who live and struggle
together. See also, in El anillo y otros cuentos: "Minina" (pp. 51-55),
"Un gran torero" (pp. 69~72); in Doce cuentos: "La vida y los recuerdos"
(pp. 27“32), "Por Navidad" (pp. 69-72).
29
This does not include the references to homosexua1 ity/1esbianism
found in Viteri's novel, A noventa millas_, solamente, (pp. 56, 17*0-
^Taped interview with author; March 13, 1975-
31
Letras del Ecuador, 1^3 (August 1969), 26. Volume number not
1isted.
32
Taped interview with author; March 13, 1975- It has already
been suggested that "Florencia" be considered within the context of
women's problems.
33
As explained in note 15, the pagination in the original
manuscript of Los zapatos y los sueños is not consecutive.
3/4
This information is based on a letter received from Viteri,
dated 17 November 1975- Also, in a letter dated 16 February 1976,
Viteri wrote that her story "Los zapatos y los sueños," from the same
collection, recently received the "Primer Premio: Joaqufn Gallegos
Lara" in Guayaqui 1.
^La semana, II, **6 (May 21, i960), 3, 16.
38
Already cited in note 15.
37
'Ambato: Imprenta de Educación, 195 ^ -
â– 3 Q
Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1962.
^See also: "La flor del olvido" (pp. 12-21), "Historia de la
piedrecita blanca" (pp. 22-26), and "Hel¡otropo" (pp. 37-^3)-

186
i^o s ___
Marfa Angelica Idrobo, "Taita Imbabura:
Alas, I, 1 (December 193*0, 36.
*41
pp.
"Runa Cristo," Mundo pequeño (Cuenca:
75-76.
Leyenda ¡ndfgena,"
Editorial Amazonas, 19*48),
^"La chinita,"
'Roña brotol
Mundo pequeño, p.
!," Gleba, p. 22.
102.
*4*4
Other stories of interest are: by Mary Corylé, in Mundo pequeño,
"Mañito" (pp. 61-7*4); "Eran esclavos" (pp. 87“96) ; in Gleba, "Por las
costas" (pp. 25-30); "El Vicente Mejfa" (pp. 31“3*0; "El amo teniente"
Violeta Luna, "El retorno,"
(pp. 35“*+ 3) ; "Descastado" (pp. 1 *45- 1 52) .
Los pasos amarillos, pp. 73“76.
*<5
Similarly numerous women have written pieces about historical
events and legends that do not deal wtih the Indian. Pérez de Oleas
Zambrano's collection, already cited, includes a variety of themes. See
also: Zoila Rendon de Mosquera, "La procesión de Viernes Santo," in
Tradiciones y leyendas del Ecuador, ed. Inés Barrera and Eulalia
Barrera (Quito: Empresa Editora "El Comercio," 19*47), pp. 301-305;
Eulalia Barrera, "La capilla del consuelo, in Tradiciones y leyendas
del Ecuador, pp. 310-312.
*46
Already cited in note 15; this collection of stories was
originally published in 196*4.
Í47
Rol beligerante, pp. 15-39•
*48
"Un comentario de Benjamfn Carrión," Yunques y crisoles americanos,
p. 235- According to Rumazo, this article was originally entitled,
"Lupe Rumazo, ensayista y cuentista," published in El papel literario
of El Nacional (Caracas), October 9, 1966.
*49
Quito: El Colegio Normal Experimental "Juan Montalvo," 1973-
"^Cited from prologue of Antología de literatura infantil
ecuatoriana (cuento y teatro), p. 5*
See: Mary Corylé, Mundo pequeño, pp. 109-177 (these pages
correspond to the collection's third section, entitled "Vidas mfnimas");
Teresa Crespo de Salvador, Pepe Golondrina y otros cuentos, Cuadernos
de narradores cuencanos contemporáneos (Cuenca: Ediciones del Departa¬
mento de Extensión Cultural del I. Municipio de Cuenca, 1969); for the
other women, see selections in Antología de literatura infantil
ecuatoriana (cuento y teatro). It should be added that these stories
lack any apparent traces of feminism.

CONCLUSION
An important aspect of the recent literature on women has been
its attempt to correct false female stereotypes that have limited the
general public's understanding of women's place in society. Susan
Soeiro explains that much of the current research on the Latin American
fema1e
forms a minute part of a necessary revision aimed at
achieving a balanced and multidimensional view of the
Ibero-American reality, past and present. Men, as the
traditional transmitters of culture in society, have
conveyed what they knew, understood, and judged to be
important. Since women's activities differed considerably
from those of men, they were regarded as insignificant and
unworthy of mention. Scholars have further perpetuated the
patriarchal and sexist assumptions of their own societies
or those they have studied. As a result, more than four
and a half centuries of history and all of the important
ongoing processes of modernization, urbanization, profession¬
alization, and even propagation seem to have occurred without
the participation or even the presence of women.1
In the light of these distortions, and consistent with other studies,
this dissertation has reevaluated certain traditional beliefs about
women, focusing on the role Ecuadorian women have played in national
letters.
The present study has concentrated on two principal objectives:
(1) to refute traditional claims that women have not written prose
literature in Ecuador; and (2) to demonstrate that the major themes
found in their works offer a penetrating view of women's place in
Ecuadorian society. With respect to the first point, after considering
the authors and works already analyzed, it becomes apparent that critics
187

188
have neglected many women writers who have turned to literature as a
means of expressing themselves. Their numbers might be larger were it
not for the fact that they have been "victimized," so to speak, by a
body of literary criticism that overlooks and/or denies both their
ability to write and their presence in national letters. The few writers
who have overcome this prejudice and have ultimately been recognized
in anthologies and literary histories (i.e., Dolores Veintemilla de
Galindo, Marietta de Veintemilla, and Blanca Martínez de Tinajero)
have nevertheless been treated as secondary figures whose works are
assumed to be of scant importance or undeserving of serious critical
attention. Consequently, in our study we have shouldered the burden
of reexamining women's place in national letters, with the express
purpose of demonstrating that a meritorious literary tradition exists
among Ecuadorian women writers.
It must be borne in mind that since "cultivation precedes
2
fruition," it is imperative women be made aware of past literary
models from which they can learn and develop their artistic talents.
In connection with the need for continued experimentation, Alejo
Carpentier's theory of narrative development is especially pertinent:
"Para hablarse de la novela es menester que haya una novelística. . . .
Con solo haberse escrito el Werther y El hombre que ríe no podría
hablarse hoy de novela romántica. . . . [Para] que un país tenga
novela, hay que asistir a la labor de varios novelistas, en distinto
escalafón de edades, empeñados en una labor paralela, semejante o
antagónica, con un esfuerzo continuado y una constante experimentación
de la técnica." Thus, although there are no great Ecuadorian female

189
writers to date, it makes no sense to spurn the efforts of potential
writers whose production needs to be evaluated and analyzed objectively.
Regarding the prose and its treatment of female images in Ecuadorian
society, it becomes obvious that women have not been totally satisfied
with their secondary roles in national development and growth. Contrary
to Benjamín Carrion's belief that Ecuador is a "pueblo hijo de mujer,"
women's literary works point out that the female has had to fight
continually against male domination--politica1, cultural, and/or sexual.
Thus, despite apparent acceptance of motherhood and the mavianista
ideal, it has been shown that Ecuador's women have championed many
feminist issues, revealing their rejection of the inequities and in¬
justices that traditionally have oppressed them.
Naturally, it should be remembered that the writers' comments
about women in Ecuador which we have included only reflect the view¬
point of the urban middle-class female intellectual. In other words,
up to the present, Ecuadorian women writers have provided readers with
a limited interpretation of the female's overall situation in Ecuador;
Indian women, the montuvias (rural women from the coast), and marginal
women from the city are noticeably absent. Similarly lacking are studies
on women journalists and poetesses; the image of women in male writers'
works; a reevaluation of women's participation in history; sexual
attitudes among women; and women in the labor force. In short, because
much remains to be done in terms of investigating the attitudes and
problems of the Ecuadorian female, it is hoped that this dissertation
will underscore the voids in our knowledge and stimulate the continued
redressing of traditional prejudices about Ecuadorian women through
studies on their numerous and diverse contributions to society.

Notes
Conclusion
^"Recent Work on Latin American Women: A Review Essay," p. 497-
2
Cynthia Ozick, "Women and Creativity: The Demise of the Dancing
Dog," Women in Sexist Society: Studies in Power and Powerlessness, p.
447.
3
"Problemática de la actual novela latinoamericana ."Tientos y
diferencias (Montevideo: Arca, 1967), PP- 9-10.

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF WORKS CONSULTED
Works by Ecuadorian Women
Acevedo Vega, Carmen. "Crftica literaria y antológica." Revista,
111,9 (March-July 1966) , 9-21.
. "El contrabando." Cuadernos del Guayas, X, 18 (October
7, 1965), 16, 24.
. "El periodista." La Semana, IV, 121 (April 20, 1962),
3, 10.
. "Ella quería morir." La Semana, I I, 57 (September 17,
Í9SÓ), 3. 14.
. "En puerta abierta." La Semana, I I, 63 (November 12,
I960), 3, 14-15.
. "La línea 7." La Semana, II, 46 (Hay 21, I960), 3, 16.
"Los que no llegaron." La Semana, I I , 29 (January 2,
i960), 3, 14-15-
. "Secretaria de Comisión." La Semana, IV, 101 (September
30, 1961), 3, 14.
Albornoz, Ana María. "Mayo." La Mujer,. I, 2 (May 1905), 38-41.
Andrade Coe lio, María Esther de. El laurel desgajado. Quito:
Editorial Olmedo, 1969-
Anón. "Agosto sagrado." Flora, I, 8-9 (July-August 1918), 155-156.
. "Editorial." Huevos Horizontes, I, 3 (December 1933), 5-
"La cultura femenina." Iniciación, I, 1 (April 1934), 3-
. "Legión Femenina de Educación Popular." Huevos Horizontes,
I, 1 (October 1933) , 26.
• "Mi pesimismo: Caso general." La Mujer Ecuatoriana, I,
5 (November 1918), 113-
191

192
Anon. "Notas editoriales." La Mujer, I, 1 (April 1905), 31_32.
. "Nuestro ideal." La Ondina del Guayas, I, 1 (October 1907),
1-27
. "Petición." La Mujer, I, 5 (August 1905), 158-159.
. "Presentación." Fraternidad, I, 1 (August 19**7), 2.
. "¿Se puede, Compañeras?" Alas, I, 1 (December 193*0, 1.
Ayón de Messner, Digna E. Trayectoria histórica y cultural de la
Universidad de Guayaquil: 1867-1967. 2nd ed. Guayaquil:
Departamento de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Guayaquil,
1967.
Barrera B., Eulalia. "Flor de amor: Fantasía árabe." Los mejores
cuentos ecuatorianos. Ed. Inés and Eulalia Barrera B. Quito:
Empresa Editora "El Comercio," 19*»8, pp. *4l6-**l8.
. "La Capilla del Consuelo." Tradiciones y leyendas del
Ecuador. Ed. Ines and Eulalia Barrera B. Quito: Empresa
Editora "El Comercio," 19^7, pp. 310-312.
Benitez, Eloísa. Teatro infantil. Quito: Litografía e Imprenta
Romero, 1938.
Borja de Icaza, Rosa. Aspectos de mi sendero. Guayaquil: Editorial
Jouvin, 1930.
"[Carta a Isabel]" Nuevos Horizontes, I, 1 (October 1933),
6.
Hacia la vida. Guayaquil: Imprenta y Talleres Municipales,
T937.
. "La Legión conmemoró su clásica fecha." Nuevos Horizontes,
I, 9 (July-August 193*»), 10-11, 2b.
. Teatro. 2nd ed. Quito:
Ecuatoriana, 1962.
Bravomalo, Mireya de. La pena fuimos
Municipa 1, 1953-
Burgos, Carmen de. "Misión suprema."
1933), 27.
Editorial Casa de la Cultura
nosotras. Guayaquil: Imprenta
Nuevos Horizontes, I, 1 (October
Bustamante de Perez, María Luisa. Verdad, justicia y belleza. Quito:
Editorial "Fray Jodoco Ricke," I9*»8.

193
Cabrera Egas, Dolores. "Loor y gratitud: A las Señoras Redactoras
de La Mujer." La Mujer, I, 2 (Hay 1905), 51~53-
Cardenas de Bustamante, Hipatia. Encuesta: ÍQu$ debe hacer el Ecuador
para librarse de las dictaduras? Quito: Litografía e Imprenta
Romero, 1939*
. 0ro3 rojo y azul. Quito: Editorial Artes Gráficas, 19^3-
Carmenia. "Por obra de la mujer ha de afianzarse la paz del mundo."
Nuevos Horizontes, I, 3 (December 1933), 19-
Carajal, Morayma Ofyr. Galería del espíritu: Mujeres de mi patria.
Quito: Editorial "Fray Jodoco Ricke," 19^9-
Castillo de Leví, María Piedad. "Las próximas elecciones y la actuación
de las mujeres." El Telégrafo, May 31, 1952, p. A.
Castro, Zoila María. "Historia sin adjetivo." El Diario La Prensa
Literary Supplement, September 16, 197^, P- 13-
. "La cita." La Semana, IV, Sh (August 5, 1961), 3-
"La mujer en Colombia." Fraternidad, I, 1 (August 19^7),
T8T36.
"La pesca." Cuadernos del Guayas, Vil, 13 (April 1956),
11, 17.
"Presencia femenina en la literature ecuatoriana."
Cuadernos del Guavas, IV, 7 (December 1953), 1^, 19-
Urbe. Guayaquil: Publicaciones del Grupo Madrugada,
Í9Í9.
Veronica: Historia de amor. New York: UNIDA Printing
Corporation, 1975-
Coryle, Mary. Gleba. Cuenca: Editorial "Amazonas," 1952.
. Mundo pequeño. Cuenca: Editorial "Amazonas," 19^8.
. "Tres mujeres máximas en la literatura nacional." Anales
de la Universidad de Cuenca, VIII, 2 (April-June 1952), 153“162.
Crespo de Salvador, Teresa. Breves poemas en prosa. Quito: "Editorial
Ecuatoriana," 1973-
Pepe Golondrina y otros cuentos. Cuadernos de narradores
cuencanos contemporáneos. Cuenca: Ediciones del Departamento
de Extension Cultural del I. Municipio de Cuenca, 1969-

194
Elisa. "Carta a Laura." La Mujer, I, 1 (April 1905), 27-28.
Espinel, Isabel de. "Anhelos." La Mujer, I, 1 (April 1905), 12-14.
Espinoza de Orellana, Nelly. Hambre rubia. Mexico: Libro MEX
Editores, 1959-
Falquez de Veliz, Blanca. "La mujer moderna." Fraternidad, II,
3 (August 1948), 35-
Fernandez Salvador de Raza, Aliz. La estética y la música. Quito:
Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1973-
Flor, Dolores. "Educación." La Mujer, I, 3 (June 1905), 69“71•
Galarza, Rosaura Emelia and Galarza, Celina María. "Proemio."
Flora, I, 1 (September 1917), 1-2.
García Ortiz, María Guillermina. Lo eterno femenino. Quito: Editorial
Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1969.
Godoy, Lucila. "Feminismo." Huevos Horizontes, I, 2 (November 1933),
18.
González de Moscoso, Mercedes. "Doble sacrificio." La Mujer, I,
3 (June 1905), 72-77; I, 4 (July 1905), 105-110.
"Los zapatos de boda." La Mujer, I, 1 (April 1905),
4-6.
Ibarra de Dueñas, Delia. "Feminismo." Nuevos Horizontes, I, 8
(May-June 1934), 8, 24.
Idrobo, María Angélica. "Taita Imbabura: Leyenda indígena." Alas
I, 1 (December 1934), 36.
"Informe nacional del Ecuador en el Segundo Congreso de Mujeres de Toda
América." Obra Revolucionaria, 2 (January 1963), 95-100.
Insua, Mireya de. Yoimar. Guayaquil: n. p., 1974.
Iza, Ana María. La casa de tía Berta. Quito: Editorial Casa de la
Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1974.
Izurieta, Bertha de. Juventud inmolada. Quito: Editorial "Minerva,"
1954.
Jaramillo R., Alicia. "Iniciando." Iniciación, I, 1 (April 1934),
6-7.
Jesus María Herrera, Sor Catalina de. Secretos entre el alma y Dios o
Autobiografía de la Venerable Madre Sor Catalina de Jesús María
Herrera. Ed. Fray Alfonso A. Jerves. Quito: Editorial "Santo
Domingo," 1950.

195
Larrea Borja, Piedad. Abenhazam en la literatura arábigo española.
Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, i960,
. Ensayos. Quito: "Fray Jodoco Ricke," 19**6.
. Habla femenina quiteña. Quito: Editorial Casa de la
Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1968.
. Juglaresca en España. Quito: Editorial Casa de la
Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1965-
. Hombres eternos—Senderos. Quito: Editorial Casa de
la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 195**.
Luna, Violeta. La lirica ecuatoriana actual: Guía de análisis literario.
Guayaquil: Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, Núcleo del Guayas, 1973-
. Los pasos amarillos. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura
Ecuatoriana, 1969.
María Teresa. "Luchemos por la libertad de enseñanza." Nuevos
Horizontes, I, 3 (December 1933), 9-
Martínez, Cornelia. "Paulina (impresiones y recuerdos)." Los mejores
cuentos ecuatorianos. Ed. Inés and Eulalia Barrera B. Quito:
Empresa Editora "El Comercio," â–  19**8, pp. 152-163.
Martínez M., María Esther. "El problema feminista en el Ecuador."
Nuevos Horizontes, I, 2 (November 1933), 7, 2h.
. "Unas palabras a 'Nuestra palabra,1" Nuevos Horizontes,
I, 9 (July-August 193*0, 21.
Martínez de Tinajero, Blanca. Contestación a una crítica. Ambato:
Editorial Atenas, i960.
. En la paz del campo. Quito: Imprenta del Ministerio
de Educación, 19**0.
. Libertad, mujer y democracia. Quito: Talleres Gráficos
de Educación, 19**3-
Luz en la noche. Ambato: Imprenta de Educación de Ambato,
1950.
Prosas camperas. Quito: Talleres Gráficos de Educación,
19^3.
. Purificación. Quito: Talleres Gráficos del Ministerio
de Educación, 19**2.

196
Mejia de Fernandez, Abigail. "Ideario feminista." Nuevos Horizontes,
I, 9 (July-August 193*0, 13-
Mera, Rosario. "El eterno don Juan." Los mejores cuentos ecuatorianos.
Ed. Inés and Eulalia Barrera B. Quito: Empresa Editora "El
Comercio," 19**8, pp. 260-263.
Mera de Navarro, Eugenia. "Enemigos desiguales." Los mejores cuentos
ecuatorianos. Ed. Inés and Eulalia Barrera B. Quito: Empresa
Editora "El Comercio," 19**8, pp. 293—295-
Moncayo, Germania. La Universidad de Quito: Su trayectoria en tres
siglos. Quito: Imprenta de la Universidad de Quito, 19****.
. Mariana de Jesús: Señora de Indias. Quito: La Prensa
Catolica, 1950.
Montalvo, Lucila. "Carta íntima." La Mujer, I, 3 (June 1905), 78-81.
Moscoso Davila, Isabel. Abanico de recuerdos. 2 vols. Cuenca:
Editorial Monsalve, 1970, 197**.
. Elegía y glorificación de la maestra. Cuenca: Casa de
la Cultura, Núcleo del Azuay, 1961.
. Yo soy mi libertad. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura
Ecuatoriana, 1956.
Mosquera A., Antonia. "Sor Lorenza." La Mujer, I, 6 (October 1905),
169-172.
Ortega, Matilde de. "El coche." El nuevo relato ecuatoriano: Crítica
y antología. Ed. Benajmín Carrion. 2nd ed. Quito: Editorial
Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1958.
. "El encuentro." Letras del Ecuador, XIV, 115 (April-June
1959), 11, 25.
. Lo que deja la tarde. Quito: Editorial Casa de la
Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1955-
. "Manuela Saenz y su época." Letras del Ecuador, XII,
106 (Apri 1-December 1956), 10, 31.
Perez de Oleas Zambrano, Laura. Historias, leyendas y tradiciones
ecuatorianas. 2 vols. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura
Ecuatoriana, 1962.
. Sangre en las manos. Quito: Editorial Casa de la
Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1959-

197
Perez Chiriboga, Eulalia. Ensayos literarios. Quito: Editorial
Colón, I9Á3.
Ramírez, Hireya. "¿Fue la lezna?" Antología de cuentos esmeraldenos.
Ed. Nelson Estupiñán Bass. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura
Ecuatoriana, i960, pp. A8—59-
. "¿Sera la tunda?" Antología de cuentos esmeraldenos.
Ed. Nelson Estupiñán Bass. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura
Ecuatoriana, I960, pp. k\-kbl
. "Treponema." Antología de cuentos esmeraldenos. Ed.
Nelson Estupiñán Bass. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura
Ecuatoriana, I960, pp. bS~b7.
Rendon de Mosquera, Zoila. La mujer en el hogar y en la sociedad.
3rd ed. Quito: Editorial Universitaria, 1961.
"¿Será la tunda?" Antología de cuentos esmeraldenos.
Ed. Nelson Estupiñán Bass, Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura
Ecuatoriana, I960, pp. b]-bb.
. "Treponema." Antología de cuentos esmeraldenos. Ed.
Nelson Estupiñán Bass. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura
Ecuatoriana, I960, pp. bS~b7.
Rendón de Mosquera, Zoila. La mujer en el hogar ye en la sociedad. 3rd
ed. Quito: Editorial Universitaria, 1961 .
. "La mujer en los diversos organismos humanos." Previsión
social, 22 (September-December 19^8; January 19**9), 150-162.
. "La mujer quiteña." Alas, I, 1 (December 193*0, 33-3*4.
. "La procesión de Viernes Santo." Tradiciones y leyendas del
Ecuador. Ed. Inés and Eulalia Barrera B. Quito: Empresa Editora
"El Comercio," 19**7, PP- 301-305-
. "Tras un idilio, lágrimas." Los mejores cuentos ecuatorianos.
Ed. Inés and Eulalia Barrera B. Quito: Empresa Editora "El
Comercio," 19*<8, pp. b03~b07.
Romero Pape, Jenny. Por un mundo mejor. Guayaquil: Imprenta Segura,
1968.
Rumazo, Lupe. En el lagar. Madrid: Ediciones EDIME, 1961.
"Etnología estructural en América." Letras del Ecuador,
íl^T-(February 1973), 7, 23-
. "Falacia de la literatura: Estructural." Letras del Ecuador,
XXIV, lAl (January 1969), b~5-

198
Rumazo, Lupe. "La marcha de los batracios." Antología del relato
ecuatoriano. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana,
1973, pp. 241-264.
. Rol beligerante. Madrid: Ediciones EDI ME, 1974.
Sílabas de la tierra. 2nd ed. Madrid: Ediciones EDI ME,
1968.
"Teorfa del intrarrea1 ismo." Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos,
237T(June 1969), 739-748.
. "Un real poeta venezolano." Letras del Ecuador, 146
(June 1970), 6, 22.
Yunques y crisoles americanos. Madrid: Ediciones EDI ME,
Í9S7.
Segundo Congreso de Mujeres de Toda América. "Informe nacional del
Ecuador." Obra Revolucionaria, 2 (January 1963), 95-100.
Suárez de Artieda, Matilde. Gabriela Mistral: Ensayo. Quito: Ediciones
Surcos, 1962.
Tinajero Martínez de Alien, Eugenia. Leyendas indígenas. Ambato:
Imprenta de Educación, 1954.
Ugarte de Landívar, Zoila. "Aspiraciones." La Mujer, I, 4 (July
1905), 97-102.
. "Nuestro ideal." La Mujer, I, 1 (April 1905), 1-4.
¡Salve Quito! Quito: Imprenta Municipal, 1934.
. "Voces íntimas: María Ester Cevallos de Andrade Coello."
Alas, I, 1 (December 1934), 37, 44.
Ugarte de Landívar, Zoila et al. "¿Se puede, Compañeras?" Alas,
I, 1 (December 1934), 1.
Vaca, María Natalia. "Cuento de Navidad." La Mujer, I, 5 (August 1905),
144-154.
"¡Pobre María!" La Mujer, I, 1 (April 1905), 19_2 3; I, 2
(Mi7 1905), 45-50; I, 3 (June 1905), 83-87.
. "V i aje en di 1 i gene i a." La Mujer, I, 4 (July 1905), 111 - 118.
Vasconez, María. "Recuerdos de Mayo." La Mujer, I, 2 (May 1905), 42-44.

199
Vasconez Cuvi , Victoria. Actividades domésticas y sociales de la mujer.
Quito: Talleres Tipográficos Nacionales, 1925.
, . Ensayos literarios. Quito: n.p., 1922.
. Honor al feminismo. Quito: Imprenta Nacional, 1922.
. Problemas educativos. Quito: Tipografía Editorial
Chimborazo, 1936.
Vida de Mariana de Jesús. Quito: Imprenta "Bona Spes,"
T9ÍÓ.
Veintemilla, Josefina. "La mujer." La Mujer, I, 1 (April 1905), 7~9-
. "Rita la loca." La Mujer, I, 4 (July 1905), 122-126.
Veintemilla, Marietta de. Conferencia sobre psicología moderna. Quito:
Imprenta de la Universidad Central, 1907-
. Digresiones libres: A la memoria del Doctor Agustín Leonidas
Yerovi. Quito: Imprenta Municipal, 1904.
. Páginas del Ecuador. Lima: Imprenta Liberal de F. Masías
y Compañía, 1890.
Veintemilla de Galindo, Dolores. Producciones literarias. Ed. Celiano
Monge. Quito: Editorial de Proaño y Delgado, 1908.
Velasco de Batallas, Enriqueta. La profesora. Latacunga, Ecuador:
Editorial Cotopaxi, 1965.
Velasco Galdós, Adelaida C., "¿Feminismo?" El Hogar Cristiano, VIII,
81 (July 1914), 58.
Verdesoto de Romo Davila, Raquel. Manuela Sáenz. 2 vols. Quito:
Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1963.
Violeta. "¿Amar mas de una vez?" Tradiciones y leyendas del Ecuador.
Ed. Inés and Eulalia Barrera B. Quito: Empresa Editora "El
Comercio," 1947, pp. 246-250.
Viter i, Eugenia. A noventa millas, solamente. Quito: Editorial Casa
de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1969-
. "A 30 años de su muerte: Gardel es el tango." El mundo
del Domingo¿ June 27, 1965, P- 3-
"Congreso cultural de la Habana." Cuadernos del Guayas3
XÑT, 26-27 (December 1968), 10.

200
Vi ter i, Eugenia. "Correr en un Cadillac." Cuadernos del Guayas3
32-33 (May 1970), 9.
. Doce cuentos. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultural
Ecuatoriana, 1962.
. El anillo y otros cuentos. Quito: Editorial Casa de
la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1955-
. "El mar trajo la flor." Teatro ecuatoriano: Cuatro
piezas en un acto. Quito: Editorial del Ministerio de Educación,
1962, pp. 127-1*0.
. "¿Literatura evasionista o literatura comprometida?"
Letras del Ecuador, XII, 107 (January-May 1957), 10, 16, 20.
. "Los que se van: Un libro crucial." Letras del Ecuador.
152 (August 1972), 5, 23-
. Los zapatos y los sueños. To be published by Editorial
Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, Núcleo del Guayas, 1976.
. "Nuevas Lilianas." Letras del Ecuador_, 1*0 (August, 1969),
26.
. "Ruminahui, primer guerrillero de América." El Mundo del
Domingo, July 18, 1965, p. **.
. "Vida nueva." Letras del Ecuador.
1956), 12, 26.
XI, 105 (January-March
Yanez Cossío, Alicia. Bruna3 soroche y los tíos. Quito: Editorial
Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1973-
• Triquitraque. To be published by Ediciones Paulina,
Bogota.

WORKS ABOUT ECUADORIAN WOMEN*
Aleman, Hugo. "Aurora Estrada y Ayala de Ramírez Pérez." Cuadernos del
Guayas, XII, 23 (July 1967), 8, 27-28.
Alvarado, V. R. "Primer centenario de la muerte de Manuela Sáenz:
(23 de noviembre: 1856-1956)." Cuadernos del Guayas, Vil 14
(December 1956), 8.
Andrade Coello, Alejandro. "Cultura femenina: Floración intelectual de
la mujer ecuatoriana en el siglo XX." El Libertador, V, 71-73
(July-September 1942), 316—337-
Anon. Review of El anillo y otros cuentos, Eugenia Viteri. Letras del
Ecuador, XI, 103 (July-September 1955), 34.
Arias, August. "La mujer en las letras ecuatorianas." Humboldt, V,
20 (1964), 50-52.
. "Las mujeres de la independencia." El Libertador, n. v.
(Apr i 1-June 1945), 41-42.
Ayala Cabañil la, José. "Mireya Romero Plaza de Bravomalo, poetisa
y novelista." Prologue. La pena fuimos nosotras, Mireya de
Bravomalo. Guayaquil: Imprenta Municipal, 1953, pp. 1-2.
Cannon, Mary M. "Women's Organization in Ecuador, Panama, and Peru."
Bulletin Pan American Union, 77 (1943), 601-607-
Carvallo Castillo, Ignacio. Review of Presencia de la mujer ecuatoriana
en la poesía, Rodrigo Pesantez Rodas. La Semana, III, 71 (January
28, 1961), 5.
Carrión, Benjamín. "Prólogo: Ana María Iza: del canto al cuento."
La casa de tía Berta, Ana María Iza. Quito: Editorial Casa de
la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1974, pp. 9~12.
Carrión Aguirre, Alejandro. "Llegada de una escritora." Prologue.
El anillo y otros cuentos, Eugenia Viteri. Quito: Editorial
Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1955, PP- 9“12.
. "Secretos entre el alma y Dios, el libro de la Madre
Catalina de Jesus." Cuadernos del Guayas, IV, 7 (December 1953),
20, 19-,
"For related works by Ecuadorian women see previous section
entitled "Works by Ecuadorian Women."
201

202
Engel, Paul. Review of A noventa millas, solamente, Eugenia Vi ter i.
Letras del Ecuador, 144 (November 1969), 24.
. Review of Bruna, soroche y los tíos, Alicia Yánez Cossío.
Letras del Ecuador, 155 (April 1973), 23.
Garces, Enrique. Marietta de Veintemilla. Quito: Editorial Casa de
la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 19^9•
Garces Larrea, Cristóbal. Review of Urbe, Zoila Marfa Castro. Letras
del Ecuador, V, 53~54 (January-February 1950), 15-
Granda, Euler. Review of A noventa millas, solamente, Eugenia Viteri.
Cuadernos del Guayas, XIV, 30-31 (November 27, 1969), 33.
Jerves, Fray Alfonso A. Ed. Florilegio doctrinal de la Venerable Madre
Catalina Luisa de Jesús María Herrera religiosa del Monasterio de
Santa Catalina de Sena de Quito. Quito: Imprenta de Santo
Domingo, 1932.
. La Venerable Madre Herrera Religiosa de Santa Catalina de
Quito: Rasgos biográficos de ella. Quito: Editorial "Santo
Domingo," 1945-
Maldonado Rennella, Jorge. I El Código Civil del Ecuador y las reformas
de 1970: Un retroceso en la historia jurídica del pais. II La
situación de la mujer casada en la legislación civil. Guayaquil:
Departamento de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Guayaquil, 1974.
Noboa Arízaga, Enrique. Review of A noventa millas, solamente, Eugenia
Viteri. Mañana (n. d.), p. 13-
PÓlit, Manuel María. La familia de Santa Teresa en America y la primera
carmelita americana. Friburgo de ' Brisgovi a, Alemania: B. Herder,
1905.
"La primera escritora ecuatoriana." La Unión Literaria,
VI, 2 (July 1916), 49-59.
Poveda Tobar, C. Samuel. "Heroínas ecuatorianas." El Libertador,
XV, 117 (December 1958), 47“48.
Rendón, Victor Manuel. "Women Writers of Ecuador." Books Abroad, IX,
4 (1935), 380-382.
Rumazo Gonzalez, Alfonso. "El gran amor de Sucre: La Marquesa de
Sol anda." La Semana, III, 85 (May 27, 1961), 2, 4, 15-
. Manuela Saenz: La Libertadora del Libertador. Biblioteca
de Autores Ecuatorianos, No. 32. Guayaquil: Clásicos Ariel, n.d.

203
Sassone, Helena. "El primer libro de cuentos de Lupe Rumazo."
del Ecuador, XX, 131 (May-August 1965), 17-
Letras

GENERAL WORKS ABOUT WOMEN AND FEMINISM
Cohen, Lucy. Las colombianas ante la renovación universitaria. Bogota:
Ediciones Tercer Mundo, 1971.
Chávez Franco, Modesto. "La mujer como factor económico. Su gran misión
actual." Nuevos Horizontes, I, 2 (November 1933), 9-
Dalí, Gloria. "Ideas renovadoras." Nuevos Horizontes, I, *4 (January
193*0, 9-
Davila Mena, Fulvia. "La mujer y el trabajo." Previsión social, 22
(September-December 19*+8; January 19*49), 123- 1*49-
Donovan, Josephine. Ed. Feminist Literary Criticism: Explorations in
Theory. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1975.
Espin, Oliva M. "La liberación de la mujer cubana." Nuevos Rumbos,
11,3 (May 197*4), 2-11.
Gornick, Vivian and Moran, Barbara K. Ed. Woman in Sexist Society:
Studies in Power and Powerlessness. New York: New American
Library, 1971.
Henault, Mirta et al. Las mujeres dicen basta. Buenos Aires:
Ediciones Nueva Mujer, n.d.
Inter-American Commission of Women. Historical Review on the Recognition
of the Political Rights of American Women. Washington, D.C.:
Pan American Union, 1965-
Jones, Margaret E. W. "Spanish Women Novelists and the Problem of Con¬
temporary Reality." A paper read at the South Atlantic Modern
Language Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, November 8, 1975-
Lopez Gorge, Jacinto. "¿Existe una literatura específicamente femenina?"
La Estafeta Literaria, 501 (October 1, 1972), 1*4-17.
MartÍn-Gamero, Amalia. Ed. Antología del feminismo. Madrid: Alianza
Editorial, 1975-
Mattelart, Armand and Mattelart, Michele. La mujer chilena en una nueva
sociedad: ¡Jn estudio exploratorio acerca de la situación e imagen
de la mujer en Chile. Santiago de Chile: Editorial del Pacífico,
S. A., 1968.
20*4

205
Millet, Kate. Sexual Politics. New York: Avon, 1969.
Mitchell, Juliet. Woman's Estate. New York: Vintage Books, 1971.
Navarrete, Ifigenia de. La mujer y los derechos sociales. Mexico:
Ediciones Oasis, 1969.
Pescatello, Ann. Ed. Female and Male in Latin America: Essays.
Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1973-
. Ed. "The Changing Role of Women in Latin America."
Journal of Interamerican Studies and World AffariSj XVII,
b (November 1975), 372-516.
Randall, Margaret. "La mujer cubana ahora." El Caimán Barbudo_,
I I (June 1972), 5-10.
Roszak, Betty and Roszak, Theodore. Ed. Masculine/Feminine: Readings
in Sexual Mythology and the Liberation of Women. New York:
Harper and Row Publishers Inc., 1969.
Schneir, Miriam. Ed. Feminism: The Essential Historical Writings.
New York: Vintage Books. 1972.
Stabile, Blanca. La mujer en el desarrollo nacional. Buenos Aires:
Ediciones Arayu, 1961.
Toro Godoy, Julia. Presencia y destino de la mujer en nuestro pueblo.
Santiago de Chile: Ediciones Maipo, 1967.
Villacreces, G., Julio César. "El derecho de sufragio y la mujer."
Filosofía_, Letras y Ciencias de la Educación, IX, 2b (July-
December 1956), 86-112.
Ware, Cellestine. Woman Power: The Movement for Women's Liberation.
New York: Tower Publications, Inc., 1970.

OTHER WORKS CONSULTED
Arias, Augusto. Panorama de la literatura, ecuatoriana. 5th ed.
Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1971.
Barrera, Isaac J. Historia de la literatura ecuatoriana. Quito:
Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, i960.
Barriga Lopez, Franklin and Barriga López, Leonardo. Diccionario de
la literatura ecuatoriana. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura,
1973.
Barthes, Roland et al. Literatura y sociedad: Problemas de metodología
en sociologia de la literatura. Trans. R. de la Iglesia. 2nd ed.
Barcelona: Ediciones Martínez Roca, S. A., 1971
Carpentier, Alejo. Tientos y diferencias. Montevideo: Editorial Arca,
1967-
Carrión, Benjamín. El cuento de la patria: Breve historia del Ecuador.
2nd Ed. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1973-
. El nuevo relato ecuatoriano: Crítica y antología. 2nd
ed. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1958.
Destruge, Camilo. Historia de la prensa de Guayaquil. 2 vols. Quito:
Tipografía y Encuadernación Salesianas, 192-4, 1925-
Díaz Icaza, Rafael. Ed. Cuento ecuatoriano contemporáneo. 2 vols.
Biblioteca de Autores Ecuatorianos, Nos. *45, **6. Guayaquil:
C1 as i eos Ariel, n.d.
Dominguez Mancebo, Serafín. "Ecuador, su independencia y su cultura."
Cuadernos del Guayas, IX, 17 (September 1958), 6.
Es tup i rían Bass, Nelson. Ed. Antología de cuentos esmeraldenos. Quito:
Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1960.
Hidrovo Peñaherrera, Horacio. Historia de la literatura manabita, I.
Portoviejo: Editorial Gregorio, 197**.
Jaramillo, Miguel Angel. Indice bibliográfico de la Biblioteca
"Jaramillo" de escritos nacionales, I. Cuenca: Imprenta de
la Universidad, 1932.
Menton, Seymour. El cuento hispanoamericano: Antología crítico-
histórica. 2nd ed. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1966.
206

207
Pareja Diezcanseco, Alfredo. Historia de la República: El Ecuador
desde 1830 a nuestros días. 2 vols. Guayaquil: Comograf, S.A.,
n. d.
Perez, Galo Rene. Pensamiento y literatura del Ecuador: Critica y
antología. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1972.
Pino, Manuel del. Ed. Antología de la literatura infantil ecuatoriana
[cuento y teatro). Quito: El Colegio Normal Experimental "Juan
Montalvo," 1973-
Ribadeneira M., Edmundo. La moderna novela ecuatoriana. Quito:
Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1958.
Rojas, Angel F. La novela ecuatoriana. Biblioteca de Autores
Ecuatorianos, No. 29- Guayaquil: Clasicos Ariel, n.d.
Rolando, Carlos A. Cronología del periodismo ecuatoriano: Pseudónimos
de la prensa nacional. Guayaquil: Tipografía de la Sociedad
Filantrópica del Guayas, 193^-
. Las bellas letras en el Ecuador. Guayaquil: Imprenta y
Talleres Municipales, 19^-
Salvador, Humberto. "El presidente de la Casa de la Cultura habla sobre
la evolución espiritual del Ecuador." Letras del Ecuador, I, 8
(November 19^+5), 6-7.
Sanchez Astudillo, Padre Miguel et al. Ed. Prosistas de la colonia:
Siglos XV-XVIII. Biblioteca Ecuatoriana Mínima: La Colonia y la
República. Mexico: Editorial J. M. Cajica Jr., S.A., I960.
Schyttner, Eugene. Vida y obras de autores ecuatorianos. La Habana:
Editorial "Alfa," 19^+3-

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Michael H. Handelsman was born on May II, 19^8 in Weehawken,
New Jersey. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Gettysburg
College in June 1970; in June 1973, he completed his Master of Arts
degree at the University of Florida. While an undergraduate, Mr.
Handelsman participated in the New York University Junior Year in
Madrid Program; also, he studied in Lima, Peru during Gettysburg
College's January term (1970) with the Experiment in International
Living Program. Upon graduating from Gettysburg College, Mr. Handelsman
received a Fulbright Fellowship to study in Guayaquil, Ecuador. In
September 1971, he began his graduate work at the University of Florida
where he has studied and worked as a graduate teaching assistant.
Mr. Handelsman carried out his doctoral research in Ecuador
(December 197^ to September 1975) with the aid of an Organization of
American States research grant. Beginning in September 1976, Mr.
Handelsman will be an Assistant Professor of Romance Languages at the
University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Mr. Handelsman is married to the former Maria Victoria Suarez
Rodriguez of Guayaquil, Ecuador. They have one child, Leah Victoria,
born on January 10, 1976.
208

I certify that I have read hhis study and that in my opinion it con¬
forms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully ade¬
quate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor
of Philosophy. 1
Ivan A. Schulman
Graduate Research Professor of Ro¬
mance Languages and Literatures
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it con-'
:^orms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully ade¬
quate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor
of Philosophy.
Irving7R. Wershow
Professor of Romance Languages and
Literatures
I certify that I have- read this study and that in my opinion it con¬
forms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully ade¬
quate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor
of Philosophy.
Richard R. Renner
Professor of Education
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Department
of Romance Languages and Literatures in the College of Arts and Sciences
and to the Graduate Council, and was accepted as partial fulfillment of
the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
June 1, 1976
Dean, Graduate School




PAGE 1

AMAZONS AND ARTISTS: A STUDY OF ECUADORIAN WOMEN'S PROSE By MICHAEL H. HANDELSMAN A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 1976

PAGE 2

IM&.TPF FLORIDA 3 1262 08666 407 4

PAGE 3

Because of all their love and the many sacrifices they have made for me during the years, I dedicate this dissertation to my mother and father.

PAGE 4

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I wish to express my sincere appreciation to my supervisory committee chairman, Dr. Ivan A. Schulman, for his valuable insight and guidance during the preparation of this dissertation; to Dr. Irving R. Wershow, for his continued support during my graduate program at the University of Florida; and to Dr. Richard R. Renner, for having served as a member of the supervisory committee. In addition, a special note of thanks must be extended to the Organization of American States for having funded nine months of doctoral research in Ecuador (December IS?** to September 1975)Because successful completion of this study would not have been possible without the assistance of many Ecuadorian friends and acquaintances, I also would like to thank the following people: Manuel Almeida, Benjamfn Carrion, Zoila MarTa Castro, Laura de Crespo, Mireya de Insua, Piedad Larrea Borja, Germania Moncayo de Monge, Isabel Moscoso Davila, Francisco Perez Febres Cordero, Angel Rojas, Lupe Rumazo, Eugenia Viteri, and Alicia Yanez Cossfo. Finally, a special note of gratitude is extended to my wife, Toya, for her constant encouragement and understanding. I I t

PAGE 5

TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iii ABSTRACT ^j INTRODUCTION I Notes ^ CHAPTER I HISTORICAL HEROINES AND PROSE WRITERS: A CONTRAST IN FEMALE IMAGES IN ECUADOR 5 Notes 20 CHAPTER II EARLY FEMALE VOICES IN ECUADORIAN PROSE LITERATURE ... 23 Notes. 32 CHAPTER III THE FEMINIST JOURNALS: A SOURCE OF LITERARY DEVELOPMENT 3h Early Feminist Magazines: The Alfarista Era (1895-1912) 37 Major Feminist Journals Published During the Years 1917-1928 ^6 Feminist Magazine Literature and the 1930's 50 Notes 61 CHAPTER IV THE ESSAY 66 Women Writers: 1922-19'45 67 Women Writers: 19^*5 to Present 8k Notes 97 CHAPTER V THE NOVEL 102 Notes 1^43 CHAPTER VI SHORT STORY 1 '<6 The Short Story as a Reflection of Women's Problems. . . 1^*9 Women's Concern for Urban Problems 156 The Indian Motif 170 The Theme of Contemporary Anguish in the Short Story . . 175 Notes 183 I V

PAGE 6

CONCLUSION 187 Notes 190 BIBLIOGRAPHY OF WORKS CONSULTED. . , 191 Works by Ecuadorian Women 191 Works About Ecuadorian Women 201 General Works About Women and Feminism 20^ Other Works Consulted 206 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 208

PAGE 7

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to tfie Graduate Council of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy AMAZONS AND ARTISTS: A STUDY OF ECUADORIAN WOMEN'S PROSE By Michael H. Handelsman June, 1976 Chairman: Ivan A. Schulman Major Department: Romance Languages and Literatures (Spanish) Despite current efforts to analyze the role of women in Latin America, only minimal information is available about Ecuadorian women. Excluding traditional references to such vaunted national heroines as Manuela Saenz, Manuela Canizares, and Mariana de Jesijs, little is known about the principal concerns and aspirations of Ecuador's women. Similarly, because literary critics rarely have offered more than a cursory mention of the works published by Ecuadorian women, there is a dearth of information on the extent to which female writers have participated in national letters. The purpose of this dissertation, therefore, is to fill these voids by analyzing the essays and fiction Ecuadorian women have published to date. More specifically, attention is given to what women have said about their role in society, about male-female relationships in Ecuador, and about their chief aims, problems, and fears. In short, this study is primarily concerned with two major goals: (1) to refute traditional claims that women have not VI

PAGE 8

written prose literature in Ecuador; and (2) to demonstrate that the major themes found in their works offer a penetrating view of the female's place in Ecuadorian society. Regarding the first objective, after considering the authors and works analyzed, it is apparent critics have neglected many women writers who have turned to literature as a means of expressing themselves. Their numbers might be larger were it not for the fact that they have been "victimized," so to speak, by a body of literary criticism that overlooks their work and denies them artistic status. The few writers who have overcome this prejudice and have ultimately been recognized in anthologies and literary histories (i.e., Dolores Veintemilla de Galindo, Marietta de Veintemilla, and Blanca Martfnez de Tinajero) have nevertheless been treated as secondary figures whose works are assumed to be of scant importance or undeserving of serious critical attention. Thus, in our study we have shouldered the burden of reexamining women's place in national letters, with the express purpose of demonstrating that a meritorious literary tradition exists among Ecuador's women writers. Some major figures examined are Zoila Ltgarte, Rosa Borja, Hipatia Cardenas, Eugenia Viteri, Lupe Rumazo, and Alicia Yanez Cosslo. The treatment of female images in Ecuadorian women's prose demonstrates that women have not been totally satisfied with their secondary role in national development. Contrary to Benajmfn Carrion's belief that Ecuador is a "pueblo hi jo de mujer" (i.e., a country which has depended heavily on its women throughout the course of national history), women's literary works point out that the female has had to fight continually against male domination — political, cultural, and sexual. Thus, Ecuador's women frequently have used prose literature VI

PAGE 9

to champion feminist issues, reject inequities, injustices and sources of repression. The writers' comments about women in Ecuador presented in this study only reflect the viewpoint of the urban middle-class female intellectual. Up to the present, Indian women, the montuvias (rural women from the coast), and marginal women from the city have yet to describe their own situation. Similarly lacking are studies on women journalists and poetesses; the image of women in male writers' works; a reevaluation of women's participation in history; sexual attitudes among women; and women in the labor force. In short, because much work remains to be done in terms of investigating the attitudes and problems of the Ecuadorian female, it is hoped that this dissertation will underscore the voids in our knowledge and stimulate the continued redressing of traditional prejudices about Ecuadorian women through studies on their numerous and diverse contributions to society. VI I I

PAGE 10

INTRODUCTION in spite of current efforts to interpret and understand clearly the role of women in Latin America, researchers have offered minimal information about Ecuadorian women. Consequently, the purpose of this dissertation is to fill this void, to study the Ecuadorian woman's role in society by means of a detailed analysis of the prose works (essay and fiction) that Ecuadorian women writers have published to date. Attention will be given to what the women have said about their own role in society, about male-female relationships in Ecuador, and about their chief concerns, aspirations, and fears. In short, the following study of Ecuador's women writers will achieve two goals: (1) establish the extent of women's contribution to Ecuadorian letters; and (2) illustrate women's position in Ecuadorian society. With respect to the first objective, because few critics have been aware of the existence of female writers in Ecuador, critical attention devoted to women's literary production has been rare. Even such leading scholars of national letters as Benjam'n Carrion, Isaac Barrera, Angel Rojas, and Edmundo Ribadeneira have done little more than acknowledge some names and titles in their general comments about Ecuadorian literature. Furthermore, although critics occasionally have alluded to women's limited participation in national letters when explaining the absence of research on female writers, at no time has anyone attempted to analyze the complex reasons which account for this scarcity. In effect, due to the overall lack of interest in investigating 1

PAGE 11

women's place in literature, current knowledge about the female writers has been based on a series of suppositions which people through the years 2 have considered conclusive. While it would be incorrect to suggest that women have been prolific writers in Ecuador, this dissertation will demonstrate that they have written more prose than is generally assumed. Indeed female literary production goes far beyond the critics' traditional, limited references to Marietta de Veintemilla (I858-I907) and Blanca Martfnez de Tinajero (1897). Regarding Ecuadorian women and their place in society, the female writers frequently have used prose literature as a platform for their major concerns and problems, offering the reader a clear idea of many of the realities that characterize women's lives in Ecuador. In short, the importance of literature when studying certain aspects of a society becomes evident upon reading Erich Koehler's assertion that "es posible partiendo de la literatura explicar una sociedad, es decir, conocer su esp'ritu y los hechos que constituyen su.caracter fundamental; una de las funciones de la literatura en la historia del espfritu es el explicar 3 la sociedad de su epoca."' Hence, a clear understanding of Ecuadorian women writers and their prose is essential when attempting to ascertain women's role in society. John Stuart Mill has noted that "we may safely assert that the knowledge which men can acquire of women, even as they have been and are, without reference to what they might be, is wretchedly imperfect and superficial, and always will be so, until women themselves k have told all that they have to tell." In general, the dissertation will be developed in the following manner: Chapter I will discuss the paradox of Ecuadorian women's dynamic

PAGE 12

participation in the country's history and their lacl
PAGE 13

Notes Introduct ion See: BenjamTn Carrion, El nuevo velato ecuatoriano : Cvitica y antologia, 2nd ed. (Quito: Editorial Case de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1958); Isaac Barrera, Histovia de la literatiwa ecuatoriana (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, I96O); Angel Rojas, La novela ecuatoriana, Biblioteca de Autores Ecuator ianos , No. 29 (Guayaquil: Clasicos Ariel, n.d.); Edmundo Ribadeneira, La modema novela ecuatoriana (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1958). 2 . . . Critical perspectives on Ecuadorian women writers also are limited because the last important study on Ecuadorian literature was published in i960 (Barrera's literary history). Women writers have been quite active during the contemporary period; nevertheless, their latest production has not been analyzed outside of several book reviews and prologues. Erich Koehjer, "Las pos i b i 1 i dades de una interpretacion sociologica ilustradas^a traves del analisis de textos literarios franceses de distintas epocas," in Literatura y soaiedad: Problemas de metodologia en sociologia de la literatura, ed. Roland Barthes, Henri Lefebvre, and Lucien Goldmann, trans. R. de la Iglesia, 2nd ed. (Barcelona: Ediciones Martfnez Roca, S. A., 1971), p. 72. h John Stuart Mill, "The Subjection of Women," in Feminism: The Essential Historical Writings, ed. Miriam Schneir (New York: Vintage Books, 1972), pp. 172-173.

PAGE 14

CHAPTER I HISTORICAL HEROINES AND PROSE WRITERS: A CONTRAST IN FEMALE IMAGES IN ECUADOR Although very little research has been done on Ecuadorian women's social, economical, and political situation, numerous scholars have studied women from an historical point of view, frequently glorifying female participation in national history. Manuela Saenz, the "Libertadora del Libertador," for example, is often cited to illustrate the active role women presumably played during the Independence period. Unfortunately, these historical references to Ecuadorian women usually create an idealized female stereotype that "obscures the actual social condition of women and induces them to seek consolation In myths rather than work for social change." Indeed while many writers seem to hold Ecuadorian women in high regard, their comments and conclusions about women's place in history rarely give insight into the major problems and concerns females have struggled with during the years. Curiously enough, however, whereas the gallery of Ecuadorian heroines seems to suggest women have enjoyed considerable prestige and status in society, the often-neglected group of female writers intimates that, for the most part, Ecuadorian women have been victims of longstanding prejudices and taboos. Consequently, before analyzing the major themes found in the female writers' prose works, this chapter will contrast the optimistic view common to the principal concepts and ideas published about Ecuadorian women, in general, with the pessimistic

PAGE 15

image that arises when considering the problems and injustices suffered by the writers. As will be noted, the chasm that exists between these two diverse female models is closely related to the sharp contradictions Virginia Woolf referred to when comparing women in literature with women in daily life: "Some of the most inspired words, some of the most profound thoughts in literature fall from her lips; in real life she could 2 hardly read, could scarcely spell, and was the property of her husband." Turning specifically to Ecuadorian women and history, Benjamfn Carrion, Ecuador's foremost twentieth century essayist and literary critic, a man whose opinion is always taken seriously in Ecuadorian circles, maintains that women have been his nation's principal heroes. In fact. Carrion has written categorically that Ecuador's main contributions to history have been made by its heroines, and therefore, has 3 described the country as a "pueblo hijo de mujer." According to his interpretation, Ecuador's first important women were the Amazons, the female warriors who fascinated western man's imagination almost from the time Columbus discovered the New World. They, along with the wondrous flora and fauna, the abundance of precious metals, and the mysterious primitive peoples, were part of the long-desired Utopia which Alfonso Reyes later called La ultima Tule. Significantly, in the midst of the explorers' marvelous, magical and unreal accounts of America, some of the earliest references to Ecuador were primarily concerned with the Amazon women. In this respect, Carrion claims: "Esas, las Amazonas de Orellana--el hombre que desde Quito march5, guiado por la fabula tambien, en busca del rfo mai — . Esas son las genitrices de la patria. Ellas el comienzo de nuestra

PAGE 16

leyenda de pueblo con raTz en la tierra." Hence, for purposes of national history, the Amazons--Ecuador i an women who used men for their own sexual pleasure, free women who controlled their own world--are important for two reasons: (1) they are basic to Ecuadorian legend and folklore; and (2) they constitute one of Ecuador's first contributions to Latin American historiography. Glorifying his supposed ancestors, Carr i on wr i tes : No. Nosotros no tenemos un don Roldan, un Cid Campeador, un Parsifal: tenemos unas mujeres maahazas , muy hembras, muy mujeres en lo de grandes amadoras y mul t i par i doras . Estas mujeres guerreros, [sic] las amazonas, han sido combatidas por aquellos que, a t'tulo de hi stori adores , hubieran querido que en los archivos helenos quedara un docwnento legal izado sobre la existencia de la Esfinge y la Leyenda de Edipo; o en los archivos germanos se encontrara una documentacion fehaoiente sobre el Anillo de los Nibelungos; . . . y sobre todo, que en los archivos hispanicos existiera en legajos bien encuadernados los documentos relacionados con la Leyenda y Poemas del Cid y las s i nverg'uencer fas de los Condes de Carrion.-' In similar fashion, because she married Huayna-Capac and gave birth to Atahualpa, Paccha is claimed to be an early national heroine who was instrumental in determining the major events that occurred before and during the Conquest. According to historians, Huayna-Capac could not control the region north of Quito until he married the Shyri princess who, in turn, convinced her followers to accept the Inca's supreme authority. Carrion exclaims: "Entonces, Paccha, la quitena, es la creadora del Imperio del Tahuan-t i n-Suyo. La restauradora de la unidad del mundo. Ella, la India quitena, todo amor y sexo, es la verdadera madre, la autentica matriz." Ironically, however, besides helping the Inca extend his empire through northern Ecuador, Paccha's relationship with Huayna-Capac greatly intensified the rivalry between Cuzco and

PAGE 17

Quito. The subsequent civil war between Huascar and Atahualpa destroyed Inca unity and favored considerably Pizarro's conquest of the region. Later national heroines of Ecuadorian history appeared during the Independence period, and the most important figures were Manuela Saenz, the Marquesa de Solanda, and Manuela Canizares. As in the case of Paccha, love and passion were the key to these early eighteenth-century women's fame: Saenz captivated BolTvar, Solanda enchanted Sucre, and Canizares, a madame, supposedly plotted with revolutionaries when allowing them to conspire in secret rooms of her brothel. Generally speaking, during the revolutionary period there were no Ecuadorian military leaders comparable to BolTvar, Sucre, Paez, or San Marttn. Consequently, since Ecuador's chief heroes of the period (BolTvar and Sucre) were Venezuelans, Carrion, among other national writers, attempts to fill the void by extolling women's participation in the struggle against Spain: "No tuvimos heroes con espada en las luchas por la libertad. Tuvimos, sT, heroinas con abanico y mirinaque, ojos asesinos y valor para dejarlo todo, para ir por sobre todo--en una sociedad hipocrita, tragahostias y cuentach i smes . " Accordingly, Saenz was swept away by her passion for BolTvar, and despite heavy social criticism, she sacrificed her reputation and honor when deciding to abandon her husband and follow BolTvar. Later, in a letter addressed to her legal spouse, she explained: "Se muy bien que no puedo un i rme a el [BolTvar] por las leyes del honor, como tu llamas, pero, icrees que me siento menos honrada porque sea mi amante y no mi marido? iOh! No vivo para los prejuicios de la sociedad, que 8 solo fueron inventados para que nos atormentemos el uno al otro." In

PAGE 18

effect unlike other passionate relationships, many Ecuadorians believe Saenz's love for Bolfvar was noble and of heroic proportions, particularly because the romance made her a firm believer in Bolfvar 's ideals which she relentlessly fought to establish in Latin America. Mariana de Jesus is another major figure in Ecuadorian history; she is Ecuador's patron saint who renounced her wealth and noble position in society in order to dedicate herself totally to Christ and the Church. Moreover, in 1645, a year in which Quito was beset by a series of earthqual
PAGE 19

10 Whether or not heroism can be defined in terms of love and passion, in terms of a madame who allows her clients to conspire in her world of sexual merrymaking, is not of interest here. The chief concern is how a small country in search of national heroes has turned to its women, a phenomenon which might suggest Ecuador has maintained certain traces of a matriarchal society in which women have attained positions of equal prestige to those of men. This concept has been advanced in several studies, particularly in those works already cited which deal with the Independence era. Turning to the twentieth century, Morayma Ofyr Carvajal offers a similar view of women's supposed significance in modern Ecuadorian society; Galeria del esptritu: Mujeres de mi patria is an extensive collection of biographical sketches of the nation's most important women: historical figures, social workers, educators, artists, poetesses, and prose writers. In general, Carvajal points out that women have been principal leaders in the fields of education and social work during this century: they have founded orphanages, hospitals, public educational programs, and patriotic organ i zat ions. This same optimistic and favorable description of female involvement is seen in Piedad Larrea Borja's essay, "Biograffa de la mujer en el Ecuador"; in Isabel Moscoso Davila's Abanico de recuerdos; and in 1 2 Zoila Rendon's "La mujer en los diversos organismos humanos." By and large, as Rend5n explains: No nos falta en nuestra historia las patricias que ayudaron a nuestra emancipacion polftica y son la gloria de la Patria; y, despues, en cualquier conflicto guerrero, mujeres valientes que no se intimidan, ni con el estruendo del canon, ni el crepitar de las amet ra 1 ladoras , dejando

PAGE 20

11 asf ver que la mujer ecuatoriana, es tan apta y valiente como el hombre. Tenerr.cs doctoras en jur i sprudenci a , medicina, farmacia, adontologos, [sic] ingenieras y contabi 1 i stas tituladas, aparte de bachilleres en ciencas de educacion y ciclo general de cultura. ^ Notwithstanding women's supposed importance in Ecuadorian history, it has been generally believed that they have not contributed significantly to national letters. Besides the chapters of poetesses and prose writers in Carvajal's Galeria del espivitu: Mujeres de mi patria, and several articles written by such people as Zoila Marfa Castro, Alejandro Andrade Coal lo, vTctor Manuel Rendon, and Mary Coryle, most critics and scholars have foregone studying at length the women writers. Indeed it seems paradoxical that women should occupy such a prominent position in history and such an inconsequential one in literature. Moreover, whereas women's reputed involvement in Ecuador's history would suggest the existence of an atmosphere in which they could function and assert themselves fully, the void found in literature tends to negate, in part, the "pueblo hijo de mujer" concept. If as Lucien Goldmann has said "la obra [literaria] forma parte del conjunto de la realidad," it can also be assumed that the absence of a significant body of literature debilitates the portrait of that society's reality. With respect to Ecuador, it would appear the dearth of female authors offers a more accurate description of women's place in Ecuadorian society than their vaunted historical role in shaping the nation. It must be borne in mind that many of the so-called heroines did not participate in history with a conscious notion of their roles or because of an atmosphere that encouraged women qua women to take an active part in society. Rather, female presence and involvement in

PAGE 21

12 Ecuadorian history were frequently chance occurrences. Paccha, for example, was not concerned about unifying her people with the Incas in order to avoid war when she fell in. love with Huayna-Capac; nor were the Amazons identified exclusively with what are presently Ecuador's boundaries. In effect, while the historical figures have been able to achieve fame without any specific preparation or training, the women writers have not realized their potential because they usually have been denied indispensable opportunities. Hence, women's limited literary production suggests that their past has not been as glorious as some people would like to believe. The "answer to why there are no great women artists, or so few women artists at all, lies not in the nature of individual genius or the lack of it, but in the nature of given social institutions and what they forbid or encourage in various classes or groups of i ndi vidua! s. ' Generally speaking, the problems faced by women writers have been the same ones all women have had to confront at one time or another: lack of education, social prejudices, church domination, and women's ignorance of their own plight. In 1952, Maria Piedad Castillo de Levi, a journalist and the ex-president of the Inter-American Commission of Women, complained about Ecuadorian women's lack of political power. Despite constituting the majority of the population, and despite having been the first women in Latin America to receive national suffrage (1929), female voters continued to be ignored by male politicians. Moreover, their names remained absent from party ballots, and there was no official representation of the country's female interests.'^

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13 In 1963, a group of Ecuadorian women attended the Segundo Congreso de Mujeres de Toda America in Havana and criticized sharply women's situation in Ecuador. The delegation condemned male employers who abused legislation to exploit the woman worker; domestics and rural workers were described as unprotected, underpaid, and often sexually assaulted by their bosses. In addition, illiteracy was claimed to be highest among women, "lo que paraliza el ascenso de nuestro sexo a la amplia cultura y a la concepcion real de los problemas generales que part icularmente nos afectan." The problems have continued as in other countries: Ecuadorian society still insists that women be mothers above all else; there are still limited day care centers for the children of working-mothers; 1 8 married women are still legally inferior to their husbands; and social class differences continue to make difficult the creation of a united feminist organization. Moreover, although Ecuadorian laws frequently have favored and protected women, particularly labor legislation, women have not attained their equality: i.e.,. laws are decreed but rarely enforced. In effect, despite certain legal reforms, greater educational opportunities, and liberal influences from abroad, Ecuadorian women go on living in a world similar to that of other females, a world beset by numerous contradictions: "on the one hand, they [have] most of the legal freedoms, the literal assurances that they [are] considered full political citizens of society-and yet they [have] no power. They have educational opportun i t ies--and yet [are] unable, and not expected, to employ them." If Ecuadorian women, in general, have suffered because of the many inequities and contradictions inherent in society, the female

PAGE 23

authors have been the victims of a more stifling plight — not only have they been oppressed as women, but also as professional writers. One key factor which helps explain the dearth of women writers in Ecuador is the long tradition of limited education for school-aged girls, a reality sharply criticized by Juan Leon Mera during the nineteenth 20 century. Unfortunately, change and improvement have occurred very gradually. Although before the turn of the century, and especially during Eloy Alfaro's liberal movement (I895-I912), women were supposedly granted greater educational opportunities (admission to the universities was opened to women in I896), little progress was realized. It is important to note that the first normal school for women was founded in 1901 (Colegio Normal Manuela Canizares, Quito), and in addition, it was not until 1935 that Ecuador established its first non-religious all girls high school which awarded the bachillerato (Colegio Nacional 2 1 2k de Mayo, Quito) . Clearly, social prejudices and stereotypes have been the main obstacles to developing women's education in Ecuador. Indeed, since female roles were traditionally limited to that of daughter, wife, and mother, sewing and cooking were considered more suitable for women than science, philosophy, and mathematics. Also, the importance of virginity and honor in Latin American society, in general, and in Ecuador, in particular, convinced many of the need for women to stay at home.. Essentially, then, as pointed out by Hipatia Cardenas de Bustamente, social attitudes have long been instrumental in limiting women's cultural growth: "AquT en el Ecuador la mujer ha vivido siempre relegada exclusivamente al hogar, cohibida y amedrentada por la preponderanc ia y 22 pretension del hombre."

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15 In short, for many potential authors the lack of education coupled with required motherhood were and are presently too much to overcome. That is to say, while the uneducated female rarely has perceived her latent talents, the intellectual woman, the one aware of her abilities and capable of becoming a writer, usually has accepted the roles imposed by society because she has lacked the moral and economic support necessary to resist successfully the dominant social pressures of her day. With regard to women writers, in general, Anna Garlin Spencer has observed: Anyone can see that to write Uncle Tom's Cabin on the knee in the kitchen, with the constant calls to cooking and other details of housework to punctuate the paragraphs, was a more difficult achievement than to write it at leisure in a quiet room. ... No record, however, can even name the women of talent who were so submerged by child-bearing and its duties, and "general housework," that they had to leave their poems and stories all unwritten. Moreover, the obstacles to intellectual development and achievement which marriage and maternity interpose . . . are not the only ones that must be noted. It is not alone the fact that women have generally had to spend most of their strength in caring for others that has handicapped them in Individual effort; but also that they have almost universally had to care wholly for themselves. ^3 Eugenia Viteri and Alicia Yanez Cossfo, two contemporary Ecuadorian authors, also refer to the writer/mother conflict as a major obstacle to their literary development. They both have complained about insufficient time, fatigue, domestic responsibilities, and in the case of Yanez, children's resentment at being ignored while their mother writes. In addition, another complication for the contemporary woman writer in Ecuador is her frequent need to work outside of the home to supplement her husband's income. Consequently, in terms of role conflicts, the female author's current situation in many cases is worse than that of past generations because she is now confronted with a triple role in society, rather than with a double one.

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16 Of course, since Ecuadorians form a society in which people spend a great deal of time gossiping and criticizing others, the most serious obstacle women writers in Ecuador have had to overcome has been fear. It should be borne in mind that traditionally women were supposed to exemplify morality and virtue at all times, and therefore, those who were fulfilling their domestic duties were assumed to be unaware of certain social evils, and incapable of describing the crude scenes of rural and urban Ecuador that writers of the 1930's were producing. Moreover, since authors have frequently been identified with their works, many women realized that certain themes and literary characterizations could threaten their social reputations. Consequently, to avoid being misunderstood by the reading public, and subsequently ostracized by society, many women simply have discounted the possibility of a writing career in Ecuador. While the lack of education, the writer/mother conflict, and fear of social opinion are three basic reasons which help explain the absence of greater female participation in literature, a discussion about the problems which beset women authors would be incomplete without referring to the difficulties all Ecuadorian writers must face. With the possible exception of a few writers (i.e., Montalvo, Carrera Andrade, Icaza, de la Cuadra), Ecuador has not produced great names in literature comparable to such outstanding Latin American authors as Darfo, Martf, Borges, Paz, Cortazar, or Carpentier. The first factor which accounts for this lack of greatness is the dearth of publishing houses in Ecuador, an obstacle to literary development which has stifled all national writers. Since many authors have been forced to publish their own

PAGE 26

17 works, and because few have possessed the necessary capital, a 25 significant amount of literature has remained unpublished. Even today authors find it difficult to publish; the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, Ecuador's major publishing house since 19^^, presently charges the writers for the paper used because of limited and inadequate budgets. Thus, even when booi
PAGE 27

In short, an attempt to be a professional writer in Ecuador has been an heroic tasl<: the lack of publishers, a reduced reading public, and the economic needs and obligations in life make it virtually impossible to write regularly. With respect to women writers, their situation becomes even more discouraging when keeping in mind that, besides the difficulties common to their profession, they also must deal with the injustices suffered by their sex: "iTriste es decirlol AquT, en el Ecuador, la literatura de los nacionales esta muy a la baja. Y si la produce una mujer, a quien, con un concepto errado, solo se le concede primacia 'en el arte de hacer hijos,' peor todavTa. Por eso el la tiene que sostener toda una lucha, con un ambiente enteramente hostil, . . . para poder destacarse, para poder sobresalir y mirar, mas de cerca, la aurora 29 anunciante del sol prometedor." To sum up, this chapter has presented briefly two contrasting views of Ecuadorian women: their role as historical heroines and that of writers of prose. The women of history described by national writers represent a vital part in Ecuador's past, and might suggest that they traditionally have occupied a position of glory and high esteem-though somewhat idealized. As several writers have explained, women have contributed significantly to the nation's organization and development, and during the present century, have been instrumental in promoting social programs and reforms. Upon considering the realities of the female authors, however, one encounters the suffering and injustices women in Ecuador have always experienced. From this point of view, Ecuadorian women no longer appear as central figures in society, but rather as victims of limited opportunities and social prejudices. Indeed the paradox of

PAGE 28

19 women's importance in history and their assumed insignificance in literature is a vexing reality whose nature will be examined in the following chapters that deal specifically with women writers and their perceptions of the Ecuadorian female's actual place in society.

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20 Notes Chapter I Cheri Register, "American Feminist Literary Criticism: A Bibliographical Introduction," in Feminist Literary Criticism: Explorations in Theory, ed . Josephine Donovan (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1975), P6. 2 Cited by Register, "American Feminist Literary Criticism: A Bibliographical Introduction," p. 53 El Queyito de la patria: Breve historia del Ecuador, 2nd ed. (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1973), PP79~120. The following comments on female historical figures, in large part, are based on Carrion's discussion in Chapter IV ("Pueblo hijo de mujer") of the cited work. Originally, this chapter was published as an article: "Pueblos hijos de mujer," Cuademos Americanos, CLXXIX, 6 (NovemberDecember 1971), 76-86. ^Ibid. ,

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21 13 "La mujer en los diversos organismos humanos," p. 162. 1^4 Barthes, Lefebvre, Goldmann et al.^ Litevatura y soaiedad^ p. 73. Linda Nochlin, "Why Are There No Great Women Artists?," in Woman in Sexist Society: Studies in Power and Powerlessness, ed. Vivian Gornick and Barbara K. Moran (New Yori<: New American Library, 1970 > P'*93. 16 . , . Maria Piedad Castillo de Levi, "Las proximas elecciones y la actuaci5n de las mujeres," El Telegrafo, 31 May 1952, p. ^4. "Informe nacional del Ecuador," Obva vevolucionaria , II (January 1963), 98. The Assembly took place on January 11, 1963Ecuador was represented by the Union de Mujeres de Guayaquil, El Comite de Auspicios, and the Asociacion Femenina Un i vers i tar i a. Marta Feijoo was president of the delegation. 1 R An interesting study on married women's legal status has recently been published by Jorge Maldonado Rennella: I El Codigo Civil del Ecuador y las reformas de 1970: un retroceso en la historia juridica del pais; II La situacion de la mujer casada en la legislacion civil (Guayaquil: Departamento de Publ icaciones de la Universidad de Guayaquil, 197'*)19 Shulamith Firestone, "On American Feminism," in Woman %n Sextst Society: Studies in Power and Powerlessness y pp. GlJ-GlB. 20 Cited in Angel F. Rojas, La novela ecuatoriana, p. 25. 21 See Alejandro Andrade Coello, "Cultura femenina: Floracion intelectual de la mujer ecuatoriana en el siglo XX," El Lihertador V, 71-73 (July-September 19^*2), 317. 22 OrOy rojo y azul (Quito: Editor'ral Artes Graficas, 19'*3), P^0. 23 "Woman's Share in Social Culture," in Feminism: The Essential Historical Writings, p. 284. These comments were made during two separate interviews with the authors while researching in Ecuador: Eugenia Viteri, March 13, 1975; Alicia Yanez Cossfo, March 20, 197525 Many works written by women have gone unpublished. Some examples are: Zoila Rendon de Mosquera's Expiacion (novel). El dolor de ojnar (novel), Leyendas ecuatoria7%as (short stories); Aurora Estrada y Ayala's En el puente (novel); Mary Coryle's Conscriptos (novel), Hombre (novel )^ Laura Perez de Oleas Zambrano's El rostro del silenaio (novel), Del sueno y la vigilia (short stories). 26 La novela ecuatoriana, p. 223.

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22 27 The three stores are: Librerfa Cientffica, Librerfa Cervantes, and Su LibrerTa. 28 La novela ecuatoriana, p. 95. 29 Jose Ayala Cabanilla, "Mireya Romero Plaza de Bravomalo, poetisa y novel ista," in La pena fuimos nosotraSj Mireya de Bravomalo (Guayaquil; Imprenta Municipal, 1953), pp. 1-2.

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CHAPTER I i EARLY FEMALE VOICES IN ECUADORIAN PROSE LITERATURE Before the mid-nineteenth century, the principal women known to have written prose in Ecuador were three nuns who described at great length their mystical experiences and overall struggle against worldly temptations. However, since Teresa de Jesus Cepeda (I566-I6IO), Sor Gertrudis de San lldefonso (1652-1709), and Sor Catalina de Jesus Marfa Herrera (1717-1795) limited the focus of their writing to a totally religious context, they offer little information about colonial Ecuador, in general, and the problems common the the period's women, in particular. The only exception to this observation seems to be a comment made by Sor Catalina de Jesus who briefly alluded to the need for women to write despite apparent ridicule and discouragement from men: A las mujeres me parece que hace mas impresion I0 que han escrito sus semejantes; y tambien porque son las mujeres mas allegadas a la sencillez y llaneza de las razones: y por el las pr i nci palmente me parece que ha querido Dios que escriban tambien mujeres: y tambien para confusion de los hombres doctos del mundo, como se lo ha dicho a sus Siervas su Divina Majestad; pero ellos, no se quieren confundir, sino burlarse; aunque esto no sucede en los hombres verdaderamente espi r i tua les , sino en los doctos presumidos que no aprenden en la escuela del Espfr i tu Santo, sino en la escuela de su ingenio meramente humano. Naturally, because these early writers confined themselves to the Church, and because they were never interested in communicating with a large general reading public, their diaries and autobr iographi cal pieces 2 had very little impact on later female authors in Ecuador. Therefore, 23

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2^ it is not until several nineteenth-century women experimented publicly with literature (i.e., theatre, short story, essay, and poetry) that one can refer to the actual beginnings of a literary tradition among female writers. For the purposes of this study, then, the first major female writers to appear in national letters were Dolores Veintemilla de Galindo (1829-1857), principally a poetess who introduced romanticism to Ecuadorian literature, and Marietta de Veintemilla (I858-I907), Ecuador's first well-known and prominent woman prose writer. With regard to Veintemilla de Galindo, in addition to having written ten poems and three prose compositions, she is especially significant in national literary history because the tragic events which led to her suicide illustrate some of the chief obstacles women writers traditionally have confronted in Ecuador. Turning specifically to her prose pieces, "Recuerdos" and "Mi fantasfa" were romantic works: the first evoked her happy childhood; the second exalted the imagination's powers to Isolate her from life's daily sorrows: "Entonces, absorta de felicidad, vuelvo en las alas de mi Iluslon hasta t\ [la fantasfa], y alia en los clelos donde la felicidad y las miserias de la tierra no existen, soy fellz como los angeles delante del trono de DIos, pasandome anonadada delante de tT [sic] y deslumbrada con tu brlllo." Of greater importance, however, was "Al publico," a public letter written in response to a wave of social criticism directed against her, and in which she defended her right to become Involved in important social matters. According to historical accounts, because Veintemilla de Galindo openly supported Tiburcio Lucero, an Indian accused of parricide and sentenced to death. Archbishop Solano and numerous

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25 contemporary writers saw fit to question publicly her behavior and motives. in reply to these attacks, she wrote: He aquf lo que puede hacer una mujer calumniada, cuando como yo tiene el derecho de levantar su frente pura, ante todos los hombres sin temor de que haya uno que tenga la facultad de hacerla doblar rubor i zada;--he aquf lo que hago en cumplimiento del deber que tengo, como mujer de honor, de justificarme ante la sociedad digna, cuyo juicio y opinion tan solo temo y respeto. As', pues, si en adelante se vuelve a atacarme bajo la capa del anonimo y permanezco en silencio, espero no se crea callo porque acepto mi infamacion, sino que, me contento con entregarlos a sus remordimientos , maldicion sterna, verdadero castigo de los criminales.^ Similarly, in a poem entitled "A mis enemigos," she implored: "iPor que, por que quereis que yo sofoque/Lo que en mi pensamiento osa vivir?" In effect, Veintemilla de Galindo's confrontation with adverse public opinion reflects how society traditionally has opposed women's efforts to challenge the status quo and/or participate in controversial sociopolitical issues. Moreover, although her literary career was short-lived, and her prose extremely limited, her suffering and eventual suicide clearly point out the hostile environment in which free thinking women had to work and struggle in Ecuador. Notwithstanding Veintemilla de Galindo's failure to overcome the social pressures which eventually destroyed her, and despite the general belief that women should stay at home, the latter part of the nineteenth century did produce one woman in particular who succeeded in breaking with traditional stereotypes and taboos. Indeed Marietta de Veintemilla became a dominant force in Ecuadorian society, particularly during her 6 uncle's dictatorship (General ignacio de Veintemilla, I876-I883). According to Enrique Garces:

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26 Ella es la que insiste en el arreglo del parque quiteno llamado "La Alameda." La sociedad era muy timorata y no permitfa que las senoritas salieran a la calle sino acompanadas de sus padres y por lo menos Unas tres criadas. Dona Marietta arremetio contra esta costumbre y valiendose del apoyo que le prestaban unas seis o diez chiquillas de las "mejores familias," hizo la campana en favor del paseo en la Alameda. Fueron el las, con trajes llamativos y sombreros de modelos extranos, a dar vueltas y vueltas por el jardfn quiteno. . . . Dona Marietta habTa realizado una verdadera revolucion en 1878 con estas armas singulares: paseo en los parques . . . ; vestidos ligeros sin ese pesado tejido negro que la beaterfa impon'an [sic] a las senoritas; posibilidad de que la gente joven se reuna, haga amistades y surja el amor . ' With respect to politics, because she was her uncle's most loyal and faithful supporter, the General entrusted her with many political assignments; for example, during the General's absences from Quito, she was frequently left in charge of government business. Also, it was she who directed the armed forces on two occasions when defending the regime against General Ve intemi 1 1 a ' s enemies. In short, according to Pareja Diezcanseco who has commented on Marietta de Veintemi 1 la ' s participation in Ecuadorian politics: En Quito, lo hizo todo Mari'eta [sic]. Desconfiaba el la del Ministro de Guerra. Dejolo entonces que pusiera al ejercito en las calles, y, de pronto, en la madrugada, delante de las tropas, lo llama traidor, lo hace preso, y proclama la dictadura de su tfo. Los soldados, embriagados por su valor y audacia, la proclaman Generala. Desde entonces, Marieta de Veintemilla [sic] es la Generalita que sabe como combat ir y mandar tropas, ademas de como seducir en los salones con su singular belleza. En esta batalla de Quito [la del 10 de enero de I883], fue nuevamente la herofna Marieta de Veintemilla [sic]: asumio del mando de las tropas y organize la defensa como un soldado veterano. Ella dirigio el fuego de los cariones. Ella manej5 el fusil. Morfan en sus brazos los soldados, estimulados con la prueba de su belleza.

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27 Jadeante y mas hermosa se la ve'a, cuando cayo prisionera. En la carcel permanecer'a ocho meses , y luego al destierro, al que marcho orgullosa de haber sabido defender al tTo, que llamaba "papa Ignacio."" Above all, however, Marietta de Vei ntemi 1 1 a was the first Ecuadorian woman to play a dominant role in literary circles: "Marietta es el centro galante de la sociedad quitena. Sus habitaciones en Palacio [sic] se convierten en un cenaculo literarlo, lleno de poetas ecuator ianos , colombianos, peruanos y de otrns pafses. Personaje intelectual que Q arriba a Quito, ingresara a ^us salones." Furthermore, she was the first woman prose writer to be accepted by critics as a significant and influential figure in national letters. Angel Rojas, for example, besides claiming Veintemilla was one of the four major Ecuadorian writers of the nineteenth century (the other three were: Juan Leon Mera, Juan Montalvo, and Carlos R. lobar), also comments that "Ricardo Palma expreso la admiracion que le causaba el estilo de Marietta de Veintimilla [sic], al cual encontro algo de la sobriedad de Tacito." Clearly, her most important work was Paginas del Ecuador, a long polemical essay she wrote after being releas.ed, from prison and exiled to Peru. Similar to Sarmiento and Montalvo, Ve i ntenii 1 la was a political liberal who used her essay to attack the period's social and political ills, and to analyze the determining factors in her nation's development, interestingly, because of her romantic spirit, she disregarded the traditional literary rules of order and form, and presented her ideas by combining such diverse elements as first person narration, third person commentary, and highly emotional attacks against her political enemies. Upon beginning Paginas del Ecuador, she wrote: "Mi empeho es algo mas elevado, pues conduce a hacer luz sobre acontecimientos polfticos

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28 del Ecuador, en los que si me cupo una pequena parte, no puedo menos que consagrarles este recuerdo, haciendo un llamamiento a la verdad, 12 a la justicia . . . ." Further on. she continued: Amalgama de hechos heroicos y maqui naciones ruines; auroras de libertad con crepusculos de humillacion esclavocrata; santo anhelo de mejoramiento nacional y postracion de fuerzas por la lucha entre lo bueno y lo malo: he a 1 1 T el resumen de esa historia que todavfa no se ha escrito con la entera independenc ia que se demanda, y a la que es justo atender con unas paginas siquiera, que manana s i rvan entre documentos mil de su especie, para el sereno juicio de la poster i dad. -^ It should be pointed out that due to her use of first person narration when referring to her own participation in Ecuadorian history, Isaac Barrera and Angel Rojas have included Paginas del Ecuador in their 14 discussions on the Ecuadorian novel. Indeed the work acquires a semblance of fiction as the numerous metaphors and constant use of the imperfect tense decrease the distance between the narrator and the material Mis obedientes servidores no se mov'an de sus puestos; el fuego que nuestros enemigos hacfan desde la torre de San AgustTn sobre el portal del Palacio, era tenaz y destructor. Cafan al lado mfo los soldados, pasando silenciosos de la vida a la muerte. Agitabales un extremecimiento [sic] instantaneo, sin que me fuera dado recojer las ultimas miradas de esos heroes. El dolor mismo pasaba fugaz en mi espTritu, anestesiado por emociones tan variados como terribles.'5 El silencio y la lobreguez reinaban en torno. De cuando en cuando, los silbadores proyectiles iban a clavarse en los muros del edificio. Parecfa que el angel de la destruccTon buscaba entre las tinieblas a quien senalar con sus caricias de muerte; sintiendo yo, en los revueltos giros del plomo, algo como el chasquido siniestro de sus alas.'° Notwithstanding the novel istic elements, however, Paginas del Ecuador offers many penetrating observations about the problems that have beset Ecuador and other Latin American countries. Upon concluding her study, she observed:

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29 Los pueblos hi spano-amer i canos , arrastran casi todos, una existencia identica. Hay cualidades y defectos comunes de raza, que no les permiten entrar de lleno en el camino del orden. Siguiendo el paralelo de sus volcan^s, viven con extremecimientos [sic] revol ucionar ios , periodicos y fatales, que van sin embargo, disminuyendo en intensidad conforme se ilustran las masas , cuya quietud y habitos de trabajo corresponden al enfriamiento gradual de las materias terrestres en ignicion. El Ecuador, aunque desgraciado hasta el dt"a, no tiene sin embargo, por que perder la fe en sus destinos futuros. Los pueblos mas grandes y prosperos hoy, han tenido tambien su noche negra de horrores. ' Besides her political and historical concerns, Veintemilla also wrote about women and the need for them to accept the challenge of being active citizens willing to defend their human rights and ideals. In 1 8 "Madame Roland," a short feminist essay, the author presented Madame Roland as a symbol of women's potential to participate directly in society and to contribute significantly to history. Similar to her own life, the French revolutionary was an example of what women could do if they would free themselves from the social roles imposed upon them by a male-dominated society. in effect, Veintemilla categorically rejected man's supposed superiority over, women: Esta noble figura [Madame Roland] de la revolucion francesa, se elevara siempre como una prueba de que el esp'ritu no se conforma a las ci rcunscr i pciones de la materia, y que para elevarse muy alto no necesita Ios mCisculos vigorosos que ostenta el hombre. Propio es , sin embargo, de la vanidad masculina negar en lo absoluto a la mujer ciertas cualidades, y varon hay de buena fe que se cree superior a la Roland, a la Stael, o la Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda, solo porque levanta un peso de doscientas libras y esta dispuesto a dejarse matar en cualquier lance. '" Generally speaking, although she was optimistic about the literary efforts being made by her female contemporaries abroad and their promising future, Veintemilla deplored the South American woman's overall situation:

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30 A despecho de nuestra ci vi 1 Izaclon , la mujer sudamerl cana es la esclava recien manumisa que ensaya sus primeros pasos en el terreno de la literatura, donde felizmente ha cosechado ya grandes triunfos precursores de otros de mas val'a con el transcurso del tiempo. Ella no puede aun aventurarse en el campo especulativo sin la obligada companfa de un hombre; el la en el aislamiento, no encuentra ni siquiera respeto fuera de su hogar, pues le asechan por una parte al brutal idad [sic] callejera y por otra la murmuraci5n social, cuando no las feroces dentelladas de la calumnia. Para llevar al poder una idea, aunque sea la mas pura y des interesada , se expone al miserable tratamiento de "favorita." No tiene, en una palabra, la culta, racional independencia que la mujer de Europa o Norteamerica, y sus impetus generosos, mal comprendidos ante los ojos del vulgo, la empequenecen. Finally, Veintemilla also utilized the essay as a means of demonstrating her broad culture and vast knowledge of philosophy and 21 science, publishing such works as Confevencia sobre psioologia moderna and a brief composition dedicated to Doctor Agustfn Leonidas Yerovi. In short, her dynamic and unorthodox role in history, her creative efforts in literature, her feminist ideas, and her understanding of scientific topics that were normally associated with male thinkers all point to Veintemi 1 la ' s extraordinary ability to compete successfully in a society traditionally dominated by. man. Jaime Chaves Granja summarizes her achievements as follows: Una mujer culta, destacadamente culta, con un rico conocimiento de los progresos de la literatura, del arte y de la ciencia en el Viejo y sabio Continente: eso fue Marietta de Veintemilla. Un caso singular y s i ngul ar fs imo; y no s5lo para el medio ecuatoriano, sino para el que habfa en todas las latitudes de America. Se puede comprender facilmente que una excepcion tan descomunal, ten(a que ser sin remedio el bianco de la incomprens ion . iComo pod'an comprender a dona Marietta las gentes de ese tiempo aferradas al trad ic ional i smo mas tenebroso, a las formulas sociales de convento y moj igater fa? Si aquella Mujer se mostraba libre de prejuicios, valerosa en la expresion de sus conoc imi entos e inquietudes, temeraria en las actitudes que asumTa, no pod'a ciertamente ser perdonada por una sociedad que todavTa suponTa que era un delito para la

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31 mujer saber leer y escribir, un delito para la santidad convene i ona 1 . ^3 In conclusion, although women's literary production before the twentieth century was scarce, the writers discussed in this chapter were important antecedents and precursors who initiated the gradual development of women's prose in Ecuador. More specifically, it is not surprising that the first three women who attempted to write were nuns during the Colony since education, an essential for almost all aspiring artists, was controlled by the Church. Later, in the early years of the Republic, when Dolores Veintemilla de Galindo tried to move away from the religious themes usually associated with women, Ecuadorian society still proved to be unwilling to accept women's efforts to become involved in more secular, worldly affairs. However, with the advent of political liberalism during the last few decades of the nineteenth century. Marietta de Veintemilla was able to challenge the status quo and help usher in new opportunities for women. In effect, she may be thought of as a transitional figure who led Ecuadorian women into the twentieth century, a modern world seemingly more tolerant of women's professional and cultural aspirations.

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32 Notes Chapter I I Cited in Fray Alfonso A. Jerves, ed., Flovilegio doctrinal de la Venerable^ Madre Catalina Luisa de Jesus Maria Herrera religiosa del Monasterio de Santa Catalina de Sena de Quito (Quito: Imprenta de Santo Domingo, 1932), p. 152 It should be borne in mind that their prose did not circulate outside of the Church until this century, when several scholars began publishing the works. Manuel MarTa Pol it has made the most significant contributions regarding Teresa de Jesus Cepeda; besides studying her life, he also has published some of the nun's letters. See: Manuel Marfa Pol it, "La primera escritora ecuator iana," La Union Literaria, Vl, 2 (July 1916), h3; La familia de Santa Teresa en America y la primera carmelita americana (Friburgo de Brisgovia, Alemania: B. Herder, 1905). With respect to Sor Gertrudis de San lldefonso, see selections in: Padre Miguel Sanchez Astudillo, ed . , Prosistas de la colonia: Siglos XV-XVIII , Biblioteca Ecuatoriana MTnima (Mexico: Editorial J. M. Cajica Jr., S.A., i960), pp. 217-223. Interestingly, her work was compiled in 1700 by her' confessor, Padre Mart'n de la Cruz, and entitled La perla mistica esoondida en la concha de la humildad. According to Sanchez Astudillo, however, the three volumes which make up the work were never published. Turning to Sor Catalina de Jesus Marfa Herrera, Fray Alfonso A. Jerves has been the major scholar responsible for making her work known. Besides the work cited in the previous note, Jerves edited Sor Catalina's autobiography: Secretos entre el alma y Dies o Autobiografia de la Venerable Madre Sor Catalina de Jesus Maria Herrera (Quito: Editorial "Santo Domingo," 1950) . 3 Producciones literarias , ed. , CelianoMonge (Quito: Editorial de Proano y Delgado, I908), pp. 19-20. This collection contains Veintemilla de Galindo's entire literary product ion • (ten poems and three prose compos i t ions) . 4 Ibid. , pp. 22-23. ^Ibid. , p. 7. Aside from her overbearing personality and a growing tendency toward liberalism in late nineteenth-century Ecuador, one must not overlook her uncle's political power as a key factor in explaining her ability to dominate the social pressures which earlier had destroyed Veintemilla de Galindo. In effect, her uncle's political position gave Veintemilla a power base unknown to most women in Ecuador. Marietta de Veintemilla (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 19'*9), pp. 62-63.

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33 o Historia de la Bepublioa: El Ecuador desde 1830 a nuestvos dlas. I (Guayaquil: Comograf, S. A., n.d,). 153"156. 9 Enrique Garces, Marietta de Veintemilla, p. 60. La novela eouatoriana , p. 66. Lima: Imprenta Liberal de F. Masfas y Compan'a, I89O. 12 Ibid. . p. 3. Ibid. , p. 6. See: Rojas, La novela eouatoriana; Barrera, Historia de la literatura eouatoriana. Paginas del Ecuador, pp. 201-202. ^^Ibid., p. 225. ^'^Ibid. , pp. ^Og-'^IO. 1 8 Reproduced in Enrique GarceSj Marietta de Veintemilla, pp. I65173This essay was originally part of a series of short essays entitled Digresiones libres; "Madame Roland" was first published in Sooiedad Juridico-Literaria,!^ (June 1904), n.p. 19 Ibid. , p. 167. ^^Ibid., pp. 170-171. 9 1 (Quito: Imprenta de la Universidad Central, 1907). This lecture was first presented on February 10, 1907. at the Universidad Central in Quito, during an assembly sponsored by the Sociedad Jurfd i co-Li terar ia. 22 Digresiones libres: A la memoria del Doctor Agustin Leonidas Yerovi (Quito: Imprenta Municipal, 190^). 23 "El drama de una mujer escrito por la noble pasion de un hombre," introduction to Enrique Garces, Marietta de Veintemilla, pp. xiii-xiv.

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CHAPTER I I I THE FEMINIST JOURNALS: A SOURCE OF LITERARY DEVELOPMENT Although there were female intellectuals and writers in Ecuador before the twentieth century, these women were from well-educated, and often, wealthy families capable of providing cultural opportunities unknown to most Ecuadorian women. It was not until Eloy Alfaro (Ecuadorian president during I895-I9OI and I906-I9II) and the political liberals instituted numerous reforms in female legislation that greater numbers of women found themselves sufficiently prepared culturally to begin writing steadily, conscious of specific objectives. Whereas most females of the past were consigned solely to their domestic duties, the advent of Ecuadorian liberalism made possible modern women's fuller participation in the mainstream of social and political realities: "Fue el Partido Liberal que, reformando la ConstituciOn del 8h, que prohibfa a la mujer el ejercicio de sus derechos polTticos, le abrio las puertas de las Uni vers idades, le concedio el libre ejercicio de la admi n i stracion de sus bienes como mujer casada; le concedio a la madre patria potestad; y en sus trascendental es Asambleas del 97 y del 29, aboliendo su incapacidad de deliberante y de votante, le concedio espontaneamen te , 2 carta de ciudadanfa." Moreover, female education was a serious concern for Alfaro who stated before the Constitutional Assembly of I896-I897: 'Justo es tambien ensanchar la esfera de proteccion abriendo a las mujeres las uni versidades de la Republica, a fin de que puedan dedicarse al 34

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35 estudio de profesiones cientfficas y proporcionar les , igualmente, talleres adecuados para el aprendizaje de artes y oficios." Naturally, in spite of Alfaro's efforts to improve women's conditions, many traditional problems and injustices continued to victimize Ecuadorian females. Since political support for women's progress often failed to change people's concepts and prejudices, the well-intentioned laws did not reflect completely the social realities of the times. It was one thing to open the universities to women, but another to prepare them to compete successfully in higher education, and above all, to convince them of the need to continue their learning. Indeed much of society continued to believe that motherhood was a woman's principal purpose in life, and consequently, saw no need for most of the proposed liberal reforms. In fact, many Ecuadorians viewed the liberals' efforts to improve women's status in society as a direct attack against an established social order that had long been considered sacred (i.e., marriage, motherhood, and virginity). Notwithstanding public opposition and resistance to official policies, however, the government's apparent interest in and support of women did draw attention to the latter's needs, and more importantly, it set the stage for a major literary awakening among women writers. In effect, with gradual gains in education and considerable governmental backing, scores of females made a conscious effort to express their ideas in writing, and to communicate with a reading public for the first time. Specifically, beginning with the alfarista era (the period of Eloy Alfaro's political dominance in Ecuador, 1895-1912), female activity in prose literature increased dramatically as a group of early twentieth-

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36 century women writers began to publish a series of feminist reviews in which they championed such issues as equal rights and better educational opportunities. Moreover, besides serving as a forum for women's needs and interests, these journals also made a concerted effort to encourage aspiring female writers to express their views and to make i
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37 With regard to this chapter and its concern with the feminist journals as a source of women's literary development, it should be pointed out that the writers produced ten such publications (i.e.. La MujeVj El Hogar Crist'iano, La Ondina del Guayas, La Mujer Eouatoviana^ Flora^ Brisas del Carchiy Avlequin, Nuevos Hovizontes^ Iniciacion, Alas) during three periods: (l) the alfarista era, (2) 1917-1928, and (3) the 1930's. Thus, the following discussion will analyze the magazines from each period to illustrate the similarities and differences characteristic of Ecuadorian women's concerns through the years. Also, after offering a variety of general observations about the magazines' stated objectives and their relevance both to Ecuadorian feminism and women's development as prose writers, the chapter will conclude its study by commenting on the financial crises which eventually limited the journals' public 6 exposure and growth. Early Feminist Magazines: The Alfarista Era (1895-1912) La Mujer (Qui to, 1905) La Mujer, apparently, was the first feminist journal published, prepared in Quito in 1905 and subtitled: "Revista mensual de literatura y variedades." Each issue contained poetry, short stories, articles, and essays written by Ecuadorian women eager to express publicly their ideas and literary aspirations. Interestingly, the importance of La Mujer was immediately commented upon: "La aparicion de la revista, la primera en su genero que saldra de las prensas de Quito, es realmente un acontecimiento transcendental.

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38 Recognizing the limited opportunities available for women to develop their abilities outside of the domestic sphere, the editors clearly explained their objectives: Seriamente preocupados del porvenir y el adelantamiento de la mujer ecuatoriana hemos venido acariciando, desde hace algijn tiempo, la idea de fundar una Revista, como un medio para dar a conocer, el talento y las dotes de nuestras literatas, y abrir ancho campo a los ensayos de las que por modestia o timidez, no han dado hasta ahora a la publicidad sus labores inte lectuales . Muy poco ha mejorado entre nosotros la condicion de la mujer, quiza porque educada en un rutinarismo fatal, rara vez ha osado levantar el vuelo por las vastfsimas regiones de la inspiracion y el estudio.° Of course, at no time did La Mujer advocate destroying the traditional fami ly: No queremos decir con esto que la mujer deje de ser el angel del hogar como madre y como esposa, no; pero sus atenciones creemos que no deben limitarse unicamente al estrecho cfrculo de la familia, dotada como esta de inteligencia y exquisita sensibilidad que le hacen apta para contribuir con eficacia al mejoramiento social. ^0 Women, obviously, were aware of the dangers of antagonizing society and, consequently, emphasized consistently that their goals were harmonious with society's well-beirig and future progress. Nevertheless, many Ecuadorians criticized severely feminists' efforts, as evidenced by the following affirmation: De Marzo [sic] para aca se han propuesto tres patriotas y entusiastas j5venes editar un periodico mensual . . . La Mujer, en el cual no luzcan sino las aptitudes del bello sexo ecuatoriano. [Pero] . . . ique podre decirte, . . . de la especie de trastorno, y aspaviento, y bulla levantados en nuestra sociedad por esta novedad? Acos tumbrados como estamos a ver que nuestras pac'flcas mujeres no han desempenado nunca otro papel que el de cosa o adorno en el hogar, tal atrevimiento ha cafdo para ciertas y ciertos, en particular, como si de improviso hubiera aparecido el sol por el occidente.

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39 The principal editor and voice of this magazine was Zoila Ugarte de Landfvar, one of Ecuador's leading female intellectuals during the twentieth century who began writing for newspapers in I89O {El Tesoro del Hogar); from I906 to 1912 she supported ardently political liberalism in La Prensa and La Patria, signing articles with her pen name, Zarelia. According to Mary Coryle, another prestigious Ecuadorian intellectual and writer, Zoila Ugarte's life se eleva enhiesta y luminosa hacia dos motivos supremos: el Ideal y las Letras. ... No sabemos cual de el las [sic] tenga primacia en el alma diafana y tersa de esta Mujer. ... De Dona Zoila Ugarte de Landfvar repetimos con el Dr. Luis F. Chaves: "Un talento pujante como el suyo, el relato de la vida admirable de una mujer admirable, merece un estudio que nos la muestre en sus multiples facetas de artista, de escritora, de periodista, de luchadora polTtica, de educadora, de batalladora en la palestra de la accion femenina y de mujer de encantadora feminidad en el hogar y en los c'rculos sociales."12 La Mujer offered Ugarte the opportunity to present her feminist views and to publicly defend women's human rights. Education was a vital concern which she frequently emphasized, explaining that a woman's schooling was essential since men consta'ntly depended upon her: "La ignorancia femenina es cont raproducen te para el hombre [sic] ide quien [sic] depende su bienestar desde que nace hasta que muere sino de la 13 mujer?" However, because of their lack of education, she pointed out that women had been forced to be sex objects dedicated to satisfying men's carnal des i res : Si la mujer es fr'vola, casi tiene derecho a serlo, ino es eso lo que se exige de ella? ino se la vitupera si por acaso se atreve a pensar en algo serio? iQue educacion se la [sic] da? iQue senda se la [sic] senala? iNo esta obligada como las hetairas griegas a cultivar gracias fTsicas, para agradar al hombre?

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i^O Este, por lo comun, busca esas gracias pasajeras que marchita la vejez o las enfermedades: la pobre mujer lo sabe y hace de estas armas su poder, poder effmero, puesto que no se basa en las cualidades del alma que son las unicas duraderas.'^ Feminism, according to Ugarte, was women's basic means of solving her problems and becoming self-sufficient: El feminismo no es una doctrina caprichosa y sin objeto, es la voz de la mujer oprimida, que reclama aquello que le pertenece, y que si no hoy, manana o cualquier dfa lo conseguira, siendo por lo tanto inutil ponerle trabas. La mujer ecuatoriana siguiendo el movimiento universal, sale de su letargo, protesta de su miseria y pide conoci mientos que la hagan apta para ganarse la vida con i ndependenci a ; pide escuelas, pide talleres, pide que los que tienen obligacion de atenderla se preocupen de el la algo mas que hasta aquf lo ban hecho. '5 As for society's belief that women had attained sufficient improvements during the alfarista period, she quickly reminded her readers that the so-called progress left much to be desired. In La Mujer she explained: Se nos observara que al presents goza de ventajas que no ha tenido nunca; cierto es , pero estas ventajas podrfan contarse en los dedos y no tienen el fin practico que ambi cionamos . Se la emplea en las oficinas de correos, pero todos sabemos que el personal de dichas oficinas no lo componen muchas; se ha abierto tambien un curso de farmacia, y hay la esperanza de que dentro de algunos anos obtendran tftulos las que se han dedicado a ese estudio; pero serfa de desear que se las facilite ademas, otras profesiones, pues si llega a haber farmaceut i cas , como abogados, medicos y sacerdotes, seran estrechas las boticas para contenerlas. By and large, the feminist themes presented by Zoi la Ugarte reflected the general content found in La Mujer, as seen in the articles written by Josef ina Veintemilla, Isabel D. de Espinel, Dolores Cabrera Egas, and Dolores Flor. In short, La Mujer continuously urged women to recognize their intellectual potential, and stressed the need for them to actively complement men's efforts in developing society:

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^1 La genesis mitologica de algunos pueblos ha pretendido dar a la mujer un origan inferior al del hombre; pero lo ha pretendido en vano, porque al dotarla de Intel igencia el mismo Ser que la formo, quizo [sic] hacer de el la su igual, su companera. Por eso cuando la mujer cometio su primera culpa Dis permitio que el hombre cometiera su primer pecado; . . . En efecto, el hombre y la mujer son dos partes igualmente importantes, igualmente necesarias, para la formacion de ese ser social fundador de la familia y de la raza. ' Apart from these consciousness raising-type articles, La Mujer also published numerous short stories written by Mercedes Gonzalez de Moscoso, Marfa Natalia Vaca, Josefina Veintemilla, and Antonia Mosquera A. Generally speaking, these compositions were sentimental love stories concerned only with entertaining the reader. Josefina Vei ntemi 1 1 a ' s 1 fi "Rita la loca," for example, narrates the tragedy of a young bride who went mad after learning her husband had been killed at war. One night, during a full moon, she jumped into a lake believing her husband had been calling to her, and consequently, drowned. The story ends with the explanation that with each full moon, the two dead lovers have a rendezvous in the very same lake. Obviously, this sort of narrative offers very little in the way of ideological or aesthetic innovation. On the contrary, it reveals the considerable influence of late romanticism characteristic of Ecuador's literature at the turn of the century. Perhaps the most interesting story published in this journal was "Los zapatos de boda," a feminist allegory written by Mercedes Gonzalez de Moscoso. The story's protagonist, Grimanesa, was a wealthy girl being pressured by her parents to marry since she was of age and expected to fulfill her obligations as a woman. However, Grimanesa was a very special kind of woman, one not representative of society's traditional

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k2 feminine stereotype. That is to say, in spite of her wealth, she was ugly, of simple and modest tastes, highly cultured, and extremely astute. As Gonzalez de Moscoso explained, Grimanesa "no usaba sino senci 1 los vestidos de percal, siendo sus joyas las hermosas f lores que 1 9 brotaban bajo su cuidado en el extenso jardfn de la casa de sus padres." With regard to her interests in art, music, and literature, "Grimanesa pasaba la mayor parte del dfa entregada a lecturas serias que a la par 20 que deleitaban su espfritu, robustecTan su inteligencia poderosa." In short, Grimanesa was the feminist prototype many women intellectuals were hoping to form by means of much of their journalistic activity in Ecuador. The moral of the story was women will find happiness only when they abandon their frivolous ways, and begin to control their own destinies with their intelligence and good sense. El Hogar Cristiano (Guayaquil, I9O6-I9I9) The second monthly journal found during the alfarista period was El Hogar Cristiano, directed by Angela Carbo de Maldonado and "las • ^ 21 Senoras de la 'Asociacion de la Prensa Catolica' de Guayaquil." Unlike La Mujer, El Hogar Cristiano was not a literary review, but rather a religious magazine concerned with teaching women, in general, and mothers, in particular, their moral responsibilities as nuclei of the family. In general, the journal's religious concerns and strong church ties were clearly reflected in the large number of articles and poems dedicated to such themes as: the life of Jesus, the importance of catechism, the dangers of atheism, the need to strengthen marriage, and the teachings of numerous saints.

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A3 Whereas La Mujer, and other feminists journals to be studied in this Chapter, were directed by liberal women who supported Alfaro and his lay reforms, El Hogar Cristiano was conscious of its mission to defend many of the traditional institutions against such secular trends as legal separation, public education, and in general, against the period's ant i clerical i sm. With respect to feminism, the conservative females feared women would misconstrue their new freedomes and opportunities and become libertines, a reaction strongly influenced by events in Europe: Utopicas y enganadoras teorfas de un mal entendido y peor comprendido feminlsmo, que jamas la podra enaltecer ni honrar, ha invadido desgraci adamente muchos cerebros y s i no [sic] basta echar una mirada hacia Inglaterra, donde un considerable numero de mujeres, queriendo usurpar derechos i ncompat i bles con su sexo y condicion, emprenden una campana violent fs ima , que llama la atencl5n del mundo entero; forman escandalos, atacan y rompen los vidrios de los Ministerios; incendian los teatros de DublTn; . . . y otras mil barbaridades , . . . No se diga jamas a una mujer, que su puesto esta en los comicios populares. Desde el hogar puede triunfar: he ahr su lugar; he ahf su santuario. No se pretenda pues, inculcar en el corazon de nuestras mujeres, esas enganadoras y perjud i c i al es ideas. La Ondina del Guayas (Guayaquil, 1907-1910) The third magazine in this initial period of modern Ecuadorian women's prose activity was La Ondina del Guayas, a monthly literary review subtitled "Revista f emen i 1 mensual de literatura y variedades," directed by Rosaura Eme 1 i a Galarza, Teresa Alavedra Tama, and Celina 23 MarTa Galarza. Each issue contained poetry and articles written by women, feature articles about Ecuadorian heroines and leading female intellectuals (i.e., Dolores Veintemilla de Galindo, Zoila Ugarte de LandTvar, and Manuela Canizares), and suggestions about feminine

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kk fashions in dress and cosmetics. The journal's commitment to promoting female literary activity becomes evident upon reading the editorial statement published in the first issue, in 1907: Sin pretensiones literarias . . . hemos emprendido en esta publicacion por solo [sic] el deseo vehemente de que la mujer ecuatoriana tenga en el la uno como interprete de los bellos y tiernos sentimientos que se anidan en su alma. La mujer, en nuestra Patria, siempre se ha distinguido por su privilegiada inteligencia y su aficion a las letras, pero las preocupaciones de la ipoca, o la excesiva timidez de su car^cter, le han impedido, con frecuncia [sic], hacer conocer al publico las delicadas f lores de su ingenio, resultando de aquT que hay verdaderas joyas literarias desconocidas casi de nuestra ilustrada sociedad. . . . La Ondina del Guayas es, pues, la revista del bello sexo: sus columnas de honor estan a la absoluta disposicion de las i lustres damas que. con tanto lucimiento manejan la pluma entre nosotros. However, despite efforts to foment literary production among women, and attempts to inspire women to take advantage of their own capabilities, La Ondina del Guayas never sought to change significantly existing social rol es: Somos las mujeres, con raras excepclones, debiles por naturaleza y sent imental es por instinto. Sin ser feministas en la extension que hoy se da a esta palabra, sf nos gusta que el bello sexo ilustre su ehtendimiento y levante su caracter; pero sin apartar jam^s la vista del hogar, el cual debe ser en todo caso el centro de sus aspiraciones e ideales. ^ . . Escriba para el hogar y por el hogar. . . . Dejemos la arida y esteril pol'tica para el sexo fuerte. Nuestra femenina inteligencia no quiere ni debe penetrar esos misterios. Sensibles y sent imental es como somos las mujeres, nuestra imaginacion debe inspirarse solo [sic] en las pur'simas e inagotables fuentes de la virtud, de la bel leza y del amor. -^ In effect, the journal's conscious policy of defining feminism in terms of acquiring better female education, but without disrupting traditional family structures (just as in the case of La Mujer), sounds very much like the conservative view expounded in El Hogar Cristiano:

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hS El hogar le impone una mislon mas noble, m^s augusta, m^s digna, como hija, esposa o madre y si se quiere en la evolucion actual, que el adelanto de la mujer, marque otro rumbo para la marcha r^pida del progreso humano, que sea en buena hora. Que se le senale un camino m^s amplio, mas seguro, para que escale desde el hogar hasta donde le sea posible, los tabern^culos del saber, porque una mujer de pluma, una mujer artista, que manteniendo su alma buena y su corazon sensible, tremola muy en alto el pend6n del saber y de la ciencia,--la 1 uz de la idea, reflejada en la gracia femenina . . . es un espect^culo muy hermoso digno de figurar en el concierto de la civilizacion y del progreso. ° Consequently, the only significant difference between the three journals was that La Mujer and La Ondina del Guayas encouraged women to actively collaborate and develop th,eir literary skills, while El Hogar Cvistiano was a purely didactic review concerned only with religious doctrine and moral edification. Another interesting feature common to these early journals was the absence of material relevant to contemporary political events, i.e., boundary disputes with Colombia and Peru, and the power struggles between Ecuador's liberal factions. According to Pareja Diezcanseco: "Duelen estas paginas de nuestra historia: estan llenas de sangre, de verguenza, 27 de humi 1 lacion." Yet, women intellectuals only concerned themselves w ith their immediate feminist preoccupations, and appear to have been disinterested in those important events which supposedly pertained to men's dominion. This silence probably indicates women still did not consider themselves a significant force in Ecuadorian politics, and consequently, preferred to go about their own business while men took charge of national issues.

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46 Major Feminist Journals Published During the Years 1917-1928 ~~ Flora (Quito, 1917-1920) Between 1917 and 1928 the most important feminist journal was Flora, published in Quito and subtitled "Revista feminil ilustrada de literatura, 29 artes y variedades." Since Rosaura Emelia Galarza and Celina Maria Galarza, the editors of La Ondina del Guayas , also directed Flora, it is not surprising to find many similarities between the latter and the alfarista publications. As in the past, each issue contained poetry, photographs of distinguished Ecuadorian women, feature articles about leading female figures, advice about fashions, and in general, while the review's chief objective was to serve women's intellectual interests, at no time was it suggested they seek fulfillment by renouncing their domestic and maternal obligations. Nevertheless, there were certain features which indicate Flora attempted to broaden its range of concerns so as not to limit its focus solely to women's immediate problems. The editors, for example, besides including in each issue special articles about particular cities or provinces, and briefly studying famous Ecuadorian poets and writers (i.e., Remigio Crespo Toral, Gonzalez Suarez, Luis A. Martinez), at one point demonstrated a growing interest in Ecuador's social problems: Por eso seguimos con empeno las labores de la Legislatura actualmente reunida; porque tiene que resolver el problema terrible de la subsistencia de las clases menesterosas , dar incremento a la instruccion publica, asegurar la marcha de los establecimientos de benef i ciencia y hacer inalterable la paz; porque un pueblo pobre y debil, la necesita para su desarrollo, para los progresos legftimos, para no perecer cuando tiene apenas vigor para los primeros pasos.^^

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47 In effect, Rosaura and Celina Galarza recognized the need for women to be better informed about the world in which they lived, and explained in the first issue of Flora: Hace algun tiempo, siguiendo los impulsos generosos de la juventud, fundamos La Ondina del Guayas , periodico literario de la mujer; . . . Hoy el proposito es mas grande que el de cultivar las f lores de la literatura: ante el avance prodigioso que ha tornado la mujer en todas partes, no puede la ecuatoriana permanecer inerte, viendo las cosas sin seguir su corriente, dejando pasar los acontecimientos sin asirse a el los para conseguir los bienes nuevos, y ensanchar su esfera de accion . La guerra europea ha sido varilla magica que ha llamado a la mujer a todos los terrenos, a todas las faenas; y el la, bajo muchos respectos, no solo ha reemplazado a los hombres, sino que los ha sobrepujado; y lo que importa es que no viva de parasita, que no se crea impotente para ganarse la vida, que deje de ser eterna pupila. Que sea companera, pero Intel igente, libre, carinosa; que ayude al hombre en lo mas que puede, y que vea su porvenir no solo circunscrito al matrimonio o al claustro. Of course, one must not be misled by the vigorous tone of the above affirmation which urged Ecuadorian women to cease living as parasites, and to plan their future in terms that went beyond marriage or the convent. Apparently, the editors, carried away with their own rhetoric, contradicted themselves in the same article: "Queremos a la mujer ante todo en el hogar, pues para estolaformo la naturaleza; pero para embellecer y perfeccionar ese mismo hogar, le es preciso estudlar los nobles ejemplos, criar asp I raci ones , y ensanchar el ideal de las hijas, de las esposas y 32 de las madres." Further on, they continued their opening statement by commenting, "Flor'a es, pues, vocero de la mujer ecuatoriana, no solo para sus pensamientos bellos, sino para toda idea que tienda a su mejoramiento en todo terreno. La mujer es el amor, tiene necesidad de mantenerlo con la belleza y el encanto; es el ser mas considerado

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48 en la sociedad, le es preciso hacerse, por solida educacion, merecedora de ese sentimiento; . . . Para ser buena esposa, buena madre, tiene que ser instruTda, prudente, severa y adorable siempre." Hence, once again, education was considered vital, but only as a means of preparing women to be good mothers and homemal
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1^3 iPor que nacT mujer? He ahT la causa de tanta exclavitud. El hombre se forma en el mundo su cielo o su infierno; pero no pasa 1o que nosotras: nos tienen preparado un limbo para cuanta sea la duracion de la trist'sima, inutil vida. A la mujer no [sic] siquiera se le reservan grandes luchas, exitos o derrotas de magna escala; para ella todo, hasta el dolor es mezquino; se desliza sin ruido y acaba sin gloria, sacrifTquese o no, de antemano esti sacrificada . . . a la inaccion, la rutina, "el que [sic] diran," en una palabra a la mas ruin desgracia. iPesimismo? No: real idad. 35 Brisas del Carohi (Tulcan, 1919-1921) Brisas del Carchi, a literary review from Tulcan, was not a feminist journal, but rather a monthly review whose editor was a woman, Mercedes MartTnez Acosta. Despite its inclusion by Zoila Mar'a Castro in her list of feminist magazines ("Presencia femenina en la literatura ecuator iana") , its pages contain no material to support such a classification, it was simply a regional journal published chiefly for the oopohenses: "Pone suscdumnas a disposicion de las personas que quieren honrarle con sus col aboraciones , y publicara, de una manera especial, las producciones de los carchenses que se encuentren dentro o fuera del pafs." Arlequin (Quito, 1928) Arlequtn, directed by Rosa Saa de Yepez in Quito, was similar to Brisas del Carchi in its lacl< of interest in women's concerns. The magazine offered a variety of articles on literature and the plastic arts, and in terms of this study, its chief importance (as in the case of Brisas del Carchi) lies in its female editorship. In short, during this second period of women's journalistic activity, female intellectuals continued campaigning for better education

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50 and more opportunities In literature for women. Flora, despite its obvious limitations, represented an attempt to expose women to a more general corpus of knowledge and information by moving away slightly from purely feminist themes. With regard to Brisas del Carchi and Avleqin, these reviews may very well reflect an important step forward in Ecuadorian women's intellectual development, particularly since they seem to suggest that some women were gradually being accepted in positions 37 of authority outside of solely female undertakings. Feminist Magazine Literature and the 1930's Turning to the 1930's, women writers in Ecuador continued using magazines as their principal means of literary expression, and as a basic instrument in reaching large sectors of the female population. Aside from championing feminist issues, writers began paying more attention to the longstanding social problems men were incapable of resolving. Economically, Ecuador suffered greatly from the effects of the Depression: "En 1930, la crisis mundial def laci on i sta llego a nuestras puertas. Cayeron los precios. Se acabo, como por encanto, el ensueno del dinero por el dinero. Ninguna cosa valfa nada." Politically, Ecuador still could not find the long-sought after formula needed to stabilize conditions. In effect, during this period women writers recognized men's failures, and therefore, implored their readers to vigorously assume greater responsibilities in society. Nuevos Horizontes (Guayaquil, 1933-1937) 39 Nuevos Horvzontes, published in Guayaquil for four years, clearly reflected the new directions adopted by women writers and intellectuals

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51 in their efforts to secure a more meaningful place for females in Ecuadorian society. This journal was the official voice of the Legion Femenina de Educacion Popular, a social organization committed to improving human conditions: "La Legion Femenina de Educacion Popular tiene por objeto combatir al anal fabet i smo, proteger al nino y estimular la cultura nacional por tods los medios que se hallen al 40 alcance de la mujer." Both the organization and Nuevos Horizontes were directed to Rosa Borja de Icaza and her staff members, Marfa Barredo de Castillo, Amarilis Fuentes, and Marfa Esther Martfnez M. Rosa Borja de Icaza was one of Ecuador's key feminists who enjoyed international prestige in literary and social circles, and brought to Ecuadorian literature her universal, humanistic outlook. The recipient of numerous national and international honors (i.e., Member of the Academia Ecuatoriana de la Lengua, Directora de la Biblioteca Municipal de Guayaquil, Directora del Centro de Estudios Literarios de la Universidad de Guayaquil, Presidenta de Honor de la Sociedad Bolivariana de Guayaquil, Vocal Fundadora de la Sociedad de Benef i ci cenc ia Ajuar del Nino, Presidenta del Consejo Nacional de la Union de Mujeres Americanas, and ex-Consejera Provincial), she has been described as a woman who "logro atraer hacia el Ecuador la atencion de los cfrculos literarios de toda America e, incluso, de Europa. Tan vasta y apreciada es la obra realizada por la Senora Rosa Borja de Icaza que ... ha trascendido las fronteras de su pa's y es asT que, en Chile, existe una Biblioteca Infantil que lleva su nombre como expresion de reconocimiento por su encumbrada contribucion a la cultura de Ecuador y de America." It should not be surprising, then, that Nuevos Eorizontes was characterized by a broad range of concerns which

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52 included literacy campaigns, special legislation to protect women and juvenile workers, female education, Pan Americanism, and world peace. Each issue of Nuevos Horizontes contained, basically, six sections (I) short stories and poetry by Ecuadorian women and foreigners; (2) articles on feminism; (3) social problems; (4) education; (5) articles on foreign women; (6) letters to the editor (often from foreign women leaders expressing solidarity with the editor and the aims of the magazine). Perhaps the most striking feature of Borja during her editorship of Nuevos Horizontes was her close association with other Latin American women leaders, and frequently, with their feminist magazines. From the very first issue, she demonstrated her Pan Americanism by publishing a letter she had written previously to Chile's Isabel Morel, editor of Nosotras: "interesada como vivo en las conquistas del f emen i smo en el mundo, he le'do con toda atencion Nosotras, y desde el primer instante he querido comunicarme con Ud. para laborar en armonfa por la cultura y elevaciSn de la mujer en el Continents. '• ^ Similar references to other women leaders, and numerous literary and journalistic contributions sent by foreign women to Nuevos Horizontes filled the journal's six sections: Victoria Ocampo, editor of Sur (Buenos Aires); Nelly Merino Carvallo, editor of MuQeres de America (Buenos Aires); Zulma Nunez, editor of America Nueva (Uruguay); Pilar Lana Santillana, editor of Social (Lima); Gloria Dall, Presidenta de la Federacion Nacional de Empleadas de Bogota; and Abigail Mej fa de Fernlndez. Directora del Museo Nacional de Santo Domingo were some examples of this intercontinental collaboration women's groupsof this period succeded in establishing.

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53 In effect, the solidarity which existed among women writers and intellectuals throughout America has highlighted as an unprecedented achievement in a world marred by political conflicts and economic crises. Women were proving to society, and to themselves, that they were capable of resolving many of the problems created by men: En medio del desenfreno de las pasiones de los hombres, entre la lucha contradi ctoria del hambre y la guerra que aniquilan la vida pol'tica y economica de los pueblos, se levantara el emocionado clamor de la mujer, defendiendo con decision historica la corriente sagrada de la existencia humana, quizas por representar el sentido mas Tntimo de el la, por sobre los primitivos procedimi entos de la fuerza sangriente y la abominable pol'tica del dinero. La mujer cerebro, la mujer corazon, la mujer pensante de estos d'as, liberada y de viejas tradiciones excl us i vi s tas , pero conservando siempre un espfritu cristiano, puede con sus enormes fuerzas vitales, destruir todas las cont rad i cciones sociales que obstacullzan el camino para orientar una sociedad menos egoTsta, mezcla de avanzada y primitiva. Negros nubarrones en medio de la incert i dumbre , amenazan devastar America, pero la unidad espiritual de las mujeres no permit! ra en ningun tiempo que el los engendren una tempestad, ^ Since female leaders in Ecuador were convinced women had the potential to participate significantly in society, they continued to focus on the feminist themes which urged all women to reject traditional servile roles and become more involved in national development. Carmen de Burgos, in an article entitled "Mision suprema," explained: La mujer, por pasividad, por bobal i conerfa , por respeto a una tradicion que la hace sumisa, se doblega servilmente y cree que su mision es la de obedecer, la de aplaudir, la de aceptarlo todo en una estupida molicie; sin raciocinio ni voluntad, como si su papel en el mundo fuese el de las comparsas o la clac que ayuda al exito de la comedia. . . . Ella ha de pensar, no en acrecentar su belleza, sino en acrecentar su interes de un modo que siendo comun a todas sea personal fs imo en cada una. De este modo, la mujer no sera una cosa incons i s tente , y hasta poco real, sino algo muy firme, completador, que compensarTa al hombre entend i endole , silencio, ahogado,,, sin esa falta de fantasTa con que convive ahora con el.

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5^ It is clear, of course, Ecuadorian feminists still insisted on the need to complement men's efforts, and to play a supporting role which allowed men to maintain their authoritative position over women. Marfa Esther Martfnez M., for example, in her "EI problema feminista en el Ecuador," emphasized the need for women to organize and join together to "evitar la disgregacion y el aislamiento de sus oomponen tes que necesariamente llevan al fracaso; no por falta de capacidad, sino por falta de direccion." Moreover, she urged the government to establish labor unions for women workers and Asociaciones de Empleadas which would concentrate on defending exclusively women's rights, as opposed to mixed groups which normally fought for "la solucion de muchos problemas concernientes al elemento masculine, que se encuentra en mayorfa." Also, the article stressed the need for female representation in government, as well as equal salaries for women. Nevertheless, despite these liberal proposals, Martfnez too felt it essential to assure her readers feminism was no threat to men: No planteo el problema desde el punto de vista de un feminismo egofsta, del predomi-nio absoluto de la mujer con pretensiones al desplazamiento del hombre, ... No proclamo en primer lugar, una situacion, para la mujer, mas de acuerdo con su ser Intel igente: el derecho a su desenvolvimiento cientffico y cultural, pero dentro de una organizacion social viciada por su conformacion economica, dentro de la cual se ha hecho imprescind i ble la presencia de la mujer hasta en las fabricas y destinada a las labores mas rudas para asegurar su derecho a la vi da , . . . ^7 Referring to the meaning and problems of Ecuadorian feminism, as expounded by many women writers, Delia Ibarra de Duenas wrote: El feminismo en el Ecuador esta en panales, . . . Nos asusta la palabra como algo insolito, algo anormal, algo que nos inspira temores y recelos. Y es que del Feminismo tenemos la idea mas peregrina. Creemos que

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55 consiste princi palmente en que la mujer haga alardes de maneras bruscas; que fume, que juegue el bridge, que tenga modales hombrunos, . . . Creemos que Feminismo es s'mbolo de revolucion de trastorno, asT como comunismo, como bolchevi smo, y naturalmente hacemos un movimiento como de tortuga, que ante algo inusitado se esconde bajo su concha. En verdad, es una concha impenetrable ese tejido de prejuicios, l5gico resultado de nuestra educacion y de nuestras cos tumbres impregnadas aun de las modal idades colonlales. Concha fuerte y resistente formada por un acumulo de ideas y de practicas por las que la mujer en nuestra sociedad ha vivido cohibida, restringida en sus funciones, sin mas perspectiva que el matrimonio o el convento. y sin mas aspiracion que ser parasita del hombre. ° However, she concluded: El principio filosofico del Feminismo trata de alcanzar para la mujer un nivel moral, polftico y social equivalente al del hombre, no superior ni enteramente igual; ya que no es superior ni enteramente igual a la de aquel, la funcion que debe desempenar en el mundo. Entre los dos, hombre y mujer se armonizan, se completan, cada uno en su esfera igualmente t rascendenta 1 , por resultado de la admirable armonfa que Dios ha puesto en todas sus obras. -^ To summarize, Nuevos Horizontes served several purposes. On a superficial level, it reported the many activities realized by the Legion Femenina de Educaci5n Popular, i.e., creation of people's libraries, courses for nurses, and free schools for women workers. Apart from this social concern, the journal was a vital instrument in establishing contacts between Ecuadorian women and other Latin American feminist leaders who were attempting to provide a more equitable social role for larger numbers of women throughout the continent. Above all, however, Nuevos Horizontes gave women the opportunity to writeSince male perspectives were understood to have been formed by specific circumstances exclusive to men, many Ecuadorian women realized it was essential they themselves publicly interpret their unique experiences. Hence, they accepted the challenge to speak out for all women and reveal the way to new horizons.

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56 Iniciaoioyi (Ambato, 193^-1935) Another feminist journal of the period was Inioiadon , published in Ambato and subtitled "Revista femenil de cultura." Blanca Martfnez de Tinajero, a novelist who will be studied in a subsequent chapter, and Abigail Naranjo Fernandez edited this review which, although lacking the Pan Americanist vision of Nuevos Horizontes , shared many of the latter's objectives and concerns: Nuevas Ariadnas, enamoradas de un ideal, la cultura de la mujer, queremos ofrendar a este Ideal, nuestros desvelos y nuestro entusiasmo, y asT laborar por el feminismo por esta doctrina justa y logica, que a la mujer la nivela al hombre, sin menoscabar los derechos de este; doctrina que producira innegables beneficios para la mujer, pero que no lo seran menores para el hombre, ya que en la mujer preparada encontrara: la sincera consejera, la eficaz col aboradora , y en muchas ocasiones la iniciadora de todo lo que signifique progreso.-*' Generally speaking, Iniaiacion presented articles about women's participation in the Tungurahua region's Red Cross; the important role played by mothers in children's education; advice about homemaking; short stories and poetry written by women and men; evocations of Nature and its feminine qualities (i.e., creation); and passages cited from such writers as Juan Montalvo, Juan Leon Mera, Ruben Darfo, and Luis A. Martfnez. The most significant element found in this journal, however, was its sponsorship of a literary contest for women, an indication that the editors were trying to go beyond past efforts in stimulating aspiring female writers. Besides offering women the opportunity to write for Iniaiacion, they were set on discovering much of the talent that pre52 viously had gone unnoticed. Naturally, this can be considered another facet of Ecuadorian women's commitment to helping one another

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57 in their quest for progress and improvement: "Mucho tenemos que estudiar, comenzando per definirnos y conocernos nosotras mismas, para llegar a una autonomfa y emancipacion completas. ... Si 53 queremos mejorar el mundo, mejoremos primero a la mujer." Alas (Quito. 193^) The last magazine to be discussed was published in 193^*, when several women who had been directly involved in various feminist journals through the years joined together in Quito. Zoila Ugarte de Landfvar, Victoria Vasconez Cuvi , Marfa Angelica Idrobo, and Rosaura Emelia Galarza succeeded in publishing two issues of Alas, a publication dedicated to all Spanish-speaking women: "Mujeres ecuator ianas , mujeres indoiber icas , para vosotras y por vosotras se ha fundado especia Imente esta Revista. Acudid a embellecerla con las producciones de vuestro ingenio y de vuestro sentimiento, con el incontrastabl e vigor de vuestra delicada resistencia, que es la fuerza y la vida del mundo." In general, Alas was a continuation of earlier feminist journals in Ecuador, and hence, did not offer .... , . ,. 55 any significant innovations. Notwithstanding women's journalistic and literary activity described above, it should be borne in mind that in terms of distribution and publication, all of the feminist magazines suffered from serious limitations. Indeed, because of financial difficulties, the journals rarely circulated outside of the cities where they were printed, and consequently, few Ecuadorians learned of their existence.

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58 Also, very few magazines were able to produce enough issues to establish a stable following. According to Angel Rojas, economic problems stifled most publications in Ecuador, and not just those produced by women: Infortunada caracter fst i ca de nuestras pubiicaciones ha s i do y sigue siendo lo precario de su vida. Hecho que proviene de que, hasta aquf, ninguna de el las ha podido estabi 1 izarse economicamente. Los grupos entusiastas que sostienen el gasto de los primeros numeros por lo general no estan en condiciones de seguir sacr i f i candose i ndef i n i damente . Y la publicacion cesa. No se tiene entre nosotros por costumbre adquirir revistas nacionales. Se las lee en las bibliotecas, o cuando se las distribuye gratu i tamente . . . que es la unica forma de hacerlas circular. 57 In the feminist magazines, there are numerous references to the financial problems confronted by the editors, and the impossibility of continuing operations. For example. La Mujer advised its readers of having requested economic support from the Legislature because the directors "temen que su constancia se estrelle en la falta de recursos para subvenir a los gastos que demanda la publico cacion." In 1918, when Rosaura Emel'ia Galarza asked the Legislature for assistance, she published a short note in Flora, explaining: "Es la primera ocasion que la mujer ecuatoriana se lanza al palenque de las letra"^ en organo propio de publicacion; y como sabeis b i en que esta clase de revistas no pueden sostenerse «• 59 por SI solas al principio, la suplica es motivada." Unfortunately, Flora was not subsidized, and had to discontinue publication for more than one year. Galarza later explained:

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59 Por este motivo, y en vista del elevadisimo precio que alcanzo el papel de imprenta en esos dfas, hubo necesidad de suspender i ndef i n i damente la publicacion de Flora, pues es may sabido que, en el Ecuador, es cas i imposible la existencia de un periodico literario durante sus primeros anos, sin la proteccion oficial, maxime siendo aquel dirigido, redactado y ayudado unicamente por mujeres."'^ Hence, women writers who began their careers with the feminist journals not only had to struggle against traditional prejudices, but also against the lack of financial resources, a problem never really solved in Ecuador. Even if some magazines did not officially make known their economic plight, a quick glance at the irregularity in publication is enough to illustrate the hardships suffered by ambitious intellectuals. In effect, as Alejandro Andrade Coello pungently stated, when referring to the feminist journals: "Pero, al fin y al cabo son flores de un dfa . . . ." Despite these limitations, however, the feminist journals played a major role in promoting literary expression among women in Ecuador; for the first time in national literary history a significant number of women weie being encouraged to write and publish. Also, besides appearing to be, in large part, an exercise in female consciousness raising, the journals succeeded in presenting vividly Ecuadorian women's understanding of themselves, and of their social realities. In short, this phase of women's prose development was part of an experimental period in which Ecuadorian women discovered their own talents and established a literary tradition which through the years has evolved

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60 gradual ly, of fering women experience and training essentia] to fully realizing their potential as prose writers.

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61 Notes Chapter III For an extensive list of female intellectuals (mostly poetesses) in pre-twentieth century Ecuador, see: Zoila Marfa Castro, "Presencia femenina en la literatura ecuator iana ," Cuadernos del Guayas , IV, 7 (December 1953) , 1^, 192 Rosa Borja de Icaza, Haoia la vida (Guayaquil: Biblioteca Municipal de Guayaquil, 1936). p. 88. Cited in Digna E. Ayon de Messner, Trayectoria histovica y cultural de la Univevsidad de Guayaquil: 1867-1967, 2nd ed. (Guayaquil: Departamento de Publ icaciones de la Universidad de Guayaquil, 1967), p. 8l . h ... Isaac J. Barrera, Hzstoria de la litevatura ecuatoviana, p. 1184. Because much of the material is similar in content and purpose, the discussion will concentrate on one journal from each period, followed by brief comments on the remaining publications. Naturally, due to the lack of previous research, this study does not claim to be a definitive inventory of the feminist journals, many of which may have been lost during the years, or simply continue sitting on some library shelf waiting to be discovered. Nevertheless, this presentation is complete enough to offer a representative idea of the material. To date, the only sources found that mention names of magazines are: Zoila Marfa Castro, "Presencia femenina en la literatura ecuator i ana; " Morayma Ofyr Carvajal, Galevia del espiritu: Mujeres de mi patria; and Alejandro Andrade Coello, "Cultura femenina: Floracion intelectual de la mujer ecuatoriana en el siglo XX." According to Zoila Marfa Castro, Nena and Argos were part of women's journalistic publications; to date, they have not been located. One issue of a literary review from Portoviejo, entitled Argos, has been found; however, its editors were men and there are no apparent feminist concerns. Although three women did collaborate (Natividad Robles, America Castillo, and Bertha Cedeno de Espinel) with the magazine, it is assumed this journal is not the one Castro had in mind. Six issues have been located: I, 1 (April 1905); 1, 2 (May 1905); I, 3 (June 1905); I, h (July 1905); I, 5 (August 1905); I, 6 (October 1905). Due to financial difficulties referred to in the August edition, a topic to be treated later in this chapter, it is unlikely other issues were published after October. Q Elisa, "Carta a Laura,'' La Mujer , I, 1 (April 1905), 27^"Notas editoriales," La Wwjer, I, 1 (April 1905), 31. Ibvd.

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62 8. Lucila Montalvo, "Carta fntima," LaMujer, I, 3 (June 1905), 78. 12 "Tres mujeres m^ximas en la literature nacional ," Anales de la Universidad de Cuenoa, VIM, 2 (April-June 1952), 158. ^^"Nuestro ideal," LaMujer, I, 1 (April 1905), 2. Ibid. , p. 3. "Aspi raciones ," LaMujer, I, k (July I905) , 100. ^ Ibid. , p. 101. Josef ina Veintemilla, "La Mujer ," La A/wjer, I, 1 (April 1905), 1 o LaMujer, 1,4 (July 1905), 122-126. Other stories found in La Mujer are the following: Mercedes Gonzalez de Moscoso, "Los zapatos de boda," La Mujer, I, 1 (April 1905), ^-^, MarTa Natalia Vaca, "iPobre Marfal," LaMujer, i, 1 (April 1905), 19-23; continued in I, 2 (May 1905), 45-5O; continued in I, 3 (June 1905); 83-87; Mercedes Gonzalez de Moscoso, "Doble sacrificio," La Mujer, I, 3 (June 1905), 72-77; continued .in \, k (July 1905), 105-110; Marfa Natalia Vaca, "Cuento de Navidad," LaMujer, I, 5 (August 1905), 144-15^; Antonia Mosquera A., "Sor Lorenza," LaMujer, I, 6 (October 1905), 169-172. This last story was incomplete and was to be continued in a later issue. 19 "Los zapatos de boda," p. h. Ibzd. 21 The only issues located were the complete collections of 1909 (III) and 191't (vim). Although there may be some question as to whether or not this journal is feminist, it must be borne in mind that the editors clearly presented their understanding of women's place in society. Moreover, despite its conservative position. El Hogar Cristiano attempted to make women conscious of their responsibilities. 22 Adelaide C. Velasco Galdos, "iFemin i smo? ," El Hogar Cristiano, VIM, 81 (July 1914) , 58. 2 3 The following issues have been located: I, 1 (October 1907); 111,5 (July 1909); 111,6 (August 1909), IV, 7 (January I9IO); IV, 8 (May 1910). "Nuestro ideal," La Ondina del Guayas, I, 1 (October 1907), 1. Ibid. , p. 2. 26 Adelaide Velasco, "iFemi n i smo? ," p. 58.

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63 27 Alfredo Pareja Diezcanseco, Historia de la republica, II, 3928 The only exception found was several references to the border dispute with Peru, published in La Ondina del Guayas , IV, 8 (May 1910) This issue used the boundary conflict as a point of departure in its discussion of past heroines who valiantly defended Ecuador in times of crisis. Basically, then, this issue appears to be more interested in convincing women of their own potential and illustrious past than the border question, per se. 29 Magazines of this period found were: Flora, I, 1 (September 1917); I, 2 (October 1917); i, 3 (November 1917); I, ^ (December 1917); I, 7 (May-June I918); I, 8-9 (July-August 1918); I, 10-11 (September-October I918); I, 12 (November-December 1918); 11, H-l't (August-September 1920); La Mujer Ecuatoriana , I, 1 (July 1918); I, 2 (August 1918); I, 3 (September I9I8); I, h (October 1918); I, 5 (November I9I8); I, 6 (January 1919); I, 7 (March 1919); I, 8 (May 1919); I, 9 (June 1919); M, 10 (August 1919); M, 11 (October 1919); II, 12-13 (November-December 1919); I I, 1^-15 (JanuaryFebruary 1920); II, 16-17 (March-April 1920); II, 18 (May 1920); II, 19-20 (June-July 1920); 11, 21 (August 1920); I I , 22 (February 1921) 1921) 1921) II , 23 (March 1921); I I , 2^4 (May 1921); III, 25 (July III, 26 (August-September 1921); III, 27 (October-December III, 28 (March 1922); III, 29 (May 1922); III, 30 (June 1922); IV, 31 (July 1923); Brisas del Carchi , I, 3 (July 1919); I, 5-6 (September-October 1919); I, 7 (November 1919); I, 8 (December 1919); I, 9-10 (January-February 1920); 1,11 (March 1920); 11, 12-13 (April-May 1920); II, 16-17 (August-September 1920); III, 20-21 (AprilMay 1921); III, 22-23 (June-July 1921); Arlequin, I, 2 (August 1928). ^°"Agosto sag rado, " F^ora, I, 8-9 (July-August I9I8), 156. O 1 "Proemio," Flora, \, 1 (September 1917), 1The article was signed, "La Direccion." '^'^Ibid. ^^Ibid., p

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64 Alfredo Pareja Diezcanseco, Historia de la republica, II, 91. 39 Although Seraffn DomTnguez Mancebo has stated that this magazine was published for four years ("Ecuador, su i ndependencia y su culture," Cuadernos del Guayas , IX, 17 (September 1958), 6), only the following issues have been located: I, 1 (October 1933); I, 2 (November 1933); I, 3 (December 1933); I, h (January ]33'^) ; I, 7 (April 193^); I, 8 (July ]33k) ; I, 9 (July-August 193^*); II, 12 (January-February 1935). "Legion Femenina de Educacion Popular," Nuevos Horvzontes , I, 1 (October 1933) , 26. Seraffn Domfnguez Mancebo, "Ecuador, su i ndependenci a y su cul tura ," p. 6. ["Carta a Isabel Morel,"] Nuevos Hovizontes , 1, 1 (October 1933), 6. The original letter published had no title. "Editorial," Nuevos Hovizontes, I, 3 (December 1933), 5Nuevos Horizontes , I, 1 (October 1933), 27. ^5 Nuevos Horizontes , I , 2 (November 1933) , 7^^Ibid. , p. 24. ^'^Ibid. , pp. 7, 2k. "Feminismo," Nuevos Hovizontes, I, 8 (May-June 193^). The article was signed, "Cornelia." This was Delia Ibarra's pen name. ^Ibid. , p. lU. The following issues have been located: I, 1 (April 193^); I, 2 (May 193^*); I, k (August 193^4); I, 5 (September-October 193^*); I, 6 (November 193^4); I, 7-8 (February 1935). "La culture femenina," Iniaiacion , I, 1 (April 193'*), 3This editorial most likely was written by Blanca MartTnez. CO This contest was announced ("Concurso literario de Iniaiaaion") in I, 5 (September-October 193'4)Unfortunately, no other pertinent information has been found to date. r o Alicia Jaramillo R. , "Iniciando," Iniaiacion, I, 1 (April 193'*), 7. "iSe puede, Companeras? ," /lias , I, 1 (December 193'*), 1. Only the first issue has been located.

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65 55 Two later feminist publications should also be mentioned before concluding this chapter. Fraternidad (Guayaquil, 19't7"19'48) was edited by Esperanza Caputti 0. and Laura Carrera G., in conjunction with Guayaquil's Centro Cultural Fraternidad, a group of women professors who published articles concerned with education, feminist themes, and some poetry. Mujer (Guayaquil, 1975), published by the Frente Un i do de Mujeres del Guayas , was mainly concerned with informing women about the Frente's projects and goals for the Ano I nternacional de la Mujer, 1975 (two numbers were published as of June 1975: '» ' (January-March 1975); I , 2 (Apri 1-June 1975) . El Hogar Cristiano is an obvious exception. La novela ecuatoriana , p. 9^58, Pet\c\ on," La Mujer, \, 5 (August 1905), 158. ^^This note appeared in Flora, I, 8-9 (July-August 1918), I89. 60 This note appeared in Flora, 1, IS"!'* (August-September 1920), 227. Additional evidence of the financial crisis was published in Brisas del Carahi, III, 22-23 (June-July 1921), 36O : "Y asf, hoy al cesar temporalmente la publicacion de Brisas del Carchi, no nos sentimos ni cansados ni vencidos; . . . solamente la crisis de papel que ha herido de muerte a muchas publ icaciones , nos pone en el caso de suspender por poco tiempo nuestro pequeno trabajo per iod rst i co." "Cultura femenina: Floracion intelectual de la mujer ecuatoriana en el siglo XX," p. 321.

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CHAPTER IV THE ESSAY Historically speaking, the literary growth and development of Ecuador's female prose writers have gone through three formative stages during this century. The feminist journals presented in the previous chapter and numerous newspapers (i.e., El Tetegrafo, El Dia^ El Comeroio, El Universo) gave the initial impulse when, for the first time, they offered women easy access to a public medium in which they could write and speak out about specific issues. Although the short polemical article of the journals continued to be the dominant prose form through World War II, between 1922-19^5 a second stage was begun when several writers demonstrated a strong desire to do more than occasionally contribute to periodicals. These women considered themselves writers whose specific role was to publish steadily their views and opinions about the problems of Ecuadorian society, and consequently,they dedicated most of their adult lives to writing. The third stage (post-World War II), unlike the earlier ones, can be characterized by its change in focus: much of the prose dealt with esthetic and artistic themes (i.e., music, art, literature) rather than the socio-political ones. The purpose of this chapter, then, is to evaluate the prose of the second and third stages in order to understand more clearly Ecuadorian women's evolution as prose wr i ters. 66

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67 Women Writers: 1922-19^5 As women gained experience in writing and confidence in their abilities it was only natural for many of them to broaden the scope of their professional activities. Despite the traditional obstacles that have beset writers in Ecuador, Hipatia Cardenas (1899-1972), Victoria Vasconez Cuvi (1891-1939), Rosa Borja de Icaza (I889-I96A), and Zoi la Rendon (?-?) managed to publish numerous collections of essays and articles, showing that women, just as men, were capable of being committed 2 writers. Feminist related topics and socio-political questions were treated constantly by these writers whose works clearly reflected the female intellectual's thinking in Ecuador during a considerable portion of this century. Feminism: The Theme of Marianisma With regard to feminism, in the light of the 1975 Assembly in Mexico which commemorated International Women's Year, the diversity of women's interests and concerns has become obvious, particularly since women from different parts of the world define and interpret their realities in terms of their own cultures and traditions. For example, women from the United States may find it difficult to understand, but most Latin American women continue to accept role differentiation between the sexes as Jane Jaquette notes: "A whole generation of North American women have become convinced of their power lessness relative to males and have moved to destroy the role differentiation they perceive as its cause. The Latin American woman correctly perceives role differentiation as the key to her power and influence. Even the notions of the 'separate-

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68 ness' and 'mystery' of women, which are viewed in the North American context as male propaganda chiefly used to discriminate against women, are seen in the Latin American context as images to be enhanced, not 3 destroyed." In effect, many Latin American women believe role differentiation and maahismo are a source of power rather than power lessness , for "the availability of strong female roles in Latin American culture is a sign of a vitality of the ' trad i t ional ' forms of role differentiation and that machismo, often thought by North Americans as the clearest evidence of the oppression and power 1 essness of women in Latin America, is really a social convention in which women have an important stake, k for male 'inmorality' is basic to female legitimacy and influence." Upon reading Cardenas, Vasconez, Borja, and Rendon , the validity of Jaquette's interpretation is confirmed, at least insofar as Ecuador is concerned. These women spent a good deal of time writing about the Ecuadorian female experience, and although they sought greater opportunities for women in society, they continually emphasized the need to preserve traditional family roles (i.e., daughter, wife, and mother). Moreover, women were understood to be Ecuador's bearers of morality whose principal function in society was to counteract the evil ways of men. Vasconez explained in 1922: "La formacion moral de la mujer es todavfa mas severa y exigente que la del hombre; el la, no podrl dar un paso adelante en la adquisicion de sus derechos, sino [sic] se preocupa ante todo, de su formacion moral." This insistence upon women's moral responsibilities in society has been referred to as marianismo , the female counterpart to machismo. According to Evelyn Stevens, marianismo "is just as prevalent as machismo

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69 but it is less understood by Latin Americans themselves and almost unknown to foreigners. It is the cult of feminine spiritual superiority, which teaches that women are semidivine, morally superior to and spiritually stronger than men." After reading the prose written by Ecuadorian women prior to World War II (i.e., the feminist magazine material), and particularly the works published by the four writers of 1922-19^5 mentioned above, it becomes clear marianismo was very much a part of the evolution of feminist thought in Ecuador. Although women intellectuals urged the authorities to improve female education, to offer women more professional opportunities in society, they never rejected the home as their center of activity and responsibility. In fact, women emphasized continually that more education and professional opportunities were desired because enlightened women would be better prepared than ignorant ones for motherhood. In general, women's fem'\n\ st/marianista concerns were based on two premises: women were to be moral citizens, and they were to be dedicated mothers. In terms of morality, Vasconez for example, likened the home to a religious temple in which women played a key role: "El hogar ennoblecido con las virtudes de innumerables y grandes santas, puede y debe ser para las mujeres un templo. En el pueden practicar cuanto [sic] ambicionen para su perfeccion moral." According to Borja, each woman was primarily "la guardiana de la moral idad social, y cuando desciende de su sitio y corrompe su corazon y sus costumbres, la sociedad se derrumba: por la relajacion y la espantosa influencia que las mujeres con sus pasiones ejercieron en la sociedad de Claudio y de Neron, vemos envilecido el pueblo, y como epflogo, la destruccion del o Imperio Romano."

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70 In effect, women (mothers) were society's spiritual leaders charged with the noble mission of showing man the way to a better world. Borja explained: "El mundo corre a su fin en una decadencia moral desconcertante; en donde quiera que ponemos la vista se levanta el odio enmascarado con el doblez de la intriga, con la pequenez de la envidia y con el azote cruel de la calumnia. . . . Tener valor moral [las mujeres] y transmitirlo a nuestros hijos, he ahf el mayor bien que 9 podemos prodigarles." The close ties between feminism and marianismo become even more apparent when reading yet another comment written by Borja: El femlnismo, repito, debe batallar por la regeneracion educativa de la mujer, para capacitarla tambien para la lucha por la vida, por el derecho de trabajar, con la capacidad que, por si solas sus aptitudes le conceden, llevandola a la i ndependenci a personal; pero nunca ese esfuerzo cultural ha de arrancarla del papel emi nentemente espiritual que debe representar en la colect i vidad. Su puesto no esta en las urnas para votar por una libertad de que es muy duena por su elevado espTritu; su accion es mucho mas amplia, mas noble, mas hermosa, porque tiene por escenario el mundo y como centro el corazon del hombre. ^^ Interestingly enough, Ecuadorian women wrote extensively about the negative effects numerous social reforms and foreign female influences had on women's morality. During the 1920's there was an awareness in Ecuador that attitudes and customs had changed throughout the world, and in Ecuador itself ladies' hem lines were higher while necklines were lower, heavier mal
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71 "La mujer contemporanea posee muchos conocimientos , pero no pesa los graves y compl i cados problemas y deberes como esposa y como madre. Podrfamos decir que se halla educada a la perfeccion para el coquetismo, el lujo, el sport, los cines, los bailes, el juego, consistiendo su ambicion mas grande en aparecer siempre bonita y a la moderna." In addition, Rendon wrote that the uneducated woman of the past was in many cases superior to the more enlightened one of contemporary times : Quitando las diferencias de educacion y el extremo de ignorancia que daban a la nina en los hogares de antano, pero, que virtudes respiraban [sic]. Ante todo se le ensenaba a ser buena, formando su corazon en la dignidad propia de mujer, y si en verdad se le ocultaba el amor mal entendido, se le guiaba, en cambio, por el camino del pudor; . . . No se le ensenaba a leer, peor escribir, pero sf a ser mujer complete en sus quehaceres domesticos; era habil en las artes de coser, coclnar, planchar, bordar y economizar, siendo los hijos de nuestros antecesores, buenos , respetuosos, educados por aquellas mujeres que en nada se parecTan a las modernas. ^^ In effect, Ecuadorian feminists did not seel< greater educational and professional opportunities to abandon their traditional roles, but rather to reinforce them: "Si somos libres para estudiar, que nuestros conocimientos sirvan para aumentar los encantos en el hogar, para ilustrar y preparar a nuestras hijas, y no para contribuir a que sean semi -hombres , destruyendo sus sentimientos naturales y convi r t iendolas 13 en seres inutiles para la familia y para la sociedad." Clearly, many Ecuadorian women believed their moral example was essential in a world marred by war, hunger, and injustice, and therefore, they frowned upon the frivolous ways of their contemporaries who were abusing newly acquired freedoms:

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72 La silueta de la mujer moderna, frfvola y vacfa, se perfila cada vez mas intensa y amenazante en el mundo y esta tendencia, este resumen de extravTo social, es el que en este instante historico de la humanidad a todos nos preocupa, porque a todos igualmente nos hiere. El fox-trot, la falda corta, la pintura en el rOstro, el cine y la novela, son los factores des 1 umbrantes que, como una bujTa incandescente atrae a las mariposas incautas, hoy arrastran lo mismo a la senorita encumbrada, como a la n i na modesta que vIve en los talleres.^ iTriste situacion la de la humanidad! ella [sic] se pasmna facilmente de lo que brilla, de lo que reluce, y es diffcil que se detenga a contemplar el fondo mismo de'las cosas; pero esta falta de comprensidn , este absoluto extravTo moral hoy se determina con caracteres alarmantes y la mujer moderna con sus fajsas ideas tiende a desequi 1 i brar totalmente la a rmon fa social . Consistent with Ecuadorian feminists' desire to participate significantly in society as bearers of morality was their conviction they could exercise their greatest power and influence in the world as mothers. Since children (society's future leaders and citizens) begin their learning experience at home under close maternal guidance, it was only logical that mothers could influence mankind's future by effectively educating the young. Hence, as evidenced by Cardenas' following comment, motherhood was considered the source of women's fulfillment rather than an obstacle: "Y, sobre todo, tengo a mi' cargo un magisterio inmensamente noble y de grandes responsabi 1 idades , cuya finalidad sera el triunfo de mi vida: la educacion de mis hijos." More specifically, Vasconez wrote: . . . creemos que la verdadera proteccion al n i no su salud, su porvenir, su desarrollo moral estan en las manos de la madre, contando conque ella sea la educadora abnegada y cientffica de sus hijos. Si lo que hace el feminismo ma 1 entendido es arrancar a la mujer de su centro principal [el hogar], pervertir su naturaleza e inclinarle a la veleidad, considerar que el matrimonio y la maternidad son i nsoportables cargas; entonces entramos en plena regresion, oponemos un muro i nf ranqueab le al progreso y la moral idad y cometemos la mas negra traicion a la causa

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73 feminista. La mujer neces ita perfeccionarse y no buscar por ideal un t i po anomalo que no sea hombre ni mujer def i n i damente . Es necesario penetrarse en que el ideal esta en que el la sea una mujer de verdad y no un remedo ni una imltacion del hombre. Turning to the more global responsibilities of motherhood in society Cardenas exhorted: "La mujer esta llamada en la hora actual a poner todo su esfuerzo en la regeneracion social; el la, y solo el la puede combatir el cancer que nos devora, y desde ahora, que nunca es tarde, ensenar a sus hijos, desde tiernecitos, con la serial de la cruz, el amor cfvico, el amor de la Patria, con el respeto a Dios, el respeto a las leyes, el respeto a la mujer . . . ." In effect, Cardenas, Vasconez, Borja, and Rendon wrote extensively about the urgency of women's fully assuming their natural roles in society. According to fem'\n\ st/marianista thinking in Ecuador, all of society was viewed as one large family, and consequently, the mother's function went far beyond individual domestic situations. Women were no longer to be ignorant slaves to their husbands, divorced from world problems and concerns, nor were they to be purely capricious beings devoted solely to their toilette. Rather, women were to consider themselves supermadres in charge of establishing harmony and understanding in their large casa, the nation. Upon recognizing their potential, women leaders doubled their efforts to organize charitable groups which sponsored a variety of 19 programs for the protection of orphans, unwed mothers, and the poor. Women clearly drew their strength from serving others, as indicated by Vasconez' s observation: "La mujer moderna . . . ambiciona no solo bastarse a s' misma, s i no aliviar a sus ancianos padres, ayudar el esposo pobre o enfermo, satisfacer las necesidades de sus pequenuelos

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li^ adorados, favorecer a los pobres, contribuir para todo lo que sea 20 servicio de su Dios y de su patria, . . ." In short, an essential element in Ecuadorian feminism was the marianista concept which continually appeared in the major women writer's prose works, particularly when they tried to interpret the female situation in Ecuador. Borja summed up the full meaning of Ecuadorian feminism, in terms of marianzsmo: He dicho repetidas veces que no debe usurpar el puesto de los hombres, y que debe tener siempre por base la mas exquisita espi r i tual i dad ; pero, no es que me acoja a esa sensibilidad morbosa que impide a la mujer toda actividad de cooperacion colectiva en las exigencias de la vida actual, ni el retraso en los avances de la ciencia y la ci vi 1 izacion. Tengo para mf, que la mujer que solo sabe de aplanchar y de zurcir, de nada sabe; pero, para remediar estas flaquezas que la hacen andar siempre paso a paso en las operaciones de la vida, atada tristemente a su sopor colonial, sin sentir dentro de s\ que la humanidad la reclama como madre consciente, como educadora de colect i vi dades futuras y como sfmbolo de toda el la, no es preciso que abandone los sagrados deberes del hogar, ni se despoje de la finura exquisita de su espfritu con que colora y matiza la orientacion de la vida, cuando con su corazon , rebosante de ternura besa los blancos cabellos de la ancianidad y, tambien se i ncl i na amantfs ima delante de la cuna, con el noble prestigio de la matern i dad. ^ ' Feminism: The Theme of Suffrage Naturally, feminism as a literary theme offered writers more material than merely the morality and motherhood issues already discussed. Basically, writers defended women's ability to make constructive contributions to a world that traditionally denied them the opportunity to participate fully in society's development. Although female intellectuals considered the maternal role their primary function, they noted vehemently that this in no way implied they were inferior or less important than men.

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75 In fact, women recognized their special skills were as essential to human progress as men's abilities, and therefore, they demanded that both sexes share the same rights and responsibilities. Hence, suffrage, greater participation in politics, equal opportunities, and legal reforms became popular topics among Ecuador's chief women writers of the pre-World War 11 period. Of all the feminist writers, Cardenas was the most outspoken proponent of women's suffrage in Ecuador. Time and time again, with sarcasm she bitterly attacked men's assertion that women were not qua 1 i f ied to vote : iQuien fue el iluso, el falaz que quiso que la mujer, ese ser tan inferior, tuviera iguales derechos cfvicos que el hombre? iEloy Alfarol iQuiza en su vision, de grande alcance polftico, no vio que la "bella durmiente" algun dfa despertarfa? Y es asf como ahora la mujer ecuatoriana es tratada de beata ignorante; imasa .inconsciente, rebano de imbecilesi iQuisiera que me dijesen si los hombres que votan, todos son Socrates, Cicerones, Demostenes, Senecas , Catones y Brutos? Lo mejor es que la mayorfa de los que as' se expresan jamas en la vida han sido capaces ni siguiera de entender lo que es el derecho al voto. While Ecuadorian women were the first Latin American females to receive national suffrage (1929), there were occasional attempts by legislators to rescind the law, supposedly because of women's poor educational background and close ties to the Roman Catholic Church. Cardenas, however, rejected the official arguments and emphasized male shortcomi ngs : iLas razones para qui tar el voto a las mujeres? Las de siempre: que la mujer no esta preparada, que son rebanos de curas y frailes, etc. Querrfa decir que los hombres sf lo estan y que a el los no les maneja ni sugestiona nadie.

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76 Y )a historia prueba hasta la evidencia que un buen gobernante y un verdadero hombre de Estado es el mas raro y extraordi nario de los milagros y que si los pueblos andan y progresan es a pesar de la polftica siempre manejada por los hombres. iRebanos? Que ciertos viejos 1 i berales-radi cales quieran privar de sus derechos cfvicos a la mujer ecuatorlana, es muy expl icable. Los viejos siempre estan en pugna con el avance de la ci vi 1 i zacion.^B In 1938, Cardenas again reproached efforts to deny women suffrage, however on this occasion, in an article entitled "El proyecto de ley electoral," she revealed the furtive means adopted by the legislature to encroach on women's rights: Tengo que decir a las mujeres ecuatorianas que, a traves de rodeos y 1 imi taciones , se quito el voto a la mujer en el proyecto de ley electoral que la comision ha presentado al Gobierno. No puede voter quien no tenga solvencia economica. Con esta disposiclon se da lugar a discusiones sin cuento, para buscarel resultado de impedir el sufragio femenino salvo a viudas, cocineras y sirvientes a las cuales se les exige un papeleo endiablado y, por fin, si logran probar esa solvencia, les queda aun el trimite de certificados de escuelas y colegios. Las mujeres de la clase acomodada no pueden votar por su dependencia economica. Las mujeres del pueblo, por su falta de instruccion. Total ninguna.^^ Generally speaking, Cardenas was not seeking any favors or special treatment forwomen, but rather she was urging male politicians to accept their female counterparts as full-fledged citizens, worthy of the same rights and privileges as those enjoyed by men: Lo justo, lo natural es que a la mujer se le exijan las mismas condiciones que al hombre. iQue al hombre le basta leer y escribir para ser ciudadano? Pues , lo propio para la mujer. i.Que al hombre se le va a exiqir algo mas? Pues, que se le exija tambien algo mas a la mujer. -^ Notwithstanding Cardenas' vehemence, other writers did not consider suffrage to be an essential issue for women, most likely because the

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77 electoral process has never played a meaningful role in Ecuadorian 26 politics. Also, female intellectuals tended to believe women were still not prepared to undertake the. serious responsibilities identified with suffrage. Vasconez wrote: "No vamos a llamar a la mujer a un campo de accion para el cual aun [sic] no esta preparada; no le insinuaremos que se presente en la palestra polftica, que intervenga en los comicios, 27 ni vaya a la Legislatura, . . ." in similar fashion, Borja commented: "En la gran desorbi tacion de las funciones polTticas de nuestras democracias, el ejercicio del voto no es lo que mas nos interesa, porque, vuelvo a ratificar mi opinion tantas veces expuesta, de que el voto de la mujer sin preparacion cTvica, solo s i rve de instrumento ciego en 28 las grandes or ientaciones nacionales." In the case of Rendon, she went as far as denying the need for suffrage and suggested women could get greater mileage out of a more subtle approach to politics: Ella no necesita ir a las urnas electorales para sufragar por el candidato de sus simpatfas; le basta influir en la voluntad de su esposo, hermanos e hijos, para ganarse los votos. Sus razonamientos , aunque no seen acatados en el instante, pero poco a poco y sin hacer sentir al hombre, le sujetan a sus deseos; en verdad, el la no necesita de quien represente sus derechos en las Cameras Leg i s lat i vas , ya que imperando en el corazon del hombre, puede dictar leyes en favor de su sexo, y al hacerlo, hacelo en el bien de el la 29 y en el de sus semejantes. -^ Feminism: The Theme of Equality Whereas many of Cardenas' female contemporaries tended to rationalize sexist arguments that preserved political inequalities among men and women, she refused to accept a double standard which condoned male ignorance while punishing female ignorance. Moreover, she rejected the

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78 idea that women's domestic duties prevented effective political participation outside of the home: "No creo yo que todas las mujeres esten preparadas para esos puestos , . como los hombres tampoco; pero sf las hay y muy buenas, desde luego; . . . De lo que sT tenemos que convencernos es de que no esta renida la Polftica ni la Admini stracion con los deberes de las mujeres en el hogar: el las se alcanzan para todo y cumplen con sus deberes mejor o mas a conciencia que el hombre." in effect, Cardenas' feminist writings frequently argued that women were not inferior to men because of natural or divine law, and given an equal opportunity, they could compete successfully with the so-called stronger sex. In terms of participation in the political arena, she wrote: iPor que no puede la mujer ocuparse en la Polftica? La Polftica no es lo que la juzgan nuestros hombres, o mas bien dicho, lo que de el la han hecho los hombres que se creen polfticos, una cosa aspera y dura, miserable y grosera, un maridaje de traiciones y ambiciones, cuyo fruto es el medro de los mas audaces y mas cfnicos. La Polftica es el engrandecimiento de la Patria, no solo materialmente, sino moralmente; . . . Polftica es el arte de saber gobernar. . . . La mujer no solo por afici5n debe ocuparse en polftica: debe hacerlo como un deber, para poder preparar a sus hijos a que sean buenos servidores de su Patria en cualquier terreno en que les toque actuar. . . . Ahora, Ipor que no puede la mujer ocupar un puesto en la admini stracion del pafs? iNo hay mujeres como Rosa Borja de Icaza, suf i cientemente preparadas? . . . Y, por ultimo, senores mf os , hay que conformarse con la evolucion de los tiempos, y dejarse de las nimiedades de antano. La mujer esta capacitada y preparada para competir con vuesas mercedes. ^ Vasconez also protested man's reputed superiority: "Protestamos contra el concepto que atribuye a la mujer la sujecion y al hombre la libertad: de dos seres de la misma naturaleza, ha de ser el uno superior al otro? No desempenan los dos important fs imas funciones.

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79 no son necesarios, ambos , a la armonfa? iPor que la mujer, en cualquier estado, madre o hija, esposa o hermana, ha de ser inferior al hombre? Habra diversidad de funciones, pero.no de naturaleza, ..." It is clear the double standard with its numerous contradictions tormented many promising female intellectuals who had sacrificed and studied to become useful citizens only to discover that their talents and skills were not taken seriously by a male-dominated society. Vasconez, in an article entitled "Tristeza," depicted the pessimism and sense of futility experienced by many of her contemporaries who had fought persistently against longstanding prejudices and injustices: "Tristeza cuando encontre sombrTo el porvenir de la mujer. ildeales? Alegr'as ficticias, amores pocas veces sinceros, educacion deficiente siempre, perjudicial a veces, y luego, la supuesta inferioridad de la mujer respecto del hombre, inferioridad dada no por la naturaleza 33 sino por la sociedad y las costumbres." Despite women's bleak situation, Vasconez did believe they were capable of effecting some changes. However, as she explained in 1922, female unity and organization were essential in their struggle to win equality because as isolated individuals they were weak and ineffective, while as a group they would be stronger and more aggressive when defending their rights: "La mujer, mas que el hombre, necesita asociarse, pues que poco a nada conseguirfa al ir sola a defender sus ideales. Habeis hecho muy bien en asociaros, porque, solas, os creen debiles e incapaces de ejercer derechos; mientras que, unidas por el v'nculo de ideas y sentimientos identicos, formareis un nucleo que no 34 podra menos que ser respetado." Similarly, on another occasion she

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80 commented that women had to take charge of their own destinies: "La reforma en la educacion femenina sera lenta si la mujer misma no toma parte en el la. Muy recomendable serfa que fuera la mujer antes que los hombres y que los gobiernos quien trabajara por su mejoramiento. " With regard to equality before the law, Rendon studied Ecuador's legal codes and wrote about the many contradictions that were prejudicial to women. She deplored the adultery laws which punished women outright while considering men guilty only when they committed the crime in their own home; she criticized the laws for punishing the prostitutes while ignoring the procurers; she attacked the abortion laws for punishing women while ignoring men's complicity, either as seductors or as those who convinced women to carry out the crime. In effect, Rendon protested: El Codigo Penal, no castiga al hombre que fue causante de estos delitos que ocasiono su abandono [el de la mujer], la necesidad, el hambre, la desnudez. Y sin embargo, que tanto ha adelantado el feminismo, todavfa tenemos esos vicios ancestrales, que no desaparecen del mundo que se precia de civil izado. La lucha de la mujer por recobrar su dignidad y ocupar el puesto que le corresponde, como ser dotado de la misma Intel igencia del hombre, recorre los continentes, demostrando al mundo que es capaz de todas las conquistas del pensamiento' en todos los postulados y profesiones del hombre. 3° Other Themes It should be remembered that the chief writers of this second stage in women's prose development were highly educated, aware of the many problems common throughout the world, and consequently, they did not limit their prose works to the feminist themes. For example, Cardenas, Borja, and Rendon frequently wrote about the urgent need for pacifism in the world, particularly since they considered violence and strong-arm

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tactics in politics the chief obstacles to realizing justice and freedom. Appealing to young people to reform their ways, Cardenas wrote: Y perdoneme la juventud: el la es en cierto modo la responsable de las tiranfas, porque el la tambien quiere afianzar su ideal y su idea por medio de la violencia. Ahf esta el gran error, porque la juventud no quiere entender que solo con la pluma y la palabra que razona se puede evolucionar y sembrar los principios y afianzar las ideas. Jamas con los atropellos e insultos; estos no consiguen s i no hacer reaccionar en sentido contrario -37 a las masas."^' Borja suggested that a considerable part of the overall instability common to the Gran Colombian countries could be attributed to their long history of violence in which "la devastacion polftica atropello hasta sus propias intuiciones, i, [sic] en su dolorosa d i sgregacion , asesino a Sucre, mato a BolTvar, y a traves de las pasiones, dejo para esta defectuosa civil izacion el atavismo de la desconf ianza , causa perturbadora de toda interpretacion psicologica justa y recta en el proceso emocional .,38 de las masas." Women's pacifism, of course, was consistent with their marianista thinking, especially since wars and violence endangered the lives of their children. Therefore, many female intellectuals espoused non-violence because of their maternal instincts, quickly incorporating it into their activities designed to better society. Borja explained: Para que la mujer real ice la fraternidad grandocolombiana [sic] tiene que desarrollar en sus hijos, con su preparacion al futuro, el sentimiento de paz, afirmado siempre en la ultilidad colectiva, creadora de empresas y cultura; y en el sector que le corresponde, formar legiones de verdaderas madres que suavicen fronteras y den a nuestra civi 1 izacion , en el hondo sentido de la vida, la verdadera expresion de Human i dad. ^y With regard to a mother's fear of losing a child at war, Rendon dramatically offered:

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82 iPazI iCuando la encont raremos sobre este valle de lagrimas? La esperanza no deja de alimentar nuestra mente. Ella flota en el espacio como el Arco Iris. Le debemos buscar a porffa. iY , a quien le corresponde mas de cerca, sino a la MUJER que amamanta a su hijo? IQue sea el ALELUYA UNIVERSAL para todas las concienciasi La mujer que en sus brazos mece al nino y en sus cantares y arrullos le adormece y enjuga su llanto, tiembla de panico al pensar que a su hijo por quien derramo su sangre y tuvo noches de vigil ia y de inquietudes, le vera marchar a la guerra. ^ Further on she continued: "El mundo espera impaciente nuestra inmediata cooperacion. . . . Para esto no se requieren condiciones especiales. Toda mujer esta capacitada para ejercer su apostolado de paz. Moving completely away from maternal concerns, Cardenas was a fiery critic of Ecuadorian politicians, tirelessly attacking their lies and failings. Generally speaking, the country's political situation was in a shambles and Cardenas was set on making her readers aware of the realities. In typical fashion, she complained: "La polftica genuinamente ecuatoriana; . . . lo que aquf se llama pol'tica y se practica es una guerra ciega de pasiones, atropellos y, cons iguientemente, de insultos y calumnias, en que la moral, y la dignidad desaparecen; es un huracan de fuerzas brutas que se arremolinan y acometen y destruyen con furor demon'aco." Like numerous other women writers, Cardenas was deeply concerned over Ecuadorian porblems, and consequently, she frequently felt impelled to use her writing skills when defending national ideals and values. For example, after being sharply criticized for having published the results of a political survey dealing with Ecuadorian dictatorships, she responded unflinchingly: "iQue importa que perros en jaurfa aullen ferozmente en el ocaso de mi vida? No lograran amedrentarme." Obviously, Cardenas

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83 was a writer committed to her profession, and to the truth: "Veome obligada a romper la promesa, hecha voluntariamente a personas que amo y estimo, de no ocuparme en las.cosas publicas; pero ya una vez que defend' la libertad de imprenta, sostuve que guardar silencio en ciertas ocasiones estimaba yo como un crimen." With regard to freedom of the press, she wrote categorically: Ella es el faro que alumbra el camino de los energumenos que se llaman polTticos; ella es la voz del pueblo que sufre y calla. Ella, la prensa, es la patria misma, pues iquien sino ella da el grito de alarma cuando tratan de humillarnos? La imprenta con dogal es la peor verguenza de una nacion, y esa verguenza la debemos a la Asamblea de 1929.^5 Vasconez also was actively involved in analyzing national problems, and in an article reminiscent of Bello's Silva a la agricultuva de la zona torrida, she discussed the important role agriculture would play In Ecuador's future: En esta paradisTaca tierra ecuatoriana guarda el suelo tesoros de leyenda y son esos los tesoros que enterraron los Incas. Esta prodiga madre, al proporcionar a sus hijos noble y ventajosa ocupacion, hara que la espada, pronta a desenvai narse en desastrosas guerras fratricidas, sea en el "util arado convertida." El trabajo argTcola abrira en el Ecuador la anhelada nueva ruta en que se ejercitar^ el esfuerzo de miles de seres, sedientos de actividad y de oro. La agricultura creara en el pa's una raza de hombres sanos y fuertes, porque le arrancar^ del apinamiento e infecundo afanar de la ciudad.^^ Further on, in almost prophetic fashion, Vasconez continued: "Y tendiendo la vista al porvenir, alia una tierra ignota, un bello pa's encantado surge en ese que un dTa sera el verdadero Oriente ecuatoriano. In conclusion, 1922-19^5 was a significant period in the development of female prose writers in Ecuador, particularly since an increasMl

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84 ing number of women were turning to literature as their most effective means of making known their beliefs and concerns. As illustrated by Cardenas, Vasconez, Borja, and Rendon, women writers were producing committed literature designed, on the one hand, to defend women's rights, and on the other hand, to criticize the nation's most flagrant shortcomings. Moreover, while female writers were challenging many traditional stereotypes and proving women were capable of being first class citizens, eager to contribute to the nation's future growth and progress, their literature clearly reflected the chief female concerns and priorities of the period, a source of material essential to fully understanding the women of Ecuador. Women Writers: 19^5 to the Present Following World War 11 , an increasing number of women were exposed to greater educational opportunities and the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana offered financial and moral support to aspiring intellectuals. As a result, women writers entered a third phase in their prose development; one characterized by the emergence of purely artistic and esthetic themes. Literature, music, the plastic arts, philosophy, and religion became the chief topics explored, rather than the earlier socio-political ones. Logically, with their broader education, women began to identify with those issues that encompassed more than the Ecuadorian or Latin Amen can real i ty. Interestingly enough, whereas many women writers active before World War II tended to publish a steady flow of material, the postwar writers usually have felt no urgent need to communicate with

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85 the reading public, and therefore, their prose production frequently has been sporadic and in some cases, meager. Piedad Larrea Borja and Lupe Rumazo, however, are exceptions to this trend, for they both repeatedly have published a variety of works dealing with their intellectual concerns. The following discussion, then, will focus on the prose of Larrea and Rumazo, Ecuador's principal female contemporary essayists. Piedad Larrea Borja Piedad Larrea Borja (1912) is an exceptional woman in Ecuadorian literature, especially since she is the only female to date who has been elected to Ecuador's Academia de la Lengua (October 25, 1968), and consequently, is one of the few Spanish-speaking women recognized as a member of Spain's Real Academia de la Lengua. According to Morayma Carvajal : Piedad es una autodidacta. Audaz, admi rablemente audaz en explorar las escarpaduras de las severas disciplinas mentales y los laberintos filosoficos de todos los tiempos. Valiente en el empeno de abrirse paso, con su grande inteligencia y el poder de su intuicion, por los reinos del conocimiento; avida por rasgar los velos del enigma, encontrar el camino seguro, la respuesta cabal, la meta definida y exacta. De saber el c6mo y el por que de las cosas , de encontrar el tesoro de la verdad tras la quimera y el espejismo. Investigar, enriquecer su mundo con la austera dadiva de la sabidurfa. Captar la voz omnipotente del cosmos, ir mas alia por los senderos que abrieron los geniales espfritus en el espacio y ep el tiempo; vigilante siempre su abierta pupila iluminada. Despite Larrea's broad cultural interests, she began her writing career in much the same fashion as her predecessors--concerned with socio-political issues. With regard to pacifism, for example, she wrote: iDonde los beneficios de la guerra? iDonde los males que haya remediado? iLa humanidad, la vida, deben algo a los tan ponderados inventos de guerra? Serla terrible el aceptarlo. Serla inhumano y cruelmente paradojal el

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86 concebir siguiera que la vida pueda mejorar con los mas refinados inventos para causar la muerte; generalmente, mul t i tudinariamente igual, i nmi ser i corde para todos . Que la humanidad pueda enaltecerse con la negaci6n absoluta de todos sus nobles principios. Que el progreso sea empujado por fuerzas de dest ruccion . 52 Further on she lamented those conditions which traditionally have caused wars : Ambiente propio para la guerra hay en medir a las naciones, no por la sabidur'a de sus leyes, su progreso o sus libertades. No por sus pensadores, sus estadistas, sus cientfficos o sus artistas, sino simplemente por su potenci al i dad de comercio o de armamento. Ambiente propicio para la guerra hay, en fin, en dar solo sentido militar a las palabras gloria y herofsmo. La legion callada de los heroes de la justicia, de la ciencia y del derecho, de todos los heroes civiles sin estatuas ni epopeyas , continua siendo legion ignota. Moreover, Larrea explained that pacifism was akin to women's chief function in life: "He aquf porque [sic] el pacifismo debera ser la meta de todo ser humano. Y debera ser especi almente , apasionada obra de mujer. Porque encarna lo mas sutil y alto de nuestra mision creadora y materna. Y es aporte que todas las mujeres le debemos a la humanidad. Las madres en la creacion de la nobleza espiritual del hijo." Turning her attention specifically to the motherhood theme, Larrea affirmed during her early years as a writer: "Como en todas las ci vi 1 izaciones primitivas, en las ci vi 1 i zaciones indianas de esta America nuestra, la di gn i f i cacion de la mujer empieza a arraigarse en los pueblos de la di gn i fi cacion del que es su mas alto atributo: la maternidad." Although these concerns are not typical of Larrea 's work in its entirety, they do represent a logical beginning for a woman who was educated during Ecuador's most active feminist period. It is evident

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87 she experimented with existing prose models until establishing her own style, and consequently, may be considered a transitional figure in Ecuadorian female prose who led many women writers from a pre-World War II nationalistic perspective to a post-World War II universal one. As early as 19^6, for example, when publishing her first collection of essays, Ensayos , Larrea demonstrated the novelty of her work by including (along with the traditional material) such pieces as "Sentido y transcendencia del arte" and "De la estetica en el misticismo." Moreover, after her initial attempts at writing, Larrea was the first woman writer since Marietta de Veintemilla published her Confevenoia sobre psiaologia moderna (1907) who was no longer writing chiefly for newspapers or magazines. In effect, rather than being an articulista, Larrea has become an essayist concerned with the content as well as the poetic elements of her prose material. Unlike many of the earlier writers, Larrea has not limited artistic expression or the role of the artist to a purely social and educational plane. Besides content, beauty and form are important since, "la belleza de la forma es atributo imprescind ibl e en la man i festacion artfstica." In fact, Larrea has written that the continuous struggle to master their craft and achieve perfection is incumbent upon the art i sts : Es necesario saber, y para ello, el dolor nuevo para el artista, la tortura de la gramatica y el estilo y el contrapunto y el movimiento de los dedos y los secretos del matiz y de la 1 f nea , interpues tos , como legendaria valla defensiva, entre la inspiracion, el imperative que le grita el arte, y el medio de expresion para darle cuerpo de palabra, de musica o de forma. La predestinacion artfstica, como toda predes t i nacion , lleva en sf un mandate de superaciones , hasta lograr

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88 la perfeccion. Sueno inalcanzable casi siempre; pero al que habra de darle el artista su vida.58 it is apparent Larrea regards the artist as a very special individual called upon to fulfill certain definite needs of modern man. Whereas Borja assigned a moral role to the artist, one which would teach man to be noble and compass ionate ,^9 larrea has stated that the artist is to console man in a world characterized by sorrow and loneliness. She clearly explains: "En el beneficio milagroso de cada encarnacion, en este hacerse voz de todos los silencios, y queja de todos los dolores y jubilosa resonancia de todas las alegrfas y grito de todas las torturas, el arte designa y predestina, con identica trascendencia de mision, a todos los que deben 1 levar la consolacion a los hombres." Consequently, Larrea's concept of art, in general, and literature, in particular, does not conform to the committed type characteristic of early feminist prose in Ecuador. Rather than an attempt to move or instruct large bodies of people, she has defined art as a means of spiritual communication between the artist and the individual in need of solace. More specifically: La expresion ["el arte esta siempre 'en funcion social'" ] •^^ '^^^le ... y ... la traigo aquT para que diga mas claramente de un pensamiento que querrfa encerrarlo mas bren as i : el arte en realizaci6n misional, o: en manifestacion apostolica. Si el la lleva la consolacion a los hombres, si eleva sus espfritus en santas elevaciones de superacion o de refinamiento cerebral o sensitivo si dice de su dolor y sus torturas, de sus dichas y de sus amores, 6no realiza ya su mision de mejoramiento, de ese mejoramiento que, para ser plenamente colectivo debera arraigar en la vital idad unica y latente de lo individual? ' This almost mystical relationship that supposedly exists between the artist and the individual, this ineffable communication between two

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89 almas. Is illustrated in Larrea's essays on Chopin. Instead of writing a biographical sketch about one of her favorite musicians, Larrea tries to demonstrate her total identification with Chopin, achieved by allowing the music to act as the catalyst: Para el mundo interior de Chopm, el otro, el de fuera, en lo fTsico no contaba. El dijo el mensaje no recibido de elemento alguno, nacido en las raTces mismas de su vida. Y a la Humanidad lego simplemente su alma. Pura. Desnuda de paisaje. Limpia de elementos externos. . . . Porque el arte de Chopm es su vida. . . . Por eso despierta en nosotros la emocidn que solo conocen las fuerzas eternas de la vida: el dolor y el amor.^ Further on, she continues: Por eso la musica sera la unica poseedora de todas las recond i teces de su alma y de su pensamiento. . . . Recordemos mas bien a VIcent d'Yndy [sic] y a Schumann y a Berlioz y a Listz [s ic 1. Memorias , notas , expl i caciones , recuerdos, crTticas, cronicas. En todos la palabra diciendo o aclarando o explicando sus emociones o sus conceptos. Pero Chopm, no. Chopm sc5lo encuentra para la vibracion infinita de su alma suprasens i b le , la vibracidn del piano. Y para decir de su tormento o de sus esperanzas, de su angustia y sus amores y sus ensuenos, solo el signo del pentagrama. -^ Larrea's deep sensitivity and ability to perceive the indescribable emotions and realities that surround hfer are manifest once again in her work when she writes "Itinerario emocional de Roma": Y no dejeis tampoco a vuestros oTdos escuchar la voz de Roma al final de vuestro viaje. Esa voz , la del ayer, la de hoy, la de siempre; voz tentadora de sirenas; eterna y universal voz del agua. Esa voz viva de las fontanas , ha de cantaros su cancidn de melancolTas para la partida. En la Fontana de Trevis--la del dios Neptuno, la de la abundosa y clara fuente virgen--la voz tentadora se hace promesa de retornos . . . Y si la moneda que eche en el la, en la melancolfa de mi despedida a Roma, no ejerce su virtud, su virtud de mi regreso material, junto a la yuestra habra de ir recorriendo sus recuerdos mi emocidn.^

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90 Other works published by Larrea are: Aberihazam en la literatura arabigoespanota , Juglaresca en Espana, and Hdbla femenina quitena. In short, whether writing about music, literature, or linguistics, Larrea is an essayist whose work has been an exercise in evoking the mysteries and emotions of other times, other people, and other places. Moreover, rather than protesting society's shortcomings, Larrea has offered modern readers an opportunity to explore new worlds and new sensations, which perhaps is her way of consoling her fellow man. Lupe Rumazo During the last fifteen years, Lupe Rumazo (1935) has emerged as one of Ecuador's principal contemporary essayists (regardless of sex) who has cultivated a broad spectrum of literary themes, ranging from moral ism in Faulkner to structuralism in Sarduy. Upon reading her three collections of essays, Rumazo's concept of Latin American letters becomes clear: she rejects both the criollistatype form and the purely structuralist trend prevalent among numerous contemporary writers. On the one hand, the local ist writers fail to produce sound literature because of their highly limited perspective, while on the other hand, the structuralists are too removed from the human aspects essential to literary expression. Summing up, Rumazo writes: Ni realismo ni formal ismo puros, por tanto. Ni realismo que excluya el libre juego de lo creativo, en sentido estricto; ni formal ismo que trate de volar sobre las cosas como desasido de el las. Mas bien un compromiso verdadero con la realidad libertada de las "ci rcunstancias ," a fin de que tienda a la uni versa 1 i dad . Es decir: una llama que no queme solamente hoy, si no siempre y en todas partes. bien: descubrir en cada pagina la glandula pineal del organismo literario: esa especie de tercer ojo interno, hermetic©, sin cuyas vfvidas perforaciones es incompleta la vision de los ojos externos."°

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91 In effect, Rumazo has criticized the tendency to write committed literature which attacks the many social problems of Latin America while ignoring the far-reaching elements of human existence: "La literatura joven, que serfa el caso de la nuestra, lat i noamer i cana , quedase con frecuencia en el planteamiento de los problemas; delata lo injusto, por ejemplo, pero no va mas alla."^ In addition, she has rejected the latest structuralist experiments (i.e., Sarduy and the novela de lenguaoe) because they tend merely to imitate foreign models while ignoring the crucial realities of Latin America: Si en America existe ... la margen buena de la experimentacion vital, que desborda por creadora cualesquiera esquemas, es tructurales o no--Asturias , Neruda, Carpentier, Cortazar, Sabato, Cesar Vallejo, Rulfo, Borges, Onetti, Pareja Diezcanseco, Vargas Llosa, Uslar Pietri , Jorge Icaza en Atrapados, Jose Donoso, Otero Silva, Alfonso Rumazo Gonzalez en Aquelarre , Clara Silva, Gustavo Luis Carrera--, existe tambien la de la experimentacion buscada, de hombro debil arrimado a hombro fuerte extranjero. Suena ya la cadena en los pasos del escritor americano. Los eslabones tienen nombres: Fuentes (solo en parte, . . . ) ; Cabrera Infante (a pesar de su valfa), Sarduy, Basilia Papastamat i u , Isel Rivero, Nestor Sanchez, Gustavo Sainz. Recios escritores, varios de ellos, . . .--no descal i f i camos enteramente su producci on-. •. . Causa y agobia ya su pregon: "voto por el lenguaie, hago obra de lenguaje, el lenguaje es mi personaje.' With regard to Sarduy, specifically, she protests: Confundiendo el juego y el arte--por jugar se puede hacer lo que se quiera--Sarduy desata un cancer de las palabras, crea el caos , produce un relato debil, aunque de meticulosa e^aboracion, desencadena una tempestad barroca. En realidad experimenta. La experimentacion suya no se explica como trasunto de una justa reaccion socio-economi ca , ni porque el escritor crecido de espfritu, vigoroso en sus elitros, vuelvase cuidadano del mundo fntegro, ni porque exprese la fecundacion febril y de vasos comunicantes de una misma cultura occidental. No. Sarduy trabaja con esquemas dados, siguiendo normas de otros que no se injertan intimamente dentro de su ser, como no podran hacerlo

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92 i ntegralmente tampoco en nuestra America. No hay in-^. fluencias . . . sino imitacion, deplorable imitacion. The ideal literary model, according to Rumazo, is the one which combines to amevicano and the universal elements naturally identified by all readers--a literature which reveals the uniqueness of Latin America without shutting off the continent from the rest of human experience. Rumazo has called this type of literature intrarreali-smo , questioning the appropriateness of Seymour Menton's terminology, neorrealismo : "Neorreal ismo, como neoclasi cismo o neoromant i cismo, indican revi tal i zaci on , resurreccion . Nosotros ... no volvemos la vista al realismo literario. Ya se ha visto que solo una parte y justamente la que no hace generacion sigue difundiendo tal simiente de fndole social. En nuestra concepcion lo social pasa a segundo piano aunque lo explotemos; interesa mas, . . . entregar un asir nuevo de los 72 hechos , seres y cosas." Consequently, she has invented what is supposedly a more precise term: I NTRARREAL I SMO , lo nombrarfa yo . . . por metido dentro de la realidad cotidiana y por introducido doblemente en la realidad metaffsica. Realismo dos veces real, pues amalgama lo temporal y lo permanente, y a ambos cuestiona. . . . Y que sin tener la estructura de un movimiento ni la corporeidad de una escuela, es ya def in i t i vamente coexistencia o coincidencia de identica tendencia. Hay un rumbo marcado en las nuevas voces americanas, una fijacion de una un i ca personal i dad , aunque cada autor conserve su estricta i ndi vi dual i dad. Rumbo que por un lado implica desasimiento del realismo social y por otro puesta de primeras piedras, al menos dentro de la literatura americana. La "rebel ion metaffsica" ciertamente ofrece caracter inaugural si va acompanada de una tonica di ferenci ada : lenguaje escueto, objetividad, poder de sugerencia, tiempo presente, escept i ci smo, fuerte conciencia historica, tecnica moderna, cot i dianei dad , ant i i nsul ar i smo y, esenci almente , tono americano inconf undi bl e. ' -^

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93 The most interesting point, and the most debatable one, made by Rumazo when discussing intrarrealismo is her assertion that Latin American women have constituted the principal voices in this new literature: Pero su victoria mayor [la de las mujeres] radica en la forja del INTRARREALISMO, fmpetu nuevo, que indirectamente convierte las voces innovadoras en voces generacionales, El laboreo viene sencillo y hermoso: "se trata de ver y tocar rafces y sacarlas a la luz." 0, valga decir, introducirse muy dentro en la realidad, sin olvidar el esplendor de lo metaffsico. Procediendo como hijas de Jano, el dios bifronte que tiene en mencion de Ovidio "dos rostros porque ejerce su imperio sobre el cielo, la tierra y el mar," las autoras intrarreal i stas cambian la faz de America al involucrarla en preocupaciones uni^, versales, sin apartarla de lo suyo propio e intransfer i ble. Although her terminology and her discussion about the des i reabi 1 i ty of combining amevicanista and universal elements in literature may be acceptable, Rumazo's thesis falls on two basic counts. In the first place, with regard to fiction, she emphasizes women's role in producing intrai'vealista literature while playing down the contributions made by Borges, Carpentier, Yanez, Asturias, and even some of the modernists who are now understood to have also reflected their Latin American reality in universal terms (i.e., DarTo's "EI rey burgues," Asul , 1888). An argument which denies the successful blending of americanist and transcendental elements in El sehor presidente, Al filo del agua, or Los pasos perdidos because the authors often employ highly intellectual techniques, appears to be rather simplistic thinking. In the second place, although perhaps less objectionable, to include poetry in a discussion of intrarrealismo, or any other derivative of realism, is questionable since poetry is usually subjective, not realistic.

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9^ Apparently, Rumazo was aware of some of her essay's limitations since in 1969 she published an article entitled, "TeorTa del intrarreal i smo," in which she rectified: iLas escritoras, las novelistas, las ensayistas o poetisas solamente? Mas tarde, profundi zando en la generacion masculina de la ultima promoclon, pude dar con un renacimiento correlativo. ... He hallado que la tendencia i ntrar real i sta masculina existfa en todo caso, aunque la pendulacion fuera quiza mas fuerte de la orilla femenina. Unos y otras querTan para su America identico destino. Ese destino--que Unamuno llamo "la amer i can i dad" y que ya mostro con prodigal idad de rico noble el Modernismo, tambien amer i cano--s i gn i f i caba concretamente ampliar el domicilio de la America Latina, tan crecida, ubicandolo en el propio lar y en el mundo total. 75 Notwithstanding some disputable conclusions, this essay on intrarrealismo , in general, is a very valuable review of the numerous Latin American women writers who have made major contributions to the continent's literature. On other occasions, Rumazo has tried to interpret the Latin American female experience, but outside the literary context: En America--esa America que no es una, sino muchas di St i ntas--no hay un exclusivo t i po femenino. De la India esclava, hoy todavfa ante de conquista, a la negra de las prolongadas zonas hirvientes, cas i no media trecho. Son las sometidas, las atormentadas , el grado maximo del abajamiento. Al 1 f no se vislumbra todavfa lo que puede ser una mujer; se conoce sf una parte, y muy noble: el sacrificio. Luego: la del pueblo, mestiza en las montanas , mulata en las costas, tambien aplastada, pero menos , apenas sf puede instrulrse. Ambiciones, generalmente, muy tenaz, inagotable, hace de gran motor que eleva e impulsa a sus hijos. De muchas de esas madres brotan los varones mayores de America. Hijos esforzados de fuente cercada. La de estrato medio, bachillera o un i vers i tar i a , muy otra concepcion tiene de la existencia. No acepta una situacion dada, aboga por un mejoramiento; hace filas en las cruzadas feministas; vive ella misma con los ojos fijos en la cr i stal izacion de un plan vital. Ya el ser femenino empieza a irradiar. En las de sociedad, hoy en

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95 mucho con nivel un I vers i tar io, el dinero y la mi xt i f icacion momifican cualesquiera frnpetus esenciales. Las ext raord i nari as se sal van; el gran numero desciende a convert! rse en objeto refinado, hermoso, decorative, pero parasitario. La mujer pierde ahf un significado. De todas estas capas, escasamente de la primera y en -,/grade maximo de la intermedia, emerge la mujer de letras. In conclusion, besides the topics mentioned above, Rumazo in other essays discusses the use of time in the modern novel; she comments on such authors as Camus, Tolstoy, Kafka, Ortega, Hemingway, and Garcilaso de la Vega. In general, it may be said that she is an essayist who has read widely and who has written about her many literary and Latin Americanist concerns, constituting the latest manifestation in the development of Ecuadorian women prose writers. Whereas Larrea broke away from the traditional mold of committed literature to exalt the human emotions and her own sensitivity, Rumazo has tended to combine her intellectual pursuits with her genuine concerns of Latin America (above all Latin American letters), contributing to the so-called intrarreali-sta literature. The main shortcoming of her writing, however, is the obvious attempt to display all her knowledge in each essay, a characteristic which invariably leads to the digressions and confusion common to Juan Montalvo's classical essays. By her own confession, she is a very meticulous writer who continually tries to foresee the reader's questions and doubts: "No soy escritora de ritmo rapido, sino de faenar lento, de segurfsimo deambular, de revisiones reiteradas, siempre consciente o i nconsc ien temente con la presencia de un tribunal , r ,,77 al frente." Some of the other women who have published prose worthy of mention during the last thirty years are Eulalia Perez Chiriboga, Marfa Luisa

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96 Bustamente de Perez, Marfa Esther de Andrade Coello, Marfa Guillermina Garcfa Ortiz, Violeta Luna, Jenny Romero Rape, Aliz Fernandez Salvador de Raza, Germania Moncayo de Monge, Isabel Moscoso de Davila, and . 78 Martha Paez. Unfortunately, however, their production has been sporadic; some have abandoned prose to devote more time to poetry while others have stopped writing because of lack of time, insufficient funds, or the absence of public support, in general.

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97 Notes Chapter IV This chapter's discussion of prose refers only to expository writing. Fiction will be treated in Chapters V and Vl . 2 This chapter only discusses the works written by Cardenas, Vasconez, Borja, and Rendon because, unlike other women writers of the same era (i.e., MarTa Luisa Calle, Zoila Ugarte de Landfvar, Blanca Martfnez de Tinajero, Delia Ibarra de Duenas , Marfa Piedad Castillo de Lev', and numerous others who preferred to use pseudonyms), they published whole collections of articles and essays, making their prose more accessible. It should be noted that there exists a plethora of female prose material in the many newspapers published in Ecuador. Since this other material is similar in purpose and perspective to the works of Cardenas, Vasconez, Borja, and Rendon, the latter may be considered representative of the writers who were active during ]322-]ShS. 3 "Literary Archetypes and Female Role Alternatives: The Woman and the Novel in Latin America," in Female and Male in Latin America: Essays, ed. Ann Pescatello (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, 1973), p. 20. /, Ibid. , pp. k-SHonor al feminismo (Quito: Imprenta Nacional , 1922), p. 9. "Marianismo: The Other Face of Machismo in Latin America," in Female and Male in Latin America: Essays, p. 91p. 13. Vida de Mariana de Jesus (Quito: Imprenta "Bona Spes," 19^0), o "Influencia de la mujer como factor importante en el mejoramiento humano," Aspectos de mi sendero (Guayaquil: Editorial Jouvin, 1930), p. 100. ^Ibid. , pp. 120-123. ^^Ibid. , p. 107. Zoila Rendon, La mujer en el hogar y en la sociedad, 3rd ed. (Quito: Editorial Uni vers i tar i a , 1961), p. 78. ^^Ibid. , pp. 81-82. ^^Ibid. , p. 148. Borja, "La mujer moderna y la obrera," Aspectos de mi sendero, pp. 128-129.

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98 "La mujer y la polftica," Oro, rojo y azul (Quito: Editorial Artes Graficas, \3kl) , p. 59. Aotividades domestioas y soaiales de la mujer (Quito: Talleres Tipograficos Nacionales, 1925), pp. 7~8. "Por la mujer," Oro, rojo y azul, pp. ^Q-'*! . 1 8 See Elsa M. Chaney, "Women in Latin American Politics: The Case of Peru and Chile," in Female and Male in Latin America: Essays, pp. lOA-139In this study, Chaney points out that Latin American women public officials usually look upon themselves as supermadres whose public work differs "only in magnitude from the nuturant [sic] and affectional tasks women perform for husband and family" (p. 10^). 19 A few such groups were: La Gota de Leche, El Belen del Huerfano, the Red Cross, and La Legion Femenina de Educacion Popular. 20 Honor al feminismo , pp. 5~6. 21 "Nuestro programa," Haaia la vida (Guayaquil: Imprenta y Talleres Municipales, 1936), p. 52. 22 "La mujer y su derecho a votar," Oro, rojo y azul, p. 16. This article was written originally in 1932. 23 "El voto femenino y la suficiencia de los hombres," Oro^ rojo y azul, p. 3^*. m Oro, rojo y azul, pp. 10^-105. 25 "El voto femenino y la suficiencia de los hombres," p. 3526 It should be noted Ecuadorian women were not granted suffrage because of their own efforts, but rather because of the efforts made by conservative interest groups in Ecuadorian politics which were seeking a stronger following for possible future elections. 27 "Por la mujer," Ensayos literarios (Quito: n.p., 1922), pp. 29-30. ?8 "Temas sob re femenismo," Haoia la vida, p. 89. 29 . La mujer en el hogar y en la sociedad, p. 50. "La mujer y la polftica," Oro, rojo y azul, p. 61. ^^Ibid. , pp. 59-60. 32 ^ "Pro logo," Aotividades domestioas y soaiales de la mujer, pp. ix-xx. 33 Ensayos literarios , p . 56 .

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99 3/» Honor at feminismo , p. 2. 35 "Por la mujer," Ensayos literarios , p. 39. "La mujer en los diversos organismos humanos," Prevision Social, 22 (SeptemberDecember ]3h^, January IS'tS) , 160. 37 "Las tiranfas en America," Oro, rojo y azul , pp. kk-k^. This article was written originally in 1933. "Ref lexiones ," Haaia la vida, pp. 16-17. ^'^Ibid. ko La mujer en el hogar y en la soaiedad, pp. 161-162. A2, Al Ibid. , p. 167. 'iPol ftica? ," Oro, rojo y azulj p. 26. 1j3 Enouesta: IQue debe haoer el Ecuador para librarse de las diotadurasl (Quito: Li tograf fa e Imprenta Romero, 1939), p. I89. "Pol'tica y religion," OrOy rojo y azul, p. 31. This article criticized the campaign to nationalize the clergy while driving out of Ecuador foreign priests. "Libertad de imprenta," Oro, rojo y azul, p. 37. ^6 "Cancion de primavera," Ensayos literarios, pp. 23-24. ^7 Ibid., p. 2h. Ecuador's present oil prosperity is due to the Oriente' s petroleum deposits. h8 Naturally, there still were women who cultivated the committed themes. However, this trend began to manifest itself more and more in fiction, as will be discussed in Chapter V. Also, poetry absorbed a great deal of women's socio-political concerns. Larrea has been named Secretaria Perpetua of Ecuador's Academia. Galeria del espiritu: Mujeres de mi patria, pp. 120-121. She began writing for the El Dia newspaper in Quito, signing her articles with the pseudonym Ximena de Lombay. 52 "Paz en la tierra," Ensayos (Quito: Editorial "Fray Jodoco Ricke," 19^6) , p. 1^5. ^^Ibid. , pp. 151-152.

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100 ^^Ihid. , pp. 152-153. "Biograffa de la mujer en el Ecuador," Ensayos , p. 57. It should be remembered that much of Cardenas, Vasconez, and Borja was originally published in Ecuadorian journals. Larrea, "Sentido y trascendencia del arte," Ensayos, p. 16. ^^Ibid. , pp. 18-19. 59 "El arte como funcion social," Hacia la vida, p. 102. "Sentido y trascendencia del arte," p. ]h. Ibid. , p. 15. 62 "Federico Chopfn, expresion del romant i ci smo," Nombres eternos-Senderos (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 195^), pp. 29-30. ^^Ibid. , p. 36. 6^ Nombres etemos — Senderosj p. 22A. Abenhazam en la litevatura ardbigoespanola (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, I96O) ; Juglaresca en Espaha (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1965); Habla femenina quitena (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, I968). The latter suggests language is a product of one's culture, and since women are now approaching rapidly men's cultural level, the linguistic differences between the sexes (i.e., lexicon, intonation, syntax) are disappearing. 66 Rumazo also has written short stories; her fiction will be studied in Chapter Vi. En el lagav (Madrid: Ediciones EDIME, I96I); Yunques y crisoles amevicanos (Madrid: Ediciones EDIME, 196?); Rol beligevante (Madrid: Ediciones EDIME, 197^) . /o "El novelista compromet i do," En el lagar, p. 20569 "Algo mas que feminismo en Simone de Beauvoir," En el lagar^ p. 73. "La sobrehaz de la literatura estructural (escorzo) ," Rol beligevante, pp. 15-11This essay also published in Letras del Ecuador, XXIV, ]k\ (January I969) , ^"5.

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10] "Un hijo americano del es t ructural i smo: Relajo literario," Rot beligerante, p. 91. 72 "En torno y dentro de la llteratura femenina americana en su ultima generacion: Teorfa del intrarreal i smo," Yunques y crisoles americanos , p. 52. Rumazo makes reference to Seymour Menton's use of "neorreal i smo" in El auento hispanoameriaano , 2nd ed. (Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Economica, 1966), where he states (pp. 293-294): Para su tematica, los neorreal i stas rehuyen tanto de la fantasTa de algunos de los cosmopolitas [Borges , Rulfo, Mallea, Arreola] como del ruralismo de los criollistas. ... No hay protesta ni contra la naturaleza ni contra los explotados humanos. Dandose cuenta de la mayor complejidad de los problemas, no ofrecen soluciones faclles. ... El enfasis esta en un solo episodio por medio del cual el lector puede crearse todo el fondo que quiera. El estilo es escueto, sin las descr i pciones epicas de los criollistas ni el experimental i smo de los cosmopolitas. '^^Ibid. , pp. 82-83. 74 Ibid., pp. 126-127. Following the essay there is an index of all the names referred to in the study (pp. 131-135). Cuadernos Hispanoameriaanos , Ilk (June I969) , 740-741. "En torno y dentro de la literatura femenina americana . . . ," Yunques y crisoles americanos, pp. 34-35. Ro I he ligerante , p . 1 1 . 78 These women's works are listed in the bibliography with the exception of La intervencion de los gobiemos en las universidades del pais, by Martha Paez, a work still to be published (as of July 28, 1975).

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CHAPTER. V THE NOVEL Unlike journalism and the short, polemical essay, the novel has not appealed to many aspiring women writers in Ecuador during this century. In fact, there have been only fifteen novels published by women, the first dating from IS'^O when Blanca Martfnezde Tinajero published En la pas del campo. The principal reasons for their limited participation in the genre have been treated in Chapter I — i.e., social pressure, lack of education, absence of publishing houses, high costs of paper, insufficient time. Unfortunately, with respect to 2 this evident dearth of female novelists in Ecuadorian literature, the possibilities for significant change in the immediate future do not appear more promising. Reflecting this quagmire, Eugenia Viteri, 3 author of A noventa rmllas, solamentej has stated: "Deseando escribir cada vez mejor, deje la novela porque ella requiere mayor trabajo, esmero, tiempo, dedicacion. ... El factor tiempo en este siglo, es algo muy importante para los que llevamos una vida intensa. Compartir mis actividades de maestra, de madre, atender el hogar y tratar de vivir, de pensar en mi permanente deseo de escribir, coartado por la falta de tiempo es mucho, quizas demasiado." Nevertheless, despite the limited production and the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that have discouraged would-be novelists, most of the fifteen works published during this century constitute an 102

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103 expression of feminist literature to the extent they reflect women's position in Ecuadorian society. Of course, it should be remembered there is a basic difference between .feminine and feminist writing. The former term most often suggests a negative meaning since it has been associated with much of the so-called "pulp" literature (i.e., soap operas, fashion magazines, and gothic romances). The feminist material, however, is committed literature that contributes to the cause of women's liberation, performing "one or more of the following functions: (1) [to] serve as a forum for women; (2) help to achieve cultural androgyny; (3) provide role-models; (4) promote si sterhood; and (5) augment consciousness-raising." The magazine and essay forms discussed in previous chapters, clearly point to a unified attempt by many Ecuadorian women intellectuals to defend feminist interests and objectives. And, tho the novel's sparse production precludes any definition of its feminist qualities, its limited examples show that there exists in it a feminist position or perspective. Feminist critics often reject claims that women share psychological or personality traits (i.e., passivity, sentimentality, frivolity), yet among these antagonists there is general agreement that they do exhibit group characteristics which is the result of their constituting a caste, "subject to special restrictive and limiting social influences." Thus, Ecuador's women writers, in general, and the novelists, in particular, share characteristics common to their works which are largely the result of their having to overcome prejudices and social conventions unknown to men. Viteri's remark concerning the incompatibility between the roles of novelist and mother/housewife reflects only one of the

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10'4 numerous feminist problems that have conditioned many women, consciously or unconsciously, to write about a major preoccupat ion--thei r suffering in a male-dominated society. In effect, although the fifteen novels examined in this chapter do not constitute a new literary movement nor a new novelistica, they do deserve to be studied as a unit separate from the overall Ecuadorian narrative because, despite their numerous stylistic differences, they represent a response to reality viewed from a female perspective. In short, this chapter will focus on the fifteen novels from a feminist point of view, studying the image of women that is presented by the writers and the major concerns discussed in the works. The first three novels were published by Blanca Martfnez, an author primarily concerned with depicting the local customs and beauty of her native Ambato. Because she had used journalism on numerous occasions to give voice to the many inequities inherent in a maledominated society, Martfnez did not see any need to follow a similar feminist pattern in fiction. Indeed she wrote novels which conformed to the costumbrista and orioltista schools, explaining in the prologue to Luz en la noche: "Hay que 'mirar con detenimiento y describir con exactitud, pues que la exactitud recondita es virtud inmarcesible de poesTa, nuestros paisajes y costumbres, inconscientes y profundos modeladores del alma.' . . . Las frases [estas] . . . indican el camino de verdad y de be 1 1 eza que debemos seguir todos cuantos intentamos mirar nuestros paisajes y describir nuestras costumbres" (p. 5). Consequently, in the three novels, the reader continually encounters detailed descriptions of Ambato's landscape and customs:

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105 El crepusculo se avecinaba, rapi damente. La sombra gris azulina fue asaltando las alturas mientras las cumbres lejanas respl andec'an aun. Un momento hubo que aumento el colorido hasta cas i convertirse en purpura; luminosidad increfble, pero corta. S61o en el mas agudo picacho del Tungurahua se alargo esa despedida gloriosa. Luego, rapida, se extinguio. {En la pas del campo, p. 3^) Ante su vista se extendfan extensas y ondulantes sementeras. Las nubes desaparecfan de prisa y el Chimborazo principiaba a desembarazarse de su capoton de nieblas, mientras que los perf i les de la cordillera oriental se doraban, afirm^ndose el matiz violado de sus quiebras. {Luz en la nochej p. 12). ConcluTda la ceremonia, la gente sal io en busca de la fanesca y otros potajes propios de ese dia [el Jueves Santo]. . . . En los corredores, habitaciones y bajo nftidas tenduchas de tela se alineaban bateas con naranjas y platanos, chirimoyas y aguacates de Patate y Pischilata. Luego, cestillas de capul'es; cacerolas humeantes de fanesca, pures y picantes de pescado. El pungente olor a condimentos se mezclaba con el sabrosfsimo del dulce de higos y del pan recien sacado de los hornos. Sentados o de pie, hombres y mujeres; ancianos y ninos, charlan alegremente. {En la paz del campc, pp. 126-127) In terms of feminism, while En la paz del campo does not offer much insight into women's position in Ecuadorian society, it does contain the following observation about Lola's Cultural and educational deficiencies: Pero el la no tenfa la culpa de ignorar. La tuvo el medio ambiente. El prejuicio. Ese temor ridfculo y malsano de sus padres, que temieron perderla si la ponTan en otro colegio que en el de monjas. Todo encubierto, haciendo crimen de lo m^s sencillo. Imaginandose que mirar un desnudo era falta i mperdonable. Cegando su raz(3n, enturbiando la verdad. Los padres de Lola, fueron como la mayorfa. Siempre prcocupados de la cuestion sexual. Ocultando la natural y eterna atraccion, comenzaba bajo las frondas parad i s facas . (p. 392)

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106 Obviously, society's concern over women's virginity deprived Lola of the freedom to move about and grow intellectually. This same sexual double standard appears again when Lola's neighbors discover she has made love to Juan, the novel's protagonist. They reproach Lola but only call Juan a sinve.rguensa while demanding a higher standard of morality of Lola: "iJesusI la barbaridad que ha cometido la Lolita, y el escandalo habido en el hotel 1 . . . es horriblel ... Si la Lolita debe meterse en un convento y no salir mas" (p. ^63). Nevertheless, since Martfnez's chief aim in En la paz del campo is to entertain the reader, the remarks mentioned above are incidental feminist interludes. This unconcern for feminism is clearly pointed out by Angel Rojas' comments on the novel which fail to touch upon Lola's dilemma: "AmenTsirna es la novela de Blanca Martfnez de Tinajero, . . . Es en cierto sentido, una novela de costumbres de la clase acaudalada de la sierra. . . . Se advierte cuanta facilidad tiene Blanca Martfnez para escribir y que habilidad innata posee para mantener suspenso al lector. La trama no puede estar mejor hilvanada. Las vidas burguesas allT retratadas van march i tandose suavemente, ajenas por completo al hervor social que ruge en derredor de la campina eglogica y de las o anchas casas de estilo andaluz." But for the purpose of this study. En la paz del campo is important because the public reaction it generated illustrates the prejudices and social pressures women writers in Ecuador have had to overcome. More specifically, when the work was submitted to Ambato's official selection committee for publication, the editorial board rejected it since the

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107 sensuous character of Lola (supposedly a portrait of the ambatena) was considered offensive to Ambato and unbecoming of a lady writer: "Senora, su novela no puede ni debe ser publicada, ya por consideracion a Ambato, ya por consideracion a Ud.: por Ambato, porque la novela denigra a esta ciudad e infama a sus mujeres; por Ud., porque ser'a desdecir de su i lustre abolengo, de su rango de dama ambatena, de su alto papel Q de escritora y de su delicada mision de educadora." Interestingly enough, rather than becoming upset over the author's creation of a passionate woman, unworldly and imprudent, it is apparent the editorial board reacted basically against the character's being from Ambato, particularly because Beatriz, the forastera who embodies chastity and spiritual love, is described by the protagonist as the superior woman: "En medio de esta escena recordo a Beatriz .. . . Y basto su recuerdo para que aumentase, no ya su frialdad, s i no su repugnancia por Lola, igual a las otras; vulgar; con absoluta carencia de alma" (p. 263). in any event, Mart'nez attacked official claims that references to Lola's sexual desires were not fitting for a woman writer: iQue soy "mujer y educadora, de i lustre abolengo, que mi rango de dama ambatena es elevado"? . . . Sf. Mujer, pero que piensa por sT misma; que razona libremente; mujer ligada al campo, su maestro, sin doblez y engano; el mismo siempre; perfecto, gusto; que no se equivoca y que impulsa por las sendas del subconciente [sic], del amor por lo bello, donde gusta descansar la VERDAD y donde se aprende lo desdichado que es el mundo encadenado por prejuicios, hipocresfas, convencional i smos , no solo sociales sino tambien mentales y hasta del coraz6n, lastimado en la misma entrana por la mediocridad, la injusticia, la desviacion de criterios, que transforman al hombre en un ser inferior a veces a esos insectos del campo, pero que siquiera viven, sin darse cuenta, recta, senci 1 lamente, sin velos. Errores que transforman a la

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108 mujer en un ente sin iniciativas, temeroso, debil con su alma sin alas, sin poder pensar por sf misma, considerada inferior, incapaz de atraer a la libertad consciente, convertida sobre todo cuando no se ha desarrollado en el conocimiento de las leyes inmutables y eternas, en la hembra a la que se la conquista, para luego olvidaria cuando el cuerpo ha pagado su tribute. ^ Further on, after cogently pointing out that characters similar to Lola had appeared in other novels (for example, in her father's A la casta) without provoking anyone to suggest women from other cities had been disgraced, it becomes obvious Martmez thought of herself as a victim of a traditional concept of female propriety that denied both Lola's right to love passionately and her right to be a free-thinking author. Public response was more favorable with the publication of Purifioacion (19^2), Martfnez's second novel, a work dealing with a young priest's struggle to overcome his love for Carmen while desperately clinging to his clerical vows. Although the author uses the novel chiefly to focus on the question of religious celibacy, she nevertheless makes some comments about women's role in society. Not surprisingly, women are expected to achieve fulfillment through marriage and motherhood. As the novel opens, Don Ramon thinks about his daughter. Carmen, a thirty-four-year-old unmarried woman whose deformed back threatens her realization as a woman: iPor que su naturaleza poseyo aquel germen? ... iDonde estuvo el comienzo de su hija? iCudl fue y en que parte comenzo a evolucionar? . . . iSu hija no era sino continuacion de la vida comenzada hacia milenarios, cuando Dios gusto extenderse en la nada y en el m^s infinitesimal atomo. . . . ^Carmen estarfa condenada a no ser el medio para la creaci6n de otros seres? . . . iNo estar'a acaso en el la la sustancia para otra vida humana, tal vez un nuevo superhombre, mejor quizas que Jesus? . . . Su hijal a pesar de su desdichado rostro y de su lesion podTa concebir y continuarfa entonces esponjandose la vida. iPero donde estaba el que la amase . . .? Don Ramon deseo mas que nunca que su

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109 hija sirviese para perpetuar la humanidad. iNo querTa que se detuviese Dios! (p. 11) Carmen is also troubled by the possibility of not becoming a wife and motiner, and while praying one day, she realizes she can never find solace in a beata-type life: "Jesus no sabe amar como el la quisiera. . . . No! no podfa recibir caricias de Jesus como las deseaba" (p. 19)! Further on Martfnez writes: "Su pesadez espi ritual cedfa y concluyd refiriendo lo que consideraba grave falta: no conformarse con su solteria" (p. 39). In effect, women are portrayed as leading meaningful lives only within the wife/mother context, a concept never entirely rejected by Ecuador's most vehement feminists. When describing Carmen's love for Pedro, the young priest, Martfnez reinforces traditional stereotypes by commenting on women's assumed vital role in the male's search for ful f i 1 Iment : Y el la desde hace un tiempo amaba a Pedro, y deseaba decfrselo personalmente , saliendo asf de lo usual, porque le parecfa ridTculo que fuesen los hombres los que primero hablasen. No sabfan dejar expresar al alma, a veces herida. Mientras que hablar una, sin temor y senc i 1 1 amente debfa ser deliciosa. Llegar a esa como puerta cerrada y golpearla para luego recorrer esos desconocidos jardines, proporcionando a la vez alegrfa y acaso tambien paz al solitario, porque cada alma masculina es un solitario reclufdo en la torre de su orgullo, de su amor propio o pesimismo. Necesitan que la desconocida se resuelva a quedarse en aquel silencioso retiro, frfo en ocasiones y humillado en otras. El amor es tan sdlo comprendido por ciertas mujeres que saben darse fntegra y lealmente. Entonces comienza la verdadera vida para aquel los que la han cubierto de mujeres. (p. 119) Martfnez does very little to add to this view of women in her third work, Lus en la noahe (1950), a thesis novel somewhat reminiscent

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of Gal lego's Dona Barbara (i.e., archetypal characters of good and evil, determinism, positivistic solutions to national problems). At one point, Dona Mercedes is said to believe, "la casa y los menesteres domesticos bastaban para asegurar el porvenir de una mujer" (p. 75). Jaime, the novel's protagonist, criticizes the frivolous ways of certain women: "Los dos, sobre todo Jaime, odiaban la pretension de las rid'culas imitadoras de la moda que no vacilaban en adoptarla, sin estudiar su t i po ni su estatura. . . . [Eran chicas] que solo ansiaban hallar el novio joven o viejo, comerciante o doctor en leyes para liberarse del horrible cuco de la solterfa" (p. 113). Also, it becomes apparent that the ideal woman is Ines, Jaime's wife who is willing to make great sacrifices for her male protector: "Ines no tenfa mas anhelo que amar y ser amada de Jaime, de entregarse a el sin recelo ni desconf ianza" (p. 287). In general, Martinez's three novels, characterized by numerous poetic descriptions of Ambato's people and countryside, the traditional love stories, and the omniscient narration that hinders effective character development, seem to represent a very uneventful beginning for the future Ecuadorian novelists. However, it is worthwhile recalling that in En la paz del aampo , MartTnez challenged traditional taboos with her frank treatment of a wel 1 respected woman (Lola was supposedly the great-granddaughter of one of Ambato's heroes of the Independence period) who could not control her passions, a theme never before presented publicly in Ecuador by a woman writer.' In this respect, Martfnez was the first woman who attempted to break down some of fiction's thematic limitations which reflected male-dominated societal patterns.

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Ill Shortly after Martmez published Luz en la noche, several women gradually began using the novel as a forum for the defense of their feminist interests, depicting women, as victims of a mac/iodominated 1 ^ society. in 1953, Mireya de Bravomalo wrote La pena fmmos nosotras, -^ a work that repeatedly attacks the sexual exploitations women traditionally have suffered in Ecuador. From the outset of the novel, Gracia, the protagonist, laments women's having been reduced to mere sex objects: El destino de una mujei — balbucfa para sT solamente ha de ser el de permitir que la amen, sea esto cierto o falso su alma y sus sensaciones infinitas no pueden expresarse porque el hombre fanatizado en su egolatrfa, piensa que sus manos y su boca y sus gestos han de ser la norma de la vida . . . en su ceguera instintiva, solo busca el despertar pasional en la mujer y al amarla pierde las emociones Tntimas, las inefables fruiciones del pensamiento, de las ideas, aun de las ingenuidades del alma femenina. (pp. 3"^) Further on she continues: "A las mujeres se nos niega el derecho a pensar, pero hay momentos en nuestras vidas en que, verdaderamente nos repugna ser objeto del ludibrio masculine" (p. 10). Gracia' s concern about being used by men appears to be a natural reaction to her first experience with love--after trusting Roberto and sharing with him her most intimate secrets and feelings he left her. Consequently, she continually feels threatened; she fears she will be taken advantage of again: "Gracia tenfa miedo y mas que eso, asco de que la tomaran por una cosa, un objeto animado que despertara las pasiones instintivas en un hombre; y estas reflexiones eran para la muchacha tanto mas importantes, cuanto sabfa que estaba prof undamente enamorada" (p. 30.

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il2 Since people basically tend to think about women in terms of their femininity or sex appeal, the author makes clear Gracia is just one among many victims. Also apparent is the need for women to correct demeaning stereotypes and attitudes. Consequently, the author appeals to her women readers by using characters who employ the first person plural when commenting on their exploited condition: "En todas partes, -prosiguTo Zoi la--debieran formarse estas asociaciones [de mujeres]; para poner fin a la desgraciada condicion de las mujeres que creen que la feminidad es la carta credencial que les abre todos los animos; una mujer, por culta e inteligente que sea es , primero que nada, una expresion feminista de la vida y esto resulta siempre, desagradable y monotono y por eso, los hombres nos tienen aun como a objetos" (p. k7) . Gracia quickly adds that men "son muy , pero muy vivos, para conseguir lo que se proponen; por eso nos hablan siempre de los encantos femeninos que no son tales para el los, si no fuente de placer" (p. 48). With regard to those who might suggest women have made gains in Ecuadorian society, particularly in education, the author cogently points out that, at times, apparent reforms merely make male abuses more subtle: Gracia, en su calidad de mujer pensaba en que la Universidad es, ante todo, una agrupacion de hombres tratando de aparecer como i ntel i gentes , gracias a las disciplines academicas y que si era permitido a una mujer seguir estudios superiores, este hecho solo se debfa a que consideran agradable ofr a una mujercita espigando en la enramada selva de las catalogaciones del Derecho y la Sociologfa y, sobre todo, porque los alumnos necesitan coronar Senoritas en cada Asociaci6n, durante las fiestas anuales del estud i antado. (p. 13) Notwithstanding the novel's numerous feminist passages which severely attack the macho, Gracia defines happiness and fulfillment

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113 in terms of being loved and respected by a man so as to become, ultimately, a mother: "Gracia, como mujer aspiraba, ante todo a recibir el amor como medio de mejoramiento personal,, puesto que sentfa una fruicion intense al presentir la maternidad. . . ." (p. 11). This attitude is not really surprising nor contradictory if one recalls the marianista orientation of Ecuadorian feminism, a notion that exalts motherhood. Unfortunately, however, love with respect is to elude Gracia who in a moment of deep loneliness perceives the chasm that exists between her dreams and reality: . . . por que razones ha de luchar una mujer contra el destino si el de ella es en definitiva el mismo bajo cualesquiera ci rcunstanci as? Creer, enganarse, dejarse amar, aceptar el germen, cuidarlo y entregar a la vida un ser: y sentir, hondamente la pena de haber vivido sin mayores emociones superiores, con una ley impuesta, con las ideas simples que sobre "su honor" tiene el hombre; y a cambio de eso, como recompensa a la brutal idad del hombre--cumpl iendo tambien su destino-la lealtad, la lealtad. (pp. 60-61) Consequently, Gracia's forlorn state of mind andurgent need for love make her vulnerable before Roberto, the ex-boyfriend, sealing her fate as a victim of carnal pleasure. Following a vain attempt to convince Roberto to marry her, especially since she was convinced "el la habfa mancillado y su obligacion era dignificarla por el matrimonio" (p79). Gracia's tragedy is complete: abandoned, pregnant, and disgraced. In effect, the earlier illusions of motherhood and fulfillment turn into a n ightmare--one which threatens to victimize all women who are not sufficiently strong or fortunate enough to resist men's false promises and self-interest. Understanding the hopelessness of her situation, Gracia reveals her bitterness when reproaching God for having made women the victims of Creation:

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llif Dios mio, cuanta alegrTa pusiste en el mundo y cuanto dolor a la vez . . . por que nos hiciste tan fr^giles a las mujeres y tan brutales a los hombres? Aqui estamos Dios m'o, yo que peque y esta inocente hija que send la prolongacion de mi calvario, dales mas triunfos y alegr'as a tus hijos dilectos, a los reyes de la creacion, solazate Dios mfo con las luchas infames de los hombres, llena el mundo con sus vicios y sus calumnias, puebla el universo con sus hijos mal habidos, de la debilidad de las mujeres saca m^s fuerza para el deli to. (p. I38) In conclusion, La pena fuimos nosotras is the story about one woman who symbolizes the potential suffering and despair all women must be prepared to confront during life — whether it be the pain experienced during childbirth or the humiliation of merely being a source of male pleasure. With resignation and apparent defeat, Gracia explains: "slempre fuimos la pena honda, siempre amamos en el dolor, siempre fuimos la tristeza escondida para ser paz en la amargura del mundo" (pp. 138-139). Although the feminist protest is not as emphatic as in La pena fuimos nosotras. Bertha de Izurieta's Juventud inmolada does stress the deplorable social consequences that arise when women are deceived by men. The author's chief concern is the problem of the abandoned and unwanted child who eventually becomes a juvenile delinquent and criminal. Throughout the work, Izurieta attacks Ecuadorian society for not understanding nor being sensitive enough to the deserted youth's plight: "ilngresaban [a la Casa Correccional de Menores] manos limpias de vicio y degeneracion . . . sin un afecto que le redima, sin un ambiente purificador, huerfano del amor materno, al amparo del cual se han hecho vidas famosas, sembrando de nombres i lustres la historia. Carolos se i ba a convert ir en un ser degenerado e inconformei" (p. 86).

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115 As exemplified by Elena Dogam, the novel's female protagonist, one of the major causes of the aforementioned problem stems from man's belief that he can use women for his sexual adventures, and later, renounce all obligations and responsibilities that might arise. Naturally, the woman is the victim. In Elena's case, despite a successful career at school and all her aspirations of becoming a school teacher, she is willing to sacrifice everything for her first love, Patricio. However, after spending a year in the army, Patricio returns to Quito with new ideas regarding Elena and love: En esta confusion sentimental se entregaba a Patricio Medina, justamente cuando en el ya no habfa ese recuerdo de antano, . . . cuando ya no concebfa que Elena podria ser su esposa, dada su miseria economica, . . . iliCuando habfa aprendido maliciosamente que la hombrfa se fragua en la inmolacion moral de mujeres sincerasill [Ahora] Patricio estaba solamente atado a sus instintos brutales, . . . Elena como recompensa a sus instintos brutales, se inmolaba para siempre. (p. 60) Elena becomes pregnant; obviously all is lost: she cannot return to school as an unwed mother. Society will no longer consider her chaste, and her life is now limited to a daily struggle for survival. The deep rooted suffering characteristic of women described in La pena fuimos nosotras is apparent in the reaction of Elena's mother who for years struggled and sacrificed for her daughter's education and future: "Todo estaba terminado, no habTa s i no que seguir adelante en aquel camino que pronto habrTa de encontrar el final; asf continuaba MarTa su vida silenciosa, a veces llena de l^grimas, otras desfa 1 1 eci da , ya no podTa enderezar sus fuerzas que las sentTa perder dTa a dTa . . . ." (p. 64). With regard to Elena, she dies shortly after giving birth--alone and abandoned-leavi ng behind her son who never has a chance to develop into

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116 a respectable citizen, capable of making positive contributions to society. To appreciate fully the underlying feminism in Juventud irmolada, it must be remembered that the problem of abandoned children, according to Ecuadorian feminists, is an issue directly linked to women's overall suffering and exploitation by men. Since motherhood is considered to be a woman's principal source of strength from which she can influence society by properly educating her children, any abuse of this institution may be likened to sacrilege. Therefore, the unwed or abandoned mother is stripped of her dignity and denied the opportunity to effectively raise her children because society does not provide her with adequate protection, facilities, and means (i.e., day care centers and alimony benefits) to accomplish her mission in life. in effect, just as in the case of Gracia {La pena fuimos nosotras) , Elena's experience also reminds women of the ever present dangers inherent in a male-dominated soci ety . In Lo que deja la tarde Matilde de Ortega presents the feminist question in a light different from that of the two previously examined novels. By means of first person narration (intended to yield a psychological portrait of a female protagonist), Elsa Marfa explains she is not in conflict with any one man, but rather with the many social conventions which stifle her growth as a human being. Because she is the daughter of very soc ia 1-minded , boirgeoi s parents, Elsa Mar'a is expected to conform to a code of manners and etiquette befitting a lady of prudence and self-control: "Nunca he pod i do caminar, refr, hablar y menos jugar, sin que las monjas hayan encontrado en todo esto una marcada

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117 tendencia hacia la indiscipl ina" (p. 29). In addition, she laments that her mother "no acepta aun muchas cosas que otras madres han aceptado ya como son el dejarme salir sola a. la calle, ir a una funcidn de moda al teatro o al cine, visitar a una amlga, etc. Si el la no puede acompanarme estoy obligada a ir con una sirviente" (p. 28). Reminiscent of Teresa de la Parra's Marfa Eugenia (ifigenia) , Elsa MarTa hopes to begin living her life as she sees fit upon being graduated from high school: "Por fin se acabo la infancia; ahora soy una mujer, una mujer como todas, con grandes anhelos y ambiciones, con deseos de gozar y de vivir; isobre todo de vivirl" (p. 27). Unlike her older sister, Ines, and consistent with the desire to vivir, Elsa Marfa actively rebels against established standards and correctly perceives the major difference between the two sisters: "Ines no podrfa pensar en las cosas que yo pienso. Se escanda 1 izarfa , se asustarfa al ver su pensamiento transportado a regiones prohibidas por mama, por las monjas, por personas sensatas. Tendrfa que darse golpes de pecho para arrancar esas locuras y al ucinaciones que se aduenan del corazon sin mural las, sin convenciona 1 i smos . iPor que no se puede pensar libremente?' (pp. 78-79). More specifically, Elsa Marfa comments that whereas Ines exemplifies obedience and discretion, "soy tan diferente a el la, pues para mf lo mas esencial en este momento, es ser duena de un lapiz de labios y esa ha sido la primera cosa que he comprado, para con su ayuda sentirme mas mujer" (p. 31). In effect, Elsa Marfa recognizes her own qualities and rejects much of the lifestyle proposed by her grandmother, for example, archetype of the traditional woman in Ecuador:

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18 'Ahl ileerl Otra forma de ester ociosa. Oeber'as tejer o bordar , eso es femenino, la lectura es para los abogados o para los hombres de letras. A ningun hombre le gustarTa oTr de labios de una mujer esas ideas tontas. Debes saber, y una vez por todas te digo, que el sitio de la mujer esta en la casa, no en las oficinas pCiblicas ni en las cimaras. (pp. 322-323) With regard to marriage, the grandmother insists: "El hombre tiene muchas preocupaciones , por eso, la mujer no debe esperar nada ni menos exigirlo, por lo contrario, para que reine la armonfa debe sacrificarse y olvidarse de sf misma" (p. 368) Elsa MarTa, of course, rejects the sacrificial role expected of women and replies emphatically to her grandmother: "Eso era en tu tiempo, ahora es diferente, pues tanto la mujer como el marido estan en igualdad de condiciones y no tenemos por que ser esclavas" (p. 368). Moreover, as she explained earlier in the novel: "Si me toca un mal marido, a los cinco minutos le entablo demanda de divorcio. No soy el t i po de mujer abnegada que tanto abunda en la familia" (pp. 206-207)Nevertheless, despite her unorthodox ideas and vehement protests against many longstanding conventions, Elsa Marfa does not challenge the basic role women are expected to fulfill (motherhood). In fact, she reveals her acceptance of the prevailing standards of Latin American womanhood (their appearance and their roles as wives and mothers) when she enthusiastically writes to her uncle: Despues de haber pasado todas estas pruebas [en el colegio], me siento un pozo de ciencia; verdad es que no soy sabia, pero para una mujer la educacion recibida es suficiente, as I dice mi madre y estoy de acuerdo con el la. Despues de todo, para que quiero saber mas, si mi unica actividad en el futuro va a ser casarme y manejar una casa con muchos hijos. Porque tu debes saber, padrino, a esta hora, curies son mis intenciones para el futuro; casarme lo m^s pronto, ser una buena y abnegada ama de casa y tener doce hijos. (p. 32)

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119 Consequently, among other things, Lo que deja la tarde is the story of a woman who desires greater freedoms within the traditional framework of female life in Ecuador. That is, rather than attack the maaho abuses which result in female exploitation, Elsa Marfa's feminist concerns are directed against those social mores which continually have denied women, especially young unmarried ones, the right to live as free adul ts. 1 R Sangve en las manos by Laura Perez de Oleas Zambrano deals specifically with abortion, a burning issue for all feminists. However, instead of stressing the need for legalized abortion which would give women greater control over their own bodies, the novel is directed against the immorality and sordidness of abortions in Quito. Each chapter presents a case study of the tragedies experienced by women who have allowed themselves to be a part of feticide; in general, the author unifies the narrative by centering all the episodes around one key f igure--Estenia German, "la maga del aborto." As might be expected, there is little concern for character development; Perez de Oleas Zambrano instead makes a point of stating her views directly to the reader, and in effect, converts the work into a public platform of social protest. So there be no misunderstanding, she intrudes in the novel to explain that Estenia German is not the cause of the abortion problem which has victimized women from all social classes: "Si la guillotina o la silla electrica se aplicaran a la maga del aborto que es Estenia German, pronto serfa reemplazada" (p. 209). Naturally, continues the author, there are times when abortions should be permitted, and in fact, it is "hasta un deber en determinados

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120 casos morales y en otros que la medicina senala como necesarios para la vida o salud de la madre" (p. 209). However, she quickly adds: "Lo que se debe condenar es el abuso. Que se haya hecho de la ciencia una cloaca de escape para la corrupcion, que es explotada, nuchas veces, por mujeres o profes ional es que no son especi al i s tas en esta rama de la cirugfa" (p. 209) • Also, besides the death of the fetus and the physical dangers each mother confronts when having an illegal abortion, it Is apparent the author is deeply concerned with the moral issue, particularly in terms of young women who might lose sight of their responsibilities and obligations as future mothers: "Y en lo que respecta a la etica social este abuso resulta nefasto, porque crea en las almas juveniles un falso concepto de la maternidad, viendo en el hijo tan solo la consecuencia del placer; consecuencia de faci 1 desaparicion y que motiva la ruptura del freno moral tan necesario a la mujer joven" (p. 209). Moreover, illegal abortion threatens to undermine the longstanding belief that marriage should be a major goal for women: "En la mental idad de la nina que se acerca a la pubertad debe residir el conocimiento de su misi5n sexual .... Hay que senalarle su destino que es de companera del hombre; pero mediante la formacion de un hogar honrado. Que toda locura y concesion adelantada al solicitante, la apartan de la felicidad verdadera, que la joven solo la obtiene en el matrimonio de amor" (pp. 210-211). The solution to the abortion problem, according to the author, is basically society's total commitment to youth's moral edification:

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121 Mas amor al hi jo. Mas etica profesional. M5s responsabi 1 idad paternal. Mas conciencia en el acto sexual hacen falta para que disminuya el exceso de abortos que va en mengua de la poblacion ecuatoriana. Las bases de la educaci6n . j uven i 1 deben ser de solida moral y completo conocimiento de sus deberes. El muchacho desde los bancos del aula necesita saber que la ci rcunstancia que le hizo nacer macho no le da derecho a canalladas. La sociedad no hace alto en sus deslices amorosos; pero esto no le autoriza a abandonar a una mujer que va a ser madre. ... No se imagine que solo la hembra debe llevar las consecuenci as de un acto que lo hicieron en comun. No es el la sola la responsable. (pp. 209-210) In addition, with regard to women specifically: "La nina debe ser educada y preparada a que no sea facil presa del hombre. . . . Se le debe formar de tal. manera que no necesite del hombre en los vaivenes de la vida. Ella sola debe bastarse y ganarse el sustento. . . . Para que un reves de fortuna no la deje a merced del macho, siempre en acecho de la femina que de el necesita" (p. 210). Naturally, the novel's thesis would not be complete without exalting the positive qualities of a woman who is willing to accept her child, even though she has fallen prey to machismo. Gracia, therefore, symbolizes the supreme maternal sacrifice; she understands herchief role in life is to procreate, and despite having been raped she refuses to commit feticide while courageously accepting the challenge of being an unwed mother. With perhaps excessive emotion and zeal, Perez de Oleas Zambrano writes: Mas no arroje sobre los lenos a la victima inocente: libre esta el la de error y de pecado. . . . Mujeres del mundo. Mujeres de America . . . Mujeres ecuatorianas. Ved que ya Gracia alza la santa hostia del amor. Es la hora de la ofrenda propi ci ator ia . Poneos de hinojes [sic] y adorad al nino que ahora es sangre y alma . . . Que manana sera un fusil, . . . para rechazar al intruso. Dos brazos que arrojaran mil bombas al enemigo;

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122 un cerebro que encontrara nuevos caminos a la ciencia, al progreso . . . y un coraz6n mas para amar a la Patria y mori r por el la . . . Mujeres del mundo: de vuestras entranas destrozadas, de vuestros vientres matirizados y deformados; de vuestros pezones abiertos manar^ la savia que henchira de fortaleza a vuestra Patria. Vosotras sols las creadoras de V i da ; las que formais los ejercitos de defensa con el desgarramiento de vuestra carne; las que ofrend^is el fruto de amor y dolor sin esperar recompensa , cuando la Patria os lo pide; . . . porque una mujer-madre ama a todos los hijos del mundo. Salve, mujeres fecundas. Salve, madres. Salve, madre i legftima . . . .(p. k25) In short, abortion is a threat to women because it frequently weakens their commitment to motherhood, and consequently, their major source of power in society--the i r means of contributing significantly to Ecuadorian development and growth — is whittled away until women's existence is rendered meaningless. It is before this danger that Perez de Oleas Zambrano writes Sangre en las manos , hoping to convince women that abortion is more than feticide — it is suicide, at least in terms of their participatory role in society. Up to this point, the novels discussed have revealed their feminist orientation by portraying women as victrms of sexual exploitation and/or stifling social conventions, and above all, they have reaffirmed the essence of motherhood, a theme crucial to marianista thinking of the first half of the century. Another kind of feminist-related novel is the historical work which attempts to make women proud of their female heritage by studying the achievements of outstanding women of 19 the past. A clear example of such a work is Raquel Verdesoto de ^ 20 . Romo Davila's Manuela Saenz, a biographical novel in which the dominant feminist concern centers around glorifying Saenz as a key

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123 revolutionary figure, who aside from being one of Bolfvar's lovers, was supposedly instrumental in aiding the Liberator during the Independence period. Obviously, the two volume novel which deals with the years of actual fighting and the early Republic is an attempt to convince readers of Saenz's heroism, and in turn, present a model from which women can draw strength and self-esteem. At the outset, the author quickly describes Saenz as a rebel and potential enemy of royalist authority: "Despues Manuela tomara actitud de desafTo frente a la sociedad, al despreciar sus convenci ona 1 i smos" (I, 25). Later, the author adds: "pero al final siente odio por los realistas que sacrifican a tantos quitenos" (l, 36)Besides these characteristics, the reader learns that "Manuela ama la libertad" (l, ^6), and above all, she resents Spanish occupation in America: "Tambien medita que pertenece a una sociedad, a una cultura, a un mundo en donde un grupo de conqui stadores tiene todos los derechos y otro se halla en condiciones deprimentes, solo por haber nacido en suelo conquistado" (I, 52). Naturally, the comments mentioned above are used in the novel to illustrate that Saenz's love for Bolfvar, and her subsequent separation from her husband, were not founded on sheer sexual desire, but rather arose from a kind of sublime attraction between two personalities that were dedicated to securing America's freedom. In fact, their love became a source of inspiration that led both heroes to greater heights: "En virtud de esta pasion, BolTvar tiene mas brfo, se siente mejor y mas heroe. Manuela irradia mas belleza, mas atraccion, ya que a diferencia de otros amores que anulan el ser, este le hace sentirse fuerte, al

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\2k mismo tiempo humana y con capacidad de sacrificio" (I, 9^)Furthermore, Sanez ' s love for Bolfvar heightened her interest in struggling for the principle of social justice: "El amor hacia Bolfvar ha vuelto a Manuela mas humana, ha 1 imado prejuicios de clase social, y por eso siente alegr'a de codearse con mulatos y negros, ennoblecidos por una casaca mi 1 itar" (I , 102-103) • Regarding Saenz's actual role during independence, the novel emphasizes both the close working relationship that existed between Saenz and Bolfvar and the influence she exercised during the period: Manuela se ha constituido en la persona de mayor confianza para Bolfvar; el la es la que en mementos de mucha labor permite o no las audiencias, y por sf misma resuelve algunos asuntos. . . . Manuela desempeha, con gran i nte I igenci a , las funciones que se le encomiendan. Su trabajo lorealizaa conciencia, en caracter de archivadora celosa y suspicaz, no facilita originales de documentos .... Y para aquello de descubrir consp i rac iones , Manuela resulta magnffica, con algun adecuado disfraz encuentra la pista de las celadas que acechan a Bolfvar. (I, 158-159) This same activity and intense involvement by Saenz continued into the early years of the Republic, especially during the conflict between Peruvian and Gran Colombian interest groups: "Manuela queda en Lima, soportando los momentos diffciles de una nueva epoca en la politica peruana. Manuela esta resuelta a afrontar todas las dificultades que se le presenten, cuidara celosamente los intereses de Bolfvar, que son los intereses de la libertad" (II, 27). In effect, "Manuela no solamente ayuda a vivir a Bolfvar, en cuanto a su problema principal de organizacion de los pueblos colombianos y en la consol i dacion de su i ndependenc ia , no, sino tambien a vivir su vida, a llevar la casa a prestar atenciones a sus allegados" (II, 59~60) . Generally speaking, then, Manuela Saenz attempts to illustrate that rather than just having been another of Bolfvar 's lovers, Saenz

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125 was strongly committed to America's independence, and was a woman of higli ideals who played a key role in the period's events. In this respect, the biographical novel is a feminist work which should be considered part of the everincreas ing literature that has tried to reevaluate women's contribution to history and other fields. Although La profesoraj A noventa mitlas, solamente, and Yoimar are not feminist or protest novels per se, they too provide important commentaries and descriptions of women's conditions in Ecuadorian society. For example, Enriqueta Velasco's La profesora deals with the problems rural teachers must confront (i.e., insufficient funds, materials, and public support), and more specifically, it reveals how local political bosses oppose quality teachers who threaten existing power structures by effectively educating the people. As might be expected, it is the female teacher who suffers most since she cannot defend herself against the frequent physical abuses inflicted upon her by provincial authorities: "En tanto, el Gamonal, el que engano, el que mintio y destrozo una vida [la de una mujer], es respetado y considerado por todos, su carcajada se escucha en los salones de la Sociedad y continda como ave de mal augurio de casa en casa, en busca de una nueva vfctima . . .!" (p. 32). Moreover, it is made painfully clear that many women instructors must accept sexual advances so that they do not lose their teaching positions which are controlled by local officials. Eugenia Viteri's A noventa millas, solamente is a Cuban political novel that nonetheless succeeds in presenting some idea of women's situation in Ecuadorian society, even though the latter theme is a secondary aspect of the work. Basically, Viteri tells the story about Elisa, a Cuban girl who is uprooted from her country when her parents

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26 decide they would rather live in Miami than In Castro Cuba. Throughout the novel, Elisa observes the humiliation and decay suffered by Miami Cubans, and gradually she recognizes the need to return to her homeland: "Se hundio tfa igual que todos. Huyeron creyendo encontrar la solucion, descubrir un camino y se equivocaron. iVinieron por idealesl Aquel sistema no les gustaba, se decfan democratas. iDemocracia y libertad, cuanta mugre escondesl" (p. 53)More specifically, Vi teri explains: Pense 1 uego que junto a los que dejaban su paTs por su propia voluntad, i rf an ninos, adolescentes a quienes no se les consultaba y si tal ocurrTa, era a medias, sin esperar su opinion. Me ubique en el caso de la adolescents que amaba su tierra, sent'a hondo sus raTces, vivencias, amistades, paisaje y como el la, digo concretamente , Elisa, no quiso salir. Cuando maduro, se h i zo mujer, pens5 en volver a lo suyo para dejar de ser una ext ranjeri 1 la cualquiera en un mundo que estuvo a punto de ahogarla por su inexperiencia y desconocimi en to de ese "mundo" tan diferente del suyo. Entonces volver, volver, volver fue su mejor sueno.22 With regard to the portrayal of women in the novel, the reader encounters Berta, an archetype of the traditional female whose life centers around pleasing the men in her life (i.e., husband and sons): Berta maneja el hogar, sabe de sus problemas y los resuelve. Berta es de aquel los seres que son felices trabajando para otros. Mas, si los otros son su marido y su hijo. Ademas de cocinar, fregar pisos, vajillas, realiza trabajos extras. Su naturaleza, su humanidad Sana, robusta no conoce el cansancio. Y ni su marido ni su hijo han tenido tiempo de enterarse que trabaja demasiado. La quieren, se saben mimados y la explotan dulce, paci entemente, abusando del amor de esta mujer fuerte. No conciben que debe trabajar menos. Si se quejara, si protestara ... no hay tiempo y es feliz preparandoles sus comidas, prodigandoles cuidados. (p. 130 Obviously, Berta's brief appearance in the novel serves as a concrete example of women's abnegation and silent suffering, a reminder of the limited social and domestic roles traditionally open to women.

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127 Overt feminist protest does appear momentarily in the novel when Olga Mar'a explains she is a prostitute because marriage would deny her freedom: "-iCasarme yo? IQue val . . . [Es que] si tu intentas divertirte un poquito con otros, no averigues como vas a morir, ni si los rusos seran los primeros en curar el cancer, porque de seguro, no tendras tiempo de saberlo, ni de contraer dicho mal. Partes rumbo al cementerio con unas cuantas balas en tu pellejito suelto. Te consideran de su propiedad particular, de exclusive uso domestico y yo querida, mfa, entiendo el amor a mi manera" (p. 88). At another point, LilT de RodrTguez talks about the frustration and despair of being relegated to an anonymous source of man's sexual pleasure: Demostrarle al mundo que eres distinta, que en tf [sic] hay algo mas que en cuerpo bien formado, que gustas de meditar, que amas la belleza, que sientes el amor como algo profundo, eterno, no es sencillo. Luego, cuando conquistas respeto y surges limpia . . . descubres que el objeto de tu amor, el hombre de tu vida, pertenece a la escala de machos inquietos, susceptible de enredarse con Nelly Ceresuave y sus hijas. Lola, Meche Matahari, Marfa Josefina, Jacqueline, Fresia,-la relegada de toda la vida--y mil mujeres mas ... observas tu cuerpo y sientes tu sangre manchada y es como si en tus olores se confundieran los de todas esas aves taciturnas, criaturas angustiadas, munecas de amargo destino. (pp. 120-121) However, the most significant element in the novel, at least in terms of women role-models, is that Elisa is presented as a revolutionary figure capable of making important and difficult decisions (i.e., return to Cuba) after serious thought. She is one of the few female protagonists created by Ecuadorian women novelists that is neither mainly concerned with motherhood nor basically involved in some romance which links her destiny directly to a man. In effect, Elisa is defined in terms of

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128 being a patriot rather than a traditional woman who usually has been considered servile and dependent upon male support. In a conversation with her younger sister, Elisa's strength of character and mind is clearly revealed: -iEl isa . . . : -iQue te preocupa, dime, Clarita? -iQue es la vida? -. . . Una . . . una . . . etapa, un ciclo. Se nace, se vive y se muere. -jTodosI iAbsolutamente! -iSe puede escoger la muerte, Elisita? -ST. Se la hace, se la escoge. -iY por que, pues? -Por ideales y por amor a nuestros semejantes. -I Amor, icomo amor? [sic] -A traves de lasciencias que permite [sic] salvar vidas, prolongar las . Las artes proporcionan extasis, gozo, plenitud, recreaci&n. Las luchas pol'ticas por construir sociedades nuevas . -El isa, quiero ser como tCi, sabes tanto. -Mo, no. Tu tienes que saber mas y ser mejor. (pp. 158-159) It is interesting that Clarita admires her sister because of Elisa's intelligence and apparent understanding of the complex questions discussed in the above citation. In a manner of speaking, Viteri, knowingly or not, has created an alternative role-model which suggests women are capable of distinguishing themselves outside of the mother or sex object contexts. Clearly, El isa is a dynamic woman totally committed to the Cuban revolution: --iTomaras tu un fusil, El isa? iVamos dil -isr: — iTu seras capaz de matar? --Para tener derecho a una mesa limpia, a una vida honesta, sT. (p. 179) Just as in the case of A noventa millas, solamente , Mireya de Insua's novel, loimav, not only reflects some of the problems experienced

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129 by Ecuadorian women, but also presents a protagonist who seems to imply that a new pattern of behavior is opening up for women. With respect to the traditional female-male relationships, the author immediately points out that Yoimar has had to struggle against numerous macho advances: "Era ya parte de su naturaleza errar por los empleos, de los cuales salTa siempre vTctima . . . de la [sic] morbosas intenciones de los hombres" (p. 2). Moreover, after arriving in Quito and being warned "que se cuidara de los hombres de la capital" (p. 5), Yoimar (fifteen years old) is almost raped by her employer. Although this concern over male abuses sounds very much like the author's first novel. La pena fui-mos nosotras , a radical change in the protagonist's concept of sex gradually develops--she enjoys sex for herself and recognizes that her instincts are stronger than traditional moral teachings: "Creyo que era duena absoluta de su persona y que podrfa dominar su instinto. Los hechos ocurridos demostraron lo contrario. No era invulnerable a los llamdos de la pasi5n o del amor, llamese como se llamase esta man i festacion ffsica o sentimental" (p. h2i) . Later, one reads: "Un desvanecimiento y deseos de entregarse la domino por completo. No opuso resistencia. Sintio un placer endemoniado al o'r jadear al muchacho estrafa lar io" (p. 53). The most interesting part of Yoimar and her attitude toward sex is that despite her sensuality, which exists for herself rather than for her male partners, she is described as being a good person: she becomes a nurse because of her interest in helping others; she is intelligent and constantly strives to improve herself; she is conscientious, hardworking, and dependable. According to Fernando, Yoimar's wealthy

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30 fiance: "--Esta criatura es impres ionante-iDonde saca esa natural distincion y elegancia y esa manera de expresarse tan honda y filosofica, tan n'tida y encantadora? Debe ser algo ancestral en el la pues no ha tenido ni el ambiente, ni el tiempo suficiente para adquirir tanta cultura siendo tan joven . . ."(p. 82). In effect, Yoimar is not a prostitute nor a libertine; she is as worthy of respect and sympathy as those reputable men who are not obliged to suppress their sexual instincts. Notwithstanding the author's apparent challenge of traditional sex roles, however, the novel points out that Yoimar's intimate relations with Fernando and Mario are misinterpreted to mean that she has given up her freedom. Fernando comments: "queridita mfa, yo sabre protegerte y honrarte . . . pero eso sf, desde hoy en adelante, tu seras solo mfa" (p. S^) . Further on in the text, Mario explains that Yoimar belongs only to him; --Te estaba esperando . . . --iCon que derecho? — Con el que me has dado dos veces . . . --Nada te da derecho a esperarme o espiarme como si fuera algo tuyo . . . --iY no 1o eres? (p. 59) After Yoimar tells Mario she is to marry Fernando: --iCasarte? Mira chiquita yo no lo permitire. --6Y quien eres tij para permitir o no lo que yo declda hacer? --Soy tu dueno. (pp. 59-60) Despite the various technical weaknesses (poor character development, melodramatic scenes, a hurried ending), Yoimar is a provocative novel because it suggests women's attitudes toward sex are evolving

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131 in Ecuador. For, not only Yoimar's ideas, but Carla's as well imply a shift in sexual mores: Carla era fantastica. . Desprejuiciada, amoral, alegre, charlona y coquetera, era mas carne que espfri tu. El caso tfpico de la mujer puramente hembra, astuta y calculadora. Tenfa tres amantes. El uno le daba dinero. El segundo le hacfa feliz sexualmente y el otro era el candidate seguro para el matrimonio. Sabfa combinar tan bien las entrevistas, que ninguno sospechaba de la existencia del otro. Ten's siempre lista una respuesta o una disculpa que la librara faci Imente de cualquier aprieto. (p. 39) If this novel is taken to represent the rise of new women's sexual attitudes, then it is likely the near future will reveal more clearly an interesting conflict between the sexes in Ecuador. To date, Bruna, soroche y los tios by Alicia Yanez Cossfo is the most important novel to have been written by an Ecuadorian woman, and in fact, it is perhaps one of the principal narrative works in Ecuadorian contemporary fiction. Unlike the novels discussed above, Yanez avoids limiting her focus to a specific feminist problem or an isolated story of one individual. instead, she presents a total vision of Ecuadorian reality from the Conquest to the present. The kaleidoscopic view is presented in a fashion similar to that of Cien anas de sotedad. And, like Garcfa Marquez, Yanez moves from the particular to the universal 2k by superimposing on one family society's experiences and conflicts. In effect, the novel's characters are archetypes that embody significant trends and concepts found throughout Ecuadorian history (i.e., the importance of Spanish heritage, contempt for those of Indian lineage, strong reaction against change and outside influences, Church domination).

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132 Generally speaking, the novel is composed of three parts: (I) a prologue that refers to Bruna's successful escape from her sorooheridden city, (2) thirty-three chapters which narrate the development of Bruna's family, and (3) an epilogue which is a reaffirmation of Bruna's having freed herself from a world that continues to live in the past. The importance of the novel's structure is that it convincingly combines Ecuadorian and universal reality by juxtaposing a contemporary figure's struggle against the Establishment with a series of episodes and events that readily recreate a specific historical and geographic context. Consequently, much of the work's value comes from its having made possible multiple interpretations that appeal to a broad range of interests. For example, some readers may associate Bruna's struggle against established social structures with that of the international youth movements characteristic of the 1960's; others may see in Bruna the struggle of one individual against a dominant society; or, there may be those who prefer to consider the novel strictly in terms of Ecuadorian reality. For the purposes of this study, Bruna, soroche y los tios is essential because it is narrated by a young woman whose rebellion and rejection of conventions are strongly tied to her womanhood: "Consciente de que la vida era el supremo don que podfa tener y por el cual va 1 fa la pena hacerse todas las magulladuras posibles. Si se vivfa una sola y unica vez era necesario sentirse plenamente ser humano, persona, mujer" (p. 347). Moreover, Yanez presents several female archetypes which in addition to revealing Bruna's family origins also serve as a kind of historical summary of the confining roles that traditionally

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)33 have been available to women, and against which Bruna rebel Is. When referring to one of Bruna's ancestors, Yanez explains: Las viudas no tenfan otra alternativa que seguir docilmente a sus maridos hasta la muerte, de la misma manera que lo hab'an hecho en vida. Las mujeres no tenfan ningun t i po de instruccion, no se les permitfa ni hojear un libro por tenner de que se hicieran hombrunas. Solo podfan tener contactos con la aguja, la escoba y las ollas. Cuando sus pensamientos se atrevfan a ir mas alia de los aleros de sus tejidos, eran causa de escandalo y el las mismas se reprimfan, porque cre'an que obraban ma 1 . Estaban impos i bi 1 i tadas de hacer ningun otro movimiento que no hubieran hecho antes sus madres y sus abuelas. Las mujeres eran unos ovarios gigantescos, vestidos de negro, donde se gestaban hijos en serie y superst i clones en-masa. (pp. 76"77) Further on, the author refers to the tragic consequences of women's longstanding submi ss i veness and passivity: "Dentro de la familia de Bruna, las mujeres--a excepcion de Camel ia Llorosa que se independizo de ambiente-todas fueron vfctimas, o juguetes de las ci rcuns tanci as , por la cobardfa que las mantuvo atadas a los hombres y por el egofsmo de el los, que nunca quisieron soltarles de la mano" (pp. ISS'l'^O). The two major characters who best illustrate the frustration and futility of traditional female roles are' Bruna's aunts, Clarita and Catalina ("caca de gallina"). The former is the typical spinster figure that laments her solitude while resigning herself to a "larga y triste solter'a en la que los gatos desempenar fan las veces de hijos, y las hojas de geranios, la de panales tenidos a secarse en las macetas del patio. Comprendio que le estaba vedado para siempre el camino prohibido que conducfa al beso" (p. 301). As for Catalina, she is the pious woman who spends her entire life praying and crusading for greater moral i ty :

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134 Considero que su nacimiento era en funcion expiatoria, y fiel a su destine, se dedico a purgar las faltas propias y ajenas, subiendo y bajando todos los dfas de los cielos a los infiernos y suspirando por una silla gestatoria, hecha a su medida, y que tuviera el poder volatil de las escobas de las brujas para poder inspeccionar lo que hacfan los habitantes de la ciudad, y sacar su cara arrugada por el bien comun. Si t fa Catalina hubiera vivido unos anos mas tarde no habfa parado hasta conseguir que la nombraran censura de espectaculos publicos .... (p. 223) Clearly, the tragedy of these two women is their not having lived full lives characterized by a broad range of experiences. On the one hand, because she adheres to her older sister's social prejudices, Clarita refuses many marriage proposals, and in the process, confines herself to the lonely and unfulfilled world of spinsterhood repressing forever her capacity to love and be loved: "Llevo su soledad con entereza y elegancia espiritual, sin quej umbramientos , ni posturas de vTctima, como si en el fondo de el la misma se sintiera culpable de no haber mandado al diablo a su hermana cuando aun era tiempo de hacerlo" (p. 305). On the other hand, Catalina loses herself in religious fanaticism and forgets about the positive aspects of human life: "Tfa Catalina se incapacitaba cada dfa mas para toda actividad que no fuera la relacionada con las i ndul genci as . Cada vez estaba mas agria y toleraba menos a los sobrinos" (p. 229). In effect, both women reflect the kind of lifestyle that is intolerable to Bruna, a young woman vyho is struggling to experience her total humanity. Of course, to "sentirse plenamente ser humano, persona, mujer," one must understand completely the obstacles in life/society that deny freedom and creativity, and then, actively rebel against those barriers. Bruna recognizes the double standards that offer men unlimited opportunities

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135 to move about and experiment in life while relegating women to the home. After Bruna's brother (Gabriel) decides to study in Paris she laments: "Un chico puede ir a Parfs, o al fin del mundo. No tiene una virginidad que cuidar, ha nacido con el privilegio de ser hombre. Mientras ella no puede ir sola del colegio a la casa que dista pocas cuadras. Ha nacido con el estigma de ser mujer, esta condenada al 'ghetto.' Contra su virginidad atentan los que pasan por su lado, los pajaros que estan parados en los alambres de la 1 uz , los arboles con sus brazos alargados, los montes cuando hacen sus juegos de luces y juegan al escondite, el arco-iris y todas las personas . . ." (p. 2't8) . it is apparent Bruna understands that society's insistence on protecting women's vi rg i n i ty--conserving their purity--has condemned her to second-rate status. She reveals her envy and dissatisfaction with this status quo when she refers to the "privilegio de ser hombres," as opposed to "el estigma de ser mujer." Bruna expresses an aversion to conventional sexual patterns, and moreover, she manifests her own radical thinking on the matter: "Si supiera que no me van a dar una paliza, andarfa desnuda por la huerta. . . . lEstoy harta hasta la coronilla de tanto rezol" (p. 256). In addition, Yanez writes: Las ropas con que andaba cubierta la llenaban de vergijenza. No era partidaria del nudismo, pero pensaba que a la humanidad le hacTa falta caminar un trecho bastante largo todavTa para liberarse de prejuicios y de la carga de convencional i smos que afeaban la dignidad humana y hacfan aborrecer, sin saber por que la belleza de un cuerpo adolescente . . . HabrTa menos mal i cia--pensaba--cuando las partes sexuales no fueran ni mas, ni menos que los dedos y la cara. Se debfa aspirar a que, cuando un hombre se encontrara con una mujer desnuda, no se la quedara mi rando con la boca abierta, ni que sus pensamientos hicieran con los ojos la metamorfosis de una cama de lo que

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136 era una mesa . . . Y una mujer, a) encontrarse con un hombre en las mismas condi clones , no debfa huir, ni sentir incomodidad alguna. La cumbre de la civil izacion deberfa ser que cada uno viviera su propia vida como le viniera en gana. (pp. 256-257) Due to this spirit of rebelliousness and antagonism for social customs that have hindered women's development, it is logical that Bruna relates to the lives and experiences of Marfa lllacatus, Camel ia Llorosa, and "la jovencita bailarina," the three women who to varying degrees challenge the status quo during the course of the novel. In the first case, Marfa lllacatus is Bruna's great-great-grandmother who represents the family's beginning: she is the wealthy Indian princess captured by a Spanish conqueror in search of riches. More importantly, however, as a woman, Har\a symbolizes the ultimate tragedy of the Conquest: "Y la mas profunda escencia de ese drama, estuvo formada por el dolor y la verguenza de la mujer India. Fue el la la vTctima propiciator ia para aquellos semidioses barbados , monstruosos y .25 ^ magn'ficos." Yanez explains how MarTa was forced to abandon her culture and traditions in order to become a Spanish lady; even the family portrait attempted to deny her identity: Estaba vestida como una gran dama a rafz de su desdichado matrimonio. Quien h i zo el cuadro, ... influido por los convencional i smos de la epoca , le quito la piel que tenfa, y asT desollada, la puso en carne viva la piel que le presento el marido para que posara. Marfa lllacatus perdio la piel cobriza en el lienzo con el mismo estoicismo con que perdio su razon de existir. . . . Era la imagen de lo que quisieron que el la hubiera sido. (pp. 36-37) In short, Marfa is presented as the first victim of the family-she is raped, and she is expected to conform to an image and lifestyle

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137 imposed upon her by a conquering society. However, Marfa does not submit completely: Pero entre el la y el hombre bianco se interpuso una mural la de silencio, detras de la cual, le llegaban como piedras el desprecio y la burla de la gente blanca, a los que el la correspondfa encerrandose en su concha, negandose a coger el tenedor para llevarse los alimentos a la boca , res i st iendose a aprender todas las cosas nuevas que le eran impuestas. Se mantuvo impermeable a ciertas acciones que le parecfan ritos absurdos, como manejar el abanico para despejar el rubor, o sentarse frente al bastidor metiendo y sacando la aguja para poner en la tela Unas flores que se sentfan prisioneras como ella . . . .(p. k^) Interestingly enough, after studying the family portrait, Bruna succeeds in perceiving Marfa's spirit of silent defiance: "Las venas azuladas del puno derecho demostraban una rebeldfa soterrada, una audacia en potencia de quien era casi una nina por la edad y el abandono en que la hicieron vivir" (p. 38). Also, it becomes obvious Bruna understands Marfa's suffering; she identifies with her ancestor's loneliness and oppression, and consequently, there arises a strong bond of solidarity between the two, at least in Bruna's imagination: "A Bruna le dolio siempre el ver a su antecesora india clavada en el salon de las visitas, aislada de todo afecto y referenda por un muro de silencio y de palabras equfvocas. . . . Hubiera querido llevarse el gran cuadro, colocarlo a la cabecera de su cama , para sacar a la abuela del recuerdo y darle el calor que no tuvo en vida" (p. 50). Thus, whereas Bruna pities Clarita and Catalina, recognizing the void in their lives, she respects and admires her great-great-grandmother's courage and steadfast resistance against being completely absorbed by a foreign culture and a macho husband. Moreover, Bruna is deeply attracted to Marfa because she understands that her ancestor's affliction

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138 is not only that of an Indian, but also that of a woman. Significantly, Marfa murders her husband/conqueror only after realizing he has stolen her children, a direct affront against her condition as mother/woman: "Pero se 1 levo la sangre de Marfa lllacatu [sic]al quitarle los hijos. . . . Al besar a los hijos para despedirles, puso a cada uno , debajo de la camisa, un pedazo de su alma recien llegada" (pp. ^S-'tS) . Later, MarTa "vio que sus hijos habfan perdido 1o que el la les puso debajo de la camisa . . . y sacando unas afiladas tijeras las clavo en el corazon del hombre" (p. ^7) • In effect, MarTa lllacatus symbolizes two essential things: (1) the Conquest, from the point of view of a physical and cultural violaeion; and (2) the dignity and valor of which women are capable when oppressed. Bruna's other ancestor with whom she clearly relates is her great aunt. Camel ia Llorosa, the first woman to have escaped temporarily from the soroche confines of the family's city. According to the narrative, Camel ia's parents arranged for her to marry a Spanish nobleman so they could benefit from the fiance's nobility while he received the advantages of their wealth. Consistent with the dictates of tradition: "El parecer de la nina no fue consul tado porque se sabfa de antemano que lo mejor que podfa sucederle a una mujer era unir su destino y su cuerpo al de un noble" (p. 88). Unfortunately, by the time Camel ia reached Spain to join her husband he had already died of old age. Nevertheless, her trip to Europe was not a total loss since she did experience a kind of intellectual and cultural awakening. Whereas before leaving home "Carmela no penso nunca en rebelarse, por entonces estaba incapacitada para autodetermi narse por s\ misma, los

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39 principios con los cuales habfa nacido estaban fuertemente adheridos al sexo, . . ." (p. 90), after living abroad and meeting new people "hizo el gran descubrimiento de que la educacion que le habfan dado era absurda: la mujer podfa vivir al margen del 'ghetto' y tenfa unas insospechadas pos ib i 1 idades que debfan ser explotadas sin que sucediera ninguna catastrofe. . . . Se hizo mujer entera, absoluta, duena de sus decisiones y de sus actos" (p. Sk) . During her return to the "ciudad dormida," it is clear Camel ia has undergone a total metamorphosis while in Europe: "ya no se trataba de la novia delicada que debfa hacer el viaje a lomo de tortuga, s i no de la mujer que podfa competir ffsicamente con los robustos arrieros y s f cologi camente poner a raya a una partida de maleantes con la fuerza de su dialectica" (p. 97)Moreover, after arriving home she becomes the dominant figure in society: "La hegemonfa de Camel ia Llorosa llego hasta el extremo de constituirse en el oraculo de la polftica: mantenfa una copiosa corre-spondencia con todos los expatriados e insurrectos desterrados; se entretenfa en avivar y sofocar cuartelazos y rebeliones, segun estuviera su genio. En sus tertulias literarias se conspiraba en grande escala, se derrocaban gobiernos y se fraguaban revol uciones , como si se tratara de un pasatiempo con que mitigar el sopor de las horas muertas" (pp. 106-107). However, despite Camel ia's worldly knowledge and her unquestionable social influence, it is only a matter of time before she succumbs to the deadening effects of the soroche. Shovving unusually poor judgment , she begins her fall by marrying the most inept of her suitors, and consequently, Yanez points out: "Empezaban los primeros sfntomas visibles del soroche, tenfa una venda de cemento puesta sobre los ojos" (p. 109)In short.

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lAO Camelia lets herself be deceived by the false promises of a fifty-yearold man who is sexually impotent, and hence, for the second time her illusions of motherhood and marriage are destroyed. As a reaction to her humiliation and sorrow, she withdraws to a convent and never forgives herself for "haberse dejado enganar por un hombrecillo insigni f icante" (p. 120). To recapitulate, Marfa (courageous rebel) and Camelia (worldly intellectual) reflect women's potential qualities, and despite their final tragedies (Marfa's suicide and Camelia's humiliation), they offer Bruna some idea of possible alternative role-models. But, before Bruna can break away completely from the conventional social patterns she must convince herself that rebellion will lead to freedom and happiness rather than frustration. At this point, she meets "la jovencita bailarina," Bruna's sister-in-law sho has managed to escape successfully from the stifling traditions characteristic of the world that lies beyond "la ciudad dormida," and consequently, Yanez explains: "Bruna ya no era una nina, desde entonces sintio que no estaba tan sola en el mundo, y fue poco a poco vertiendo sus ideas en palabras que sacaban de quicio a los parientes; fue rumiando poco a poco un plan de vida, sabiendo que en otros lugares existTa la posibilidad de que sus pensamientos fueran reales y no repicaran a escandalo" (p. 256). Clearly, from a feminist point of view, Bruna, soroche y los ties is an extremely important work for three reasons: (l) it illustrates many of the restrictions and injustices women have suffered (women as victims); (2) it illustrates the valiant attempts made by some women to challenge stereotypes and social prejudices (women as rebels); and (3)

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]k] it proves women can struggle for their freedom and be successful (women as complete human beings). Moreover, whereas most of the other novels written by women have concentrated on presenting female characters as victims who never realize their aspirations nor their potential (i.e., Lola, Gracia, Elena, Elsa Marfa, Yoimar), Bruna, soroche y los tios offers the reader a positive sense of feminine identity by creating a protagonist who is capable of being victorious in her struggle to live fully: "Se independizo del recuerdo porque necesitaba equilibrio para su vida, mediante una 1 ucha ardua y tenaz de la que salio magullada y dolorida, pero al final fntegra y contenta de sf misma" (p. 3^1). In effect, the novel represents a high point in Ecuadorian feminist fiction because it offers female readers a literary model to emulate at a time when "women who are re-examining their lives may . . . depend on literature to introduce new possibilities and to help them evaluate 26 the alternatives open to them." Generally speaking, then, with the exception of the remaining three novels which do not offer any significant feminist-related material 27 {Hambre rubia. La casa de tia Berta^ and Veroniaa: Histovia de amor) , most of the works present a specific image of women in society, and frequently they constitute a protest against the injustices suffered by the female sector in Ecuador. In addition, while much of the literature is of questionable artistic quality, it must be remembered that the novels are historically significant because they represent women's initial attempt at writing novels; and for the most part, as social documents they move the reader closer to understanding some of women's major concerns. Their stylistic, structural, or aesthetic deficiencies cannot be separated

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142 from their pioneering social mission as Angelina Gatell has noted: Indudablemente , la muj.er ha hecho mucha mala literatura, tanto epistolar como de otros generos. Pero hay que tener en cuenta que la literatura ha s i do para la mujer a 1 go asT como una rebel ion, como una forma de man i festarse. ... Y ha habido mucha mujer que se ha agarrado al bolfgrafo, asf, como a una tabla de salvacion. Y ha dicho: yo tengo que escribir porque si no escribo estory perdida. Y ello sin tener la mas mfnima vocacion ni el mas indispensable talento literario. ST, existe una pleyade de senoras que no son escritoras; son inconformi stas nada mas. Por eso creo que parte de esa mala literatura que ha desprest i gi ado y ha contribuido a esa d i scr imi naci on entre mujer y hombre escritores, se debe precisamente a esto: a que la mujer ha empleado la literatura como un medio de liberacion. No como un medio de expresarse, sino como ug medio de liberarse y de enfrentarse incluso con el hombre.

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1^3 Notes Chapter V Quito: Imprenta del Ministerio de Educacion, IS'tO. This novel was written in 19372 This study does not include Elsa Katz, Zoraida Maechler, and Lastenia Larriva de Llona because they are naturalized citizens of Ecuador, educated and raised in foreign countries. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1969. k Taped interview with the author; Quito, March 13, 1975Cheri Register, "American Feminist Literary Criticism: A Bibliographical Introduction," Feminist Literary Criticism: Explorations in Theory, ed. Josephine Donovan (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1975), p. 19Ibid. , p. 1 3. En la paz del campo; Purificacion (Quito: Talleres Graficas del Ministerio de Educacion, 19^*2); and Luz en la noche (Ambato: Imprenta de Educacion Primaria, 1950). It should be pointed out that her father was one of Ecuador's major novelists of this century, Luis A. Martfnez, who published A la casta (190^). o La novela ecuatoriana, p. 218. 9 Cited from Blanca Martfnez de Tinajero, Contestacion a una critica (Ambato: Editorial Atenas , I960), pp. 1^-15. Ibid. , p. 31 • ^^Ibid. , pp. Ik-lS. 12 Whether or not the author was originally conscious of the novel's potential explos i veness is of little importance here, particularly since she did defend her right of expression by eventually publishing the work. 13 Guayaquil: Imprenta Municipal, 1953. \k The author is apparently not using femzmsta to mean feminist, but rather feminine or female. Quito: Editorial "Minerva," 195^. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1955. The importance of these traditional roles for Latin American women is clearly pointed out in Susan A. Soeiro, "Recent Work on Latin American Women: A Review Essay," Journal of Interamerican

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]lik studies and World Affairs , XVII, k (November 1975), ^497-516. This article was part of a collection of eight scholarly studies on Latin American women, edited by Ann Pescatello and published in the November 1975 issue of the cited journal. 1 8 Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 195919 As pointed out by Susan Soeiro ("Recent Work on Latin American Women: A Review Essay," p. ^98), the problem with the historical and biographical studies of individual women is that "they bypass the crucial issue of the ordinary female's role in society," and thus offer little understanding of women, in general. 20 2 vols. (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1963)21 Enriqueta Velasco de Batallas, La profesora (Latacunga: Editorial Cotopaxi , 1965); Mireya de Insua, Yoimar (Guayaquil: n.p., 197^)It should be noted that Mireya de Insua is the same author who wrote La pena fuimos nosotras (Mireya de Bravomalo), however, since her first novel she has remarried. Also, Yoimar was published at the author's expense; she contracted a Mr. Altamirano, employee of ZEA Printers, who rented the machinery at ZEA. 22 Taped interview with the author; Quito, March 13, 1975Viteri visited Havana in I96I; she has not been to the USA. It should be noted that much of the novel is autobiographical, and therefore, many of the episodes and secondary characters present Ecuadorian reality and not that of Cuba or Miami. 23 Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1973. In 1972, the novel received the "Premio Unico Nacional de Novela," sponsored by the El Universo newspaper of Guayaquil. Ik The novel loses much of its impact because of the many similarities to Cien anas de soledad (i.e., a sleepy city, a story about one family, episode of insomnia, the bishop's children that are numbered, the combining of reality and absurdity). Nevertheless, Yanez has said the similarities are pure coincidence since her novel was near completion when Garcfa Marquez published Cien anos de soledad. 25 Piedad Larrea Borja, "Biograffa de la mujer en el Ecuador," Ensayos, pp. 59-60. 26 Cheri Register, "American Feminist Literary Criticism: A Bibliographical Introduction," pp. 20-21. Nelly Espinoza de Orellana, Hambre rubia (Mexico: Libro MEX Edi tores, 1959); Ana Marfa Iza, La casa de tia Berta (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, ^Slk) ; Zoila Marfa Castro, Veronica: Historia de un amor (New York: UN I DA Printing Corporation, 1975). Hambre rubia was selected for first prize in the Certamen Literario I nternacional del "Cfrculo de Escritores y Poetas I beroameri canos ," on November 22,

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1^45 1958 in New York. Basically, the work deals with a Latin American (Ecuadorian) woman's experiences in the USA, and her gradual understanding of this country's lifestyle. 28 Cited from a published round-table discussion: Jacinto Lopez Gorge, "iExiste una literature especff i camente femenina?," La Estafeta Literaria, 501 (October 1, 1972), 17-

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CHAPTER VI SHORT STORY Unlike the novel, the short story has a relatively long tradition among Ecuadorian women writers, primarily because it has always been easier to publish the shorter pieces of fiction in journals and newspapers. The earliest of these published works date back to the late nineteenth century: "Paulina (impresiones y recuerdos)" (I889), and ''El eterno Don Juan" (1895) --two sentimental love stories solely concerned with entertaining the readers. In addition, according to Morayma Ofyr Carvajal, the first woman short story writer in Ecuador was Elisa Ayala Gonzalez (1879"?), a costena viho portrayed the superstitions and folklore of the coastal peoples: "Buceo en el alma y la tradicion popular, extremendamente rica en el litoral, en el ambiente montuvio superst i cioso y encontro motivos permanentes para su fantasfa y entrego un aporte magnffico a la literatura del Ecuador y del 2 Continente." Curiously enough, Ayala Gonzalez was read abroad before Ecuadorians knew of her; she wrote for such foreign journals as Nubes Rosadas and La Revista Argentina (Argentina)^ Sucesos and El Nacional (Chile), Adelante (Uruguay), Hero and Cosmos (Cuba). During the early years of this century, her short story "La procesion de las animas" earned first prize in the "Concurso I nternacional Abierto en Espana," sponsored by 3 La Voz de Valenoia. Moreover, in "Homenaje a Elisa Ayala Gonzalez," 146

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I'*? published in I9I8 by the feminist magazine, Flora, one learns that she did not begin to publish her work in Ecuador until 19'6, twenty-two years after her first story, "La malidicion," was published by America k in New York. Besides these early writers, numerous other women throughout this century have published stories in national and foreign journals (i.e., Mercedes Gonzalez de Moscoso, Marfa Natalia Vaca, Nela Martfnez, Carmen Vela de Manzano, Mariano Barzallo, Ines Barrera, Carmen Acevedo Vega, Mireya RamTrez) . Nevertheless, much of the material has gone unnoticed because the periodicals rarely have reached a large reading public: short-lived publications, inadequate communication between cities and regions, and high illiteracy rates are a few basic reasons which explain the limited circulation. As Alejandro Andrade Coello has commented: "Cortas han s i do quiza las referencias de luminosas mujeres en este ensayo, no obstante de que casi he agotado las fuentes de informacion, tan limitadas y dispersas. Por esta cl rcuns tanci a, la busqueda ha sido fatigosa. No todo se encuentra en archivos y bibliotecas, porque muchas rosas puras y encendidas, . . . de la Intel igencia femenina se ocultan en revistas y periodicos de vida effmera, que algunos se han perdido para siempre en el turbion polftico. . . ." Consequently, Ecuadorian critics and students of literature often have referred erroneously to the absence of women writers in fiction: "Una rap i da ojeada a la act i vidad de la mujer ecuatoriana en la literatura nos arroja un saldo desalentador. Pocos nombres se salvan del olvido. . . . [Las mujeres] han oficiado unicamente en el sagrado y doloroso campo de la poesTa, mientras tanto, el cuento y la novela han permanecido ineditos.

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li»8 Theoretically, women writers should have received greater exposure and recognition with the growth of the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana (founded in \3hh) , an institution which has established a national publishing house to promote Ecuadorian literature. In general, besides having attempted to centralize publishing, the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana also has created an atmosphere in which intellectuals and artists throughout the country currently have greater access than in the past to one another's work. With regard to women, specifically, the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana has published many of their short stories, either as collections or separate pieces printed in such literary magazines as Letras del Ecuador or Cuademos del Guayas . However, despite improved distribution and circulation of literary materials during this post-World War II period, critics have continued to pay little attention to women's fiction; existing criticism is limited to superficial comments that neither interest readers in the works nor encourage other women to write. In effect, while most critics have studied enthusiastically the short stories of such writers of note as de la Cuadra, Gal legos Lara, and Gil Gilbert, it is apparent that rather than search the libraries and archives for misplaced texts, they have thought it more convenient simply to deny outright the existence of women's fiction in national literature. Enrique Noboa ArTzaga, for example, commented not too long ago: "El quehacer de la literatura femenina ecuatoriana, en lo que a novela o relato se refiere--hay que reconocerlo con lealtad--no ha s i do del todo realizado. Seguramente ha faltado algo; quizas ideas o tal vez tecnica apropiada. Por ello no hay mucho que destacar en la obra o realizada por las mujeres que escriben en el Ecuador."

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1^9 To counter this critical trend, therefore, the following discussion will complete the analysis of women's contribution to Ecuadorian letters by studying some of the major short stories found among the many written during the last thirty-five years. As in previous chapters, our commentary will be organized themat i ca 1 ly , focusing on women's problems, urban concerns, the Indian motif, and contemporary anguish. The Short Story as a Reflection of Women's Problems Because of the large number of stories written by women (particularly in comparison with the novel) that deal with a broad range of subjects, one might be inclined to lose sight of the thematic importance of women's problems in the short fictional worl
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150 rural teachers find themselves; they are frequently the victims of sexual assaults: "--Ya ve, Curita, — dijo el que hacTa de jefe de los Comis ionados-; como no hay mujeres .blancas en el pueblo y esta grand's ima perra esta acostumbrada a darnos todo . . . Pero esta vez le die por resistirse y, en la huTda, la bruta se quebro la pata . , . Asi" y todo, no nos ha i do tan mal" (p. ^9). Further on, the priest comments: "--Bienaventurada tu, Maestva, que, por echar la simiente en la mente de los ninos, recibes en tu vientre la semilla maldita de los hombres que humillan e infaman tu casta" (p. kS) . "Empleada por fin" (pp. 7^-8l) is another story which depicts women as victims of a macho society; this time Coryle describes the plight of an innocent young girl who is deceived by her employer. Thinking her promotion and salary raise are due to her dedication and diligence, she naively accepts a luncheon invitation offered by her boss, "El Ministro," and as might be expected, after drini
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al mundo ese desd ichado-le conte que mi hijito estaba mal; entonces, el me dijo: si quieres . . . Y tambien le he de proteger al chico--. Caf, Nina, ca': por necesidad, no por mala ... Me dijo diez sucres, otra vez cinco" (p. 57). Later, Mama El ilia explains compassion is not the only reason why she has become a guardian for unwed mothers: "--Y, desde ese tiempo: Ya mas de cuarenta anos--me dedique al cuidado de otras desgraciadas como yo: vfctimas, casi todas, de la pasion, de la pobreza o del engano. Si somos mujeres, por que se nos exije [sic] virtudes de angeles?" (p. 62). Moreover, since she is convinced her brother lied about her baby dying at birth, Emilia adds that "no solo la compasion y caridad cristiana me llevan a atenderles y aconsejarles a las pobres: quien sabe si alguna de ellas sera Ml HIJA" (p. 63). It is significant Emilia recognizes the possibility that her assumed daughter may also be a victim of a male-oriented society that paradoxically demands women be chaste while expecting men to be sexually agressive. In effect, Coryle is presenting a very definite image of the female in Ecuadorian society, one which continually appears throughout women's literary works. Interestingly enough, Coryle does conceive of a woman character who fights fire with fire; rather than resign herself to man's trickery, the protagonist of "La mujer fuerte" (pp. 6A-73) defends her honor. According to the story, she is deceived into eloping with her first lover, a man who does not really love her. After two years of careful planning, she invites the macho-type to her birthday party, shooting him seven times before all the guests, and then exclaiming it is the happiest day of her life because she has taken vengeance. Coryle ends the story by affirming: "He aquf a la mujer fuerte" (p. 73).

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52 While "Maestra de escuela" and "Empleada por fin" merely present two tragic events experienced by many women, such stories as "Mama Emilia" and "La mujer fuerte" are extremely important in so much as the writer attempts to suggest probable female reactions to female problems; that is, the author is conscious of women's unique position in life, and consequently she tries to go beyond surface reality and describe those motives and fears common to womankind. From a feminist literary point of view, it should be remembered "that feminists do recognize the obvious physical differences between men and women. Menstruation, pregnancy (and the fear of it or desire for it), and childbirth are important aspects of female experience and valid subjects for literary expression. To counterbalance the use of women as sex objects in contemporary literature, feminist critics seek subjective descriptions of female sexual I ty. Consistent with this desire to mirror in literature women's own experiences. Carmen Acevedo Vega describes the suffering experienced by a woman whose husband repeatedly forces her to have abortions because they are too poor to support a larger family. Keeping in mind the importance of motherhood in Ecuadorian society, after many years of living in quiet desperat i on--of becoming pregnant and planning for the future, and then suddenly having to destroy those dreams--it is not surprising the woman finally reaches a breaking point. Pregnant, once again, and fearing another abortion, the protagonist decides she must defend the child, and consequently there remains no other alternative than the murder of her husband. The problems and fears women endure when confronting an abortion are treated even more clearly in "Las noticias," a story written by

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153 12 Eugenia Viteri. Whereas Acevedo Vega concentrated on one woman's refusal to have an abortion because she could no longer suppress her maternal instincts, Viteri deals strictly with the anxieties and doubts experienced at the time of the operation. From the outset, the reader learns the protagonist is deeply concerned that, just as her friend, Clemencia Gomez, she too may die from hemorrhaging. Moreover, when considering what she is about to do, the feelings of guilt gnaw at her conscience: "Sacudio la cabeza tratando de olvidar, pero las not i ci as--aferradas a su cerebro--gi ran , se reducen y crecen como danza infernal. Ayer fue encontrado un feto de . . ." (p. 35). In addition, the protagonist's feelings of emptiness and remorse are greatly intensified when Viteri contrasts the precise descriptions of fear and loneliness with an almost matter of fact way of presenting the actual abortion: "Dos dedos en el sexo interrumpen pensamientos y recuerdos. Aprieta los labios, gime. Algo debieron colocarle allT, se esta desgarrando" (p. 37). In effect, the swift and unemotional reference to the anticipated climax makes it strikingly clear no one cares about or understands the woman's psychological struggle. Accordingly, the story ends as if a routine business transaction had just been completed: "Entrega al doctor unos billetes de Banco y se va , triste, sola . . . se va" (p. 38) . Viteri 's concern for women's problems and reality is further revealed 13 in "Un regalo para Jacinta," a story about a thirteen-year-old-pregnant girl who must account for her behavior before a group of female school teachers. However, the author uses Jacinta only as a point of departure; the story is mainly designed to examine how teachers react to the girl's

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IS'* pregnancy. As might be expected, Jacinta is expelled from school, a decision made by the women despite the similar desires and experiences they share with the young girl. While Jacinta offers her version of what occurred, Viteri leads the reader into the minds of each teacher. For example, the old maid recalls: '"Y a mf, nunca, nunca me paso nada ... En vano hab'a recorrido en los noches la inmensa playa solitaria de la Libertad. . . . Nunca me tope con un hombre . , . Ni con un loco . . ..'" (p. 21). As for the young teacher: " ' Lo m'o fue mas romantico, y he tenido suerte. En tanto tiempo, no he quedado embarazada. Claro, que se tomar precauciones . . . '" (pp. 21-22). Regarding Jacinta's teacher, she is severely upset by the girl's story because "esta historia se parecio a la suya" (p. 22). In short, while the teachers readily identify with Jacinta, they are compelled to treat her as a social outcast in order to protect their own reputations; after all, a sympathetic reaction to the pregnancy could make the teachers suspect in the eyes of public opinion. Consequently, it is clear Viteri is not only criticizing the characters' hypocrisy, but also the tendency among many women to suppress their own instincts and sense of justice while outwardly conforming to the attitudes and beliefs imposed upon them by society. Although from a different point of view, Alicia Yanez CossTo uses 14 the same theme of self-denial and suppression in "Hansel y Gretel," a story about a woman who continually strives to satisfy her husband's needs while ignoring her own instincts and goals. Specifically, both have pets, but it is Gretel who gives up her sea horse because Hansel's leopard "nunca se domest i car fa mientras el caballito de mar estubiera

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155 [sic] allT" (p. ^3) ', both enjoy music (Gretel plays the harp and Hansel listens to a high powered stereofonic system), but it is Gretel who must give up her pastime: "Gretel tenia un arpa, y cuando sonaba la musica electronica, se encerraba en un armario con su arpa, pero por m^s que pegaba las orejas a las cuerdas, no percibfa ningun sonido. Las notas morTan en sus dedos , de manera que creyo que el arpa estaba descompuesta y la arrincono en el fondo del armario" (pp. h^-^^); both are fond of the outdoors (Gretel prefers the mountains and Hansel, the beach), but it is Gretel who must conform to her husband's choice of vacation spots: "Hansel era campeon de sky acuatico, y Gretel, desde la playa le aplaudTa todas sus brillantes maniobras mientras sus manos jugaban haciendo montanas y caminos de arena . . . De vez en cuando, el la suspiraba por la montana, pero sus suspiros se iban con la brisa . . ." (p. kk) Clearly, Yanez Cossfo uses this short story to point up the tragic consequences inherent in women's (symbolized by Gretel) patronizing attitude toward men: they can never achieve a positive self-image as long as their importance is primarily measured in terms of male expectations. in fact, Gretel unl
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56 To sum up, women writers have used the short story as a viable means of presenting their own perceptions of the female's position in Ecuadorian society. Moreover, as was frequently the case in the essay and the novel, the short narrative works also make clear women are dissatisfied with the suffering and exploitation that characterize much of their daily lives. Consequently, the short stories about women's problems may be considered a significant part of the feminist-related literature already studied in this dissertation because they reveal basic social conditions that undermine the quality of women's lives in Ecuador. Women's Concern for Urban Problems Commitment to national and regional social problems characterizes twentieth-century Ecuadorian fiction, particularly since the publication in 1930 of Los que se van, and the subsequent formation of El Grupo de Guayaquil (Jose de la Cuadra, JoaquTn Gal legos Lara, Enrique Gil Gilbert, Alfredo Pareja Diezcanseco, and Demetrio Aguilera Malta). Not surprisingly, while the female writers' interest in women's problems is consistent with this major trend, they have also used the short story to focus on the poverty, frustration, and despair of people from low and middle class backgrounds. By and large, the women writers rarely have been exposed directly to the Ecuadorian aampo (an area which has provided socialist literature with many themes), and thus, they tend to deal almost exclusively with urban problems. The two major writers who have best re-created city life in the short story are Zoila Maria Castro and Eugenia Viteri, women whose work clearly disputes the observation that

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157 a1 relato ecuatoriano, nacido en 1930, le ha faltado la presencia de una mujer . . . [Ya] que eso se ha debido precisamente "a la tendencia y a la 1 fnea de los relatistas ecuatorianos del ano 30," que se propusieron golpear en pleno pecho a la hipocresfa, decir la verdad territorial y humana de la patria, contar las cosas como son, con el habia de los personajes, con us [sic] actitudes diarias, no siempre gratas--nunca gratas — al oTdo o la conciencia de quienes,^ confundTan la literatura con el bordado o la confiter'a. Indeed the presence of Castro and Viteri in Ecuadorian letters proves not all women have abstained from writing realistic fiction because they confuse 1 i terature with trivial activities (i.e., "el bordado o la conf i terfa") , or because of an inability to write with the straightforward style and direct language needed to represent effectively people's most pressing needs in daily life. If anything, the reason more women have not published stories of this nature may be attributed to the "discrimen que ha pesado sobre la mujer, [que] la ha llevado a cuidarse de opinar, de escribir libremente y sin tapujos por temor a que la juzguen y enjuicien con serveridad, [que] la critiquen peor o la comenten con sana." Accordingly, a few male critics have marvelled at the "masculine" characteristics present in the stories written by Castro and Viteri: "Relates duros son estos. Tan duros que las gentes gazmonas, acostumbradas a una literatura femenina de sensiblerfa y tono mejor, [sic] se han asustado por el tono atrevido que utiliza la autora [Zoila MarTa Castro]. Se dirfa que no es una mujer la que mueve 1 8 a ese mundo agitado y doloroso . . ." With regard to Viteri, "asombra que sea una mujer la que revele y narre sucesos, la que nos traslade dialogos y personajes t rad i cionalmente tan poco 'femeninos' y tan alejados del mundo de una muchacha, Este es el valor fundamental . . .

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158 estar escritos por una mujer y no ser femeninos, sino vitales, vigorosos, cuentos en una palabra. Ambientes del hampa--mar i huaneros 19 y rateros--, de hospital y superst i clones , de adulterio . . . ." Turning to the stories themselves, the major portion of Castro's 20 short fiction is found in Urbe , a collection which presents various examples of the frustrations and anxieties common to many city dwellers (probably from Guayaquil). ''Musiones" (pp. 12-17), for example, takes the reader to Guayaquil's black section, La Marimba, and contrasts the optimistic struggle of some to rise out of the ghetto with the resignation of others who believe there is no escape. More specifically, after many years of hard work and sacrifice, a street vender sees her son graduate from high school with honors, and immediately she understands he has a chance of being someone in life. Moreover, the youth becomes a source of pride for many neighbors: "--Hace tiempo dije yo: para que vean los blancos que nos creen tan brutos que no lo somo, que cuando uno de nosotros se empena, o mejor dicho, se le puede sostener en el colegio, da bastante" (p. 16). Unfortunately, however, all illusions are shattered when the baohiller is run over by a car, confirming the skepticism of Gallinazo, the neighborhood j uven i I e deli nquent who has continually mocked the efforts and aspirations of the other characters. Castro writes: El cholo bruto se frego como yo en otro tiempo, estudia que estudia. Que se haga, pues , ilusiones, ahora ahi tiesol Me alegro por la vieja hambrienta. La muy tonta se creyo que i ba a tener hijo doctor, y no conto con la Zancuda. Lo estremecio el gusto de sentlrse vivo. Muy adentro de su ser desequ i 1 i brado brotaba la desolacion de la madre batalladora: "Al probre lo acosa la caterva de calamidades: si no es la enfermedad, es el vicio; si no las terribles

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159 necesidades, la muerte. Lo cierto es que vivimos de cabeza." ... Hizo un gesto escurridizo, y huyo, a consumir en la cantina el fruto de su raterfa. (p. 1?) Clearly, Gallinazo is an individual who realizes the odds against moving up the socio-economic ladder, and therefore his only goal in life is to satisfy his most immediate needs and desires, usually accomplished by preying on other people to acquire the needed money. "El 'jurero'" (pp. 21-24) and "El turno" (pp. 39-^3) are two additional stories that present characters whose lives center around their ability to use their wits and to take advantage of any opportunity that might present itself, regardless of the means. In both cases, the protagonists (an unemployed youth and a poor mayordomo) give false testimony when they recognize the possibility of making a profit. Like Gallinazo (the vulture), the mayordomo witnesses an accident and exclaims unscrupuously: "'iA este del auto tengo que sacarle harta plata!" ("El turno," p. kl) . As for the jurero, he justifies his actions and the subsequent death of an innocent victim by reasoning: "Todos lo matamos. El mismo se mato. Ah, ah, la plata matando a la plata, ahl" (El 'jurero' ," p. 24). Of course, the lack of compassion and the unethical ways inherent in a survi va 1-of-the-f i ttest attitude are not only found within the poor socio-economic sectors of the city; many professionals also have achieved their success by furtive means. "La copia" (pp. 29-35) describes the rise of a young lawyer who betrays his ideals of honesty and integrity, quickly learning how to deceive his clients and how to associate with the right people: "En el transcurso de los meses se desor i entaba :

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160 BUS ideas habituales perdian la fuerza que lo tuvo atado a sus ideales, interesandose menos en los problemas de su club polTtico" (p, 29). Moreover, "de su alma brotaba la satisfacci6n producida per su habilidad para salirse del monton" (p. 33). Hence, rather than avoid dealing with the hypocrisies and petty ambitions characteristic of much of society, Castro's Urbe clearly reflects people's imperfections and often-times violent nature. Furthermore, to complete her pessimistic view of life, Castro includes in her collection "Memorias" (pp. 25-28) and "La partida" (pp. 36-38), two stories concerned with the loneliness and sense of failure that frequently distress many individuals. Specifically, the old woman who sadly recalls her past in "Memorias" sighs: "'Otra de las cosas horribles de la vejez es no tener con quien conversar'" (p. 25). At the same time, the father in "La partida" decides to abandon his family because: "El chico amaba a la madre. El no le era necesario, ni para el carino ni para la crianza. . . . PartTa arrojado por la familia: no lo necesi taba" (pp. 37-38). In effect, although unknown by most Ecuadorians and overlooked by most literary critics, Castro's short stories do contradict the traditional belief that women writers have not contributed significant material to that large body of Ecuadorian fiction committed to offering the public a more complete understanding of social problems and idio/• ,• ^ 21 syncrasies (i.e., realityj. While Castro has limited her short-story production since \3h3 to various pieces published in different periodicals, Eugenia Viteri has become Ecuador's most prolific woman writer in the genre

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161 since publishing her first collection of stories, El anillo y otros 22 ouentos in 1955Despite the incessant problem of insufficient time (usually because of domestic responsibilities and fatigue), during the last twenty years Viteri has continued her efforts to describe the sorrows and social injustices suffered by many Ecuadorians. As she explains: "Crecf, pues sin traumas, sin amargura, pero muy consciente del dolor, de la injusticia; por ello quise expresar mi protesta, mi rabia, sentTa algo muy dentro de mT que deseaba exponer a los demas; hice poemas--malos poemas--, interprete poemas que me emocionaban, hice teatro, rad io-teat ro; 1 uego crel" haber encontrado el medio preciso, di recto para expresar esa permanente inconformidad que latfa en m' y 23 escribT un cuento." Moreover, since Viteri has always been inclined to befriend the unskilled workers of very modest means, she writes: "Tuve problemas por esto con mi madre, pero no me arrepiento, porque me ayudaron a conocer mejor su dolor, es decir, su drama. El trato con estos seres me ha permitido conocer a fondo el problema social para escribirlo; los he captado, los he sentido, los he tomado de su ruente natural . . . . Fortunately, because Viteri is very conscious of being an artist she has not used the short story as a political platform for her opinions, In fact, she has written of the need to combine social content with artistic expression: La renuncia a la gratuidad, la aceptacion de la responsabi 1 idad del escritor, la dotacion de un mensaje a la obra de arte, no pueden 1 levar a la perdida del contenido artTstico, a la renuncia de la belleza. Si el escritor se expresa a traves del poema , el relato o el drama, no puede olvidar que es un artista y no un politico, por mas que tenga una aptitud polTtica.

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162 Pero cuando acomete la creaci6n artistica no esti actuando como politico s i no como artista responsable. Y un artista responsable enfrenta los hechos de su tiempo, por violentos y tragicos que sean, con objetividad y pasion, pero sin abdicar de su destine creador . ^j Consistent with this literary perspective, therefore, Viteri has avoided moralizing or using commonplace political innuendoes that normally limit a work's appeal to a very specific political or geographical context. Clearly, she has attempted to create characters and situations which reflect the emotions and concerns of all humanity: "El local ismo limita, hasta empequenece la obra de arte. Esto no quiere decir que la esencia, la ra'z, el espiritu del hecho o la anecdota este ausente; pero sr quiero guardar, mantener . . . ese equilibrio maravilloso entre lo inmediato y lo universal. Regional ismo no; el mundo que nos rodea si. 26 y esto ya es universal." Compared to Uvhe, the most distinguishable feature in Viteri 's stories is that most characters care about other people; that is, there usually appears a situation in which Viteri illustrates man's ability and willingness to help others. This preponderant theme of human compassion and comaraderie seems to be a kind of reaction against the actual lack of solidarity among people in contemporary society. According to Viteri: "En todo lo que he escrito he pretendido dar un mensaje de solidaridad. C reo que al hombre de mi siglo le falta eso: so-li-da-ri-dad, comprension, paz. Se nota, se respira una marcada ausencia de valores morales, acentuados en nuestra sociedad i ndi vi dua 1 i sta cien por cien. donde cada quien pretende los primeros, los segundos, los terceros, es decir todos los puestos."^''

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163 Essentially, then, Viterl has written numerous stories which counter man's egotism and selfishness by suggesting an alternative pattern of behavior based on compassion and disinterest. "El secreto" [El anillo y otros cuentos , pp. 33~38) , for example, is about a man whose dying wife confesses she has been unfaithful, and that their son really has another father. The deceived husband immediately reacts; he feels driven by the need to discover the real father in order to avenge his pride and honor. Shortly afterwards, however, the protagonist realizes that, despite everything, he is the only father the child knows. Consequently, he puts aside his own feelings of shame, and rather than reject the child — symbol of his cuckoldry--, he responds to the boy's needs of love and affection: "Son acaso solamente hijos nuestros, los que llevan nuestra sangre . . .? . . .'Sf, es mi hijo, el hijo de mi amorl" Y padre e hijo, confundidos en un solo abrazo, se fueron rumbo a la vida" (pp. 37-38). In "Un buen trabajo" [El anillo y otros cuentos, pp. ^l-'*?), Viteri offers another character who understands the need to make certain sacrifices for someone else. Specifically, during his stay in a hospital, Fernando promises a dying patient he will take care of the latter's wife and children who have no means of supporting themselves. Unfortunatley, Fernando is also poor; his total capital comes to a meager two sucres. Nevertheless, he wants very much to fulfill his promise, and hopefully, alleviate somewhat the family's suffering. Hence, Fernando invites the dead man's wife and children to eat in a nice restaurant where he receives a beating because he cannot pay for the meal. Later, he exclaims: " — Fermfn, Fermfn. Tus hijas ya tienen

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](>k que comer. Hoy he conseguido un buen trabajo" (p. hj) . Although it is not clear how Fernando finds a job, the import.Tnt point here is that, despite his own problems, he Js concerned about a total stranger's abandoned family, and above all, in the absence of any legal or moral obligation, he is determined to take care of FermTn's wife and children. "EI oficio" {El anillo y otros ouentos , pp. 85-93) represents a slight variation to Viteri's concern for human solidarity, and moreover, it is a story that further illustrates the marked difference in tone which exists between Urbe and Viteri's work, in general. Unlike Castro's characters who unscrupuously seek out their victims, the protagonist of "El oficio" makes a conscious effort to earn money by trickery, but without harming other people. In effect, when the youth's father, a bogus spiritist, tries to persuade him to become a doctor or a lawyer rather than another brujo, the boy emphatically points out: " — iAbogado? iEso s' que no, papa! iAbogado como el doctor de aqui" al lado? Si eso es peor que este . . . De aquf, la gente al menos sale contenta. De la casa del doctor, los montuvios salen llorando. Esa viuda del otro dTa como maldecfai jAbogado, nuncal--" (p. 92). Na.turally, there are other aspects in Viteri's fiction that remain to be studied (i.e., the role of children, the importance of using the imagination as a means of escaping one's misery, and a closer examination of women in the stories), however the most significant element is certainly the author's apparent interest in deviate literature, a rarity in Latin American narrative. On four different occasions Viteri 29 writes about homosexuals, a particularly explosive theme when considering the importance in Ecuador (Latin America) of the Church and

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165 the concepts of mora 1 i ty, femini ni ty, and masculinity. Nevertheless, despite the social pressures that have turned writers, especially women writers, away from homosexuality as a viable theme, Viteri has stated: Si mi compromiso es con el hombre de mi siglo, de mi mundo y mi deseo es llegar hasta ^1 con mi mensaje solidario aijn [sic] en sus mas oscuros instintos, errores, desviaciones. ic6mo no hablar de sus negativismos tambien, como no hacerme eco de sus flaquezas? No hacerlo serTa mostrar del hombre solo aquello que se considera bueno, decente, presentable. Esto serTa una gran estudpidez, ignorancia o hipocresTa . . . Todo, absol utamente todo lo que es inherente al ser humano me interesa, me amarga su drama, me preocupa su tragedia f'sica o moral. JSmas alejard de mi tematica estos topicos no para aplaudirlos, pero sT para tratar de explicarlos, comprenderlos , desent rafiar los , en el deseo--a lo mejor--de ayudarlo, jamas para colgarlo sin antes o'rlo.-^^ In "Los impuros" {Dooe cuentos, pp. 55-58), her first story about homosexuality to appear, Viteri is really concerned about the parents of one homosexual; after the son commits suicide, the mother and father try to explain how they failed in their parental roles, revealing their guilt feelings and shame. Also, it is interesting to note that although Viteri is careful not to mention the term homosexual, there can be no mistake about the story's theme. That is, when one of the son's friends visits the parents to pay his last respects, the mother explains: '"Es el . . . un hombre con distincion y modales: he reconocido su voz. En la habitacion oscura no pude d i st ingui rios. Pero eran sus voces, sus gemidos. Cada dfa, uno distinto. ilmpurosl'" (p. 57)Curiously enough, Viteri makes clear that while the parents are incapable of understanding and accepting their son's lifestyle, it is the homosexual friend who really has appreciated and perceived the dead youth's

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m y 166 qualities: "--aun tengo en mis manos su perfume, en mi piel su clima, suplenituden mi sangrel iFuego era su alma, poema su cuerpo, sus labios: herida cancion!" (p. 57) Unlike "Los impuros," no one refers to the virtues of the homosexual in "Nuevas Li lianas,"^ a story about a married woman who is istreated and persecuted by her sadistic and deviate husband, described as: "Un enfermo sin cuidado, sin disciplina, sin amor, . . ." Besides being the victim of her husband's cruel jokes (i.e., being locked in a bathroom for hours while showering, and in complete darkness), Li liana describes the tension and suffering she has experienced since her wedding night: "No se por que sentT asco . . . Junto a este hombre o debia compartir todos los dias de mi vida. Ya en la casa, esta que hoy me s i rve de prision, sin decirme una palabra, me instal6 en la cama y salio con ese paso suyo, precipitado y breve. Al ir a vestirme note dos cosas: yo estaba intacta, como antes de mi matrimonio, s61o que ... mi pubis habia sido . . . rasurado. Una semana despues vino a i lecho y como explicacion asi de paso: 'Tuve que hacevlo para salvarme'" (emphasis added). This last statement, however, seems to suggest the tremendous social pressure that has forced her husband to marry. Moreover, although the story is told from Liliana's point of view-describing her as the victim—, it may very well be that the man's sadistic behavior towards her is his only means of fighting back against a society that demands he conform to accepted male behavior. More recently, Viteri has written "Florencia" {Los zapatos y los suenos, pp. 1-6), a story which intimates that homosexuality may be a satisfactory alternative for some women who consider marriage and m

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167 masculine domination too much to bear. It is significant that Viteri has commented: "Ha habido casos en colegios, donde hay chicas que dicen: 'Yo no me meto con hombres porque me desacreditan y me dejan hijos. Entonces me causarfa mas satisfaccion meterme con una chica 32 que ni me desacredita ni me deja hijos.'" However, since not all women deviates, or potential deviates, are willing to adopt such a radical position in a highly traditionalist society, many have quietly resigned themselves to the unful f i 1 1 ing, but socially acceptable institution of marriage. Viteri focuses on this problem when referring briefly to the lives of two women: Isaura, a confirmed lesbian, and Florencia, the ex-lover who eventually chooses to search for "un capitan de ojos verdes" (p. 3)Unfortunately, after Florencia marries, all turns out tragically for both women: while Florencia becomes an abandoned mother of five hungry children, Isaura is never really satisfied with her singing career. Also, the marked difference between the past and present is clearly emphasized by Isaura who nostalgically recalls her relationship with Florencia: "iJuntas eramos invenciblesl Fuertes como la hierba que agita el viento, bana el polvo, . . . se mantiene erguida cara al cielo. . . . CogTamos peces que 1 uego preparabamos en improvisados braseros, con los pies en el agua penetrada de misterio y nuestros cuerpos ardientes hundidos en la arena, comfamos fel ices'" (p. 3)As for the present, Isaura remarks: "Nunca le dije [a Florencia] lo sucio de la radio. lElla me crefa triunfadora en un mundo de mujeres reprimidasl Sus cinco hijos escualidos, harapientos, la ataban a una piedra. Empezaba cuando el sol todavTa no se animaba a salir y se

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168 i ba con el, no para encontrar una mesa dispuesta, una sopa caliente. Apenas para reventarse el cerebro y poner cara de palo al tendero de laesquina que hace mucho no ffa" (p, h) . Consequently, when Florencia dies of tuberculosis, and in complete poverty, Isaura realizes they both have thrown away their opportunity to be happy. With deep sorrow and an obvious feeling of loneliness, she grieves over having lost her true love: Se arreglo [isaura] un poco f rente a un pequeno espejo, tomo su cartera y al comprobar la falta de un panuelo, hurgo rapidamente en el cajon de su mesatocador. La presencia de un retrato olvidado la sacudio e hizo que se sentara vencida al fin. Con ojos extasiados contempld la imagen de una mujer joven y alegre. En el reverso: Para el amor de mi vida, Isaura. "lEran otros tiempos, querida, icuanto nos amabamos! Y sin embargo, te marchaste con ese que ni siguiera tenfa los ojos verdes que tu anhelabas. No te importaron mis besos ni las canciones que aprendT para ti. iTodo lo cambiaste por un pecho viril, ah mujeres, mujeres'" (pp. 5~6) With regard to the remaining story, "Los exaltados" {Los zapatos y los suenos , pp. 1-^), Viteri abandons the somewhat psychological method of focusing on people's attitudes and reactions to homosexuality and actually describes a forced act of sodomy. Briefly, when members of a street gang try to beat up Pablo, Luis Arturo defends his friend by challenging to a fight Jacinto, the head of the rival group. After arriving at the designated meeting place, Luis Arturo and Pablo realize they have been tricked: Entusiasmado con lo que creia su triunfo sobre los mequetrefes del patio, Jacinto dispuso que colocaran a los dos muchachos uno a continuacion del otro, con los brazos y las piernas amarrados a sus cuerpos. , . . Con gracia femenina y coqueterfa de estriptisera se saco el pantalon; un bikini rojo con rombos azules, despues y . . . agitandolo se deslizd sinuoso por encima del primer chico. A la altura de la cabeza, puesto en cuclillas,

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169 absorto y sombrTo, hizo coincidir su falo en la boca del muchacho. Se irguio esbelto, gracioso, ligero. Saludo con un brevTsimo movimiento de cabeza a sus amigos y sin dejar de agitar su bikini con rombos azules, se alejo cimbreante. Roncos de gritar y refr, histericos hasta las lagrimas, celebraban a Jacinto imitado rapidamente. (pp. 3~^)-^-^ In short, while it may be argued that "Los exaltados" is not an example of deviate literature because the homosexual act described seems to be simply a prank carried out by a group of juvenile delinquents, it does, however, illustrate the daring with which Viteri writes. Moreover, since the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana has decided to publish 3^ Los zapatos y tos suenos , one might conclude that today's women have greater freedom than their predecessors to express themselves in literature. Indeed due to the efforts made by such writers as Viteri and Zoila Marfa Castro, two women who have openly challenged traditional stereotypes and taboos, aspiring contemporary women writers do have a significant, although still limited, source of material to draw on for needed inspiration and artistic thematic guidance. Other women who occasionally have experimented with the short story to reflect some of the social problems readily connected with urban life (i.e., the failings of bureaucracy, the poverty of slum dwellers, and the hypocrisies of the professional class) are Carmen Acevedo Vega and Violeta Luna, two writers who have mainly cultivated poetry. With regard to their fiction, particularly noteworthy is Acevedo Vega's 35 "La iTnea 7," a short story that deplores the expansion of Guayaquil's suburbia: "Bien dice Ud,, es la suerte del pobre; cada vez nos botan mas y mas afuera sobre el fango, al manglar; nosotros sufrimos todas

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170 las inclemenci as , fabricamos encima del pantano y nos resignamos a vivir sin luz ni agua, y cuando ya estS poblado viene el Municipio y bota unas cuantas camionadas de cascajo en las calles, y en seguida vienen los ricos a acaparar los solares" (p. 3)As for VIoleta Luna, besides apparent communist beliefs, her collection of short stories, entitled Los pasos. amarillos, reveals the same openness and candor that was seen in Viteri's work, especially in those pieces dealing with rape ("Un ser anonimo," pp. 33-36) and lesbianism ("Cristina," pp. 53^k) . The Indian Motif Although women writers have used literature chiefly to reflect their urban experiences and concerns, if one considers the fact Ecuador is an Andean country, it is not surprising some authors also have written works which focus on the Indian motif. Basically, these writers have portrayed the Indian from two very different points of view: (l) as an idealized figure reminiscent of romanticism; and (2) as a victim of exploitation, a theme common to twentieth-century indigenista literature. In the first case, the major writers to have created Indian heroes and heroines (i.e., wise men, brave warriors, pure and chaste maidens/princesses) appear to be Eugenia Tinajero Martfnez de Allen, author of Leyendas 3S 2 38 37 indzgenas , and Laura Perez de Oleas Zambrano, author of HistoriaSj leyendas y tradiciones eauatorianas . In typical fashion, Tinajero MartTnez avoids describing the grave problems Indians face in modern Ecuador and writes "Los oj i tos de Mishqui-Huarmi" {Leyendas indigenas , pp. 7-11), a story about a young maiden who is loved by both her fiance and the sun. After stealing

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171 away the girl, the sun relieves the fiance's sorrow by converting him into a rocl<; henceforth, this enables the young couple to be in constant contact: "Cuando el sol la bana [la roca] en su luz por la manana, parece que por ella circula aun la ardiente sangre del indio enamorado, y cuando viene la noche, puede este [sic] contemplar alia, junto a la Cruz del Sur, dos estrellitas, que son los ojos de MishquI Huarmi, que le miran dulcemente desde lejos y por siempre" (pp. 10-11). While most of the stories found in Leyendas indtgenas are similar 39 to "Los oj i tos de Mi shqui -Huarmi ," i.e., sentimental love stories, the ones written by Perez de Oleas frequently glorify the Inca past and exaggerate the Indians' noble, valorous character. In "Atahualpa, sabio, profeta y poeta" (pp. 51~62), the author narrates a conversation she has had with an old Indian who knows by heart the wise sayings Atahualpa supposedly composed. Indeed after reading some of the examples, one is inclined to think of the inca as another Solomon: Porque la obediencia y la sabidurfa valen mas que el oro que adorna mi persona, (p. 55) No hurteis el agua ni el sembrado, porque nada dulce sera lo escondido y rapinado. (p. 55) Huye, hijo mTo, de las manos que derraman sangre, de la lengua mentirosa, de los ojos torvos y de los pies que corren hacia el mal. (p. 56) Porque mejor es dar poco con justicia que muchas vTctimas y con iniquidad. (p. 58) Further praise of Atahualpa and the Inca culture, in general, is presented in "Cori Duchicela" (pp. 141-1^9), a story in which the author directly intervenes when referring to the Conquest: . . . aumento el dolor de los kitus por la perdida del mas grande y sabio de los Schyris, de aquel soberano

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172 que no solamente supo guiar con sabiduria y bondad a su pueblo, sino que fue, ademas, el Inca que llego a un grado extraordinar io de cultura, tan avanzada para su epoca, que en realidad causan asombro la finura y cultivo que poseyo su espfritu, pues, segun ultimos dates consignados en un libro recientemente publicado ex.sten unos bellTsimos y delicados poemas atribuidos'a Atahualpa. De sen esto verdad, quedarTamos perplejos ante el horrendo crimen espanol que hizo, con Atahualpa y su reino, desaparecer una gran cultura. (pp. ]h7-]h8) With regard to the indigenista literature, however, the authors are not concerned with extolling the Inca past, nor are they interested in dwelling on idealized archetypes that often make the reading public forget about the l^eal Indians. One of the earliest stories of this type written by a woman is "Taita Imbabura: Leyenda ind'gena.''^^ a work which reflects the humiliation and sexual abuse suffered by many Indian women in Ecuador. Briefly, whereas most mothers believe their daughters have given birth to caucas ian-1 i ke children because of having been raped by a mysterious wandering spirit. Taita Imbabura, Mar'a Juana knows the girls have been raped by the local landowner. Consequently, she prepares to defend her daughter: "No, y no; el malvado que ultrajo a la madre no pisoteara el honor de su pr.opia hija.' . . . Marfa Juana, blandiendo un afilado punal guarda dfa y noche la entrada de su choza. Su hija no ira a la cosecha; su longa no i ra por las ovejas; su hija no cree en la existencia de Taita Imbabura." Of course, a problem with most indigenista literature is that the writers rarely go beyond the external realities (i.e., poverty, illiteracy, injustice) that are readily perceived by whites; moreover, the thoughts and reactions of the Indian characters in fiction are more consistent with a western mentality than an Indian one. For example,

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173 Mary Coryle has written numerous stories which employ the traditional indigenista pattern: the cruel and insensitive white man (i.e., priest, landowner, government official) victimizes the poor and innocent Indian. Consequently, one frequently reads in Coryle's stories such archetypical passages as: — Mira,--lo dijo el Cura — no me niegues, la Dolores era blanca; entonces, son quince sucres que tienes que pagar de los derechos. La misa con mtisica y ocho ceras, quince mas y diez responsos cantados, para que tu mujer suba de contadito al cielo, a Sucre responso ... Me llevo la vaca, tij te quedas con lo demas. --A los indios y los perros hay que darles palo a que entiendan. --Y sacando las riendas de uno de sus cabal los desollo con el las las tostadas espaldas de la Ugi. --No te dije animal, que si vuelves, te darfa latigo? Siendo indios no mas, por quT mos di ahuantar-pes ; bestias tame cansan. Y por Tsto hay llamadu, para vir si dentramus en Guinea y acabamus con los huiracochas [caba 1 leros] . Con piedras, palos y algona escopetica, como no mos di poder-pes. Quiren ostedes ayodar? 3 Notwithstanding this simplistic view of the Indian, however, Coryle is aware of the complex differences which exist between the wh i te/mesttso and Indian cultures, and therefore has written at least two stories that go beyond mere dualism (i.e., good vs. evil). In "Curato de montana" {Gleba, pp. 11-18), a young prist is bewildered when his Indian parish rejects his honesty and efforts to help the community prosper, accusing him of having caused the present drought: Los indios, desde el primer momento, acusaron de tan desusado flagelo al Huahua [Nino] Taitito: porque hab'a quitado todas las fiestas; porque no dejaba dormir, cada mes , la noche de Renovacion del Amo Sacramentado, a los priostes borrachos, hombres, mujeres, mujeres y hasta huahuas, dentro de la iglesia; porque no i ba con el los a los anejos y presidfa las comilonas y borracheras generales, que terminaban siempre en fenomenales grescas

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17'* y peleas. En fin, el Pueblo pagaba la masonerfa del Parroco, que no podfa ver esas cosas que tanto gustaban a Tai ta Diosi to. (p. 17) Clearly, Coryle is pointing out a widespread problem which has prevented the two cultures from living together in harmony: too of ten well-intentioned whites antagonize Indians when they very sel frighteous ly insist the latter adopt outright a set of alien values and beliefs. This same sensitivity to and acceptance of the Indian world appear in "Soplando el pingullo" [Mundo pequeno, pp. 55-62), a story which illustrates the joy experienced by a dying boy who comes into contact with his own culture. After refusing the many toys offered him on Christmas Eve, he takes up a cornet and enthusiastically begins to blow what he imagines to be an Indian flute, El pingullo: "El viento silbando en la paja del cerro; los mugidos del ganado brav'o; la quipa convocadora de indios, para las mingas; ... el pingullo del TTo Juancho 1 lorando en la quebrada: todo esto oy5 el longuito en la musica del juguete" (p. 62). In effect, Coryle recognizes the Indians' deep attachment to their own culture, and is apparently suggesting they not be expected to renounce it completely. Another story that should be mentioned is Zoila Marfa Castro's "Amor" {Urbe, pp. 8-11), a work which describes the prejudice against which a successful Indian lawyerjournal i st-professor fights, particularly when he falls in love with a white divorcee. As might be expected, the protagonist can no longer conform to the inferior social status normally associated with the Indian race: "No, el no se contenta con el amor de las cholitas; y chicas del monton que lo consideraban su igual, aunque triunfador con su tftulo de abogado, su prestigio de periodista

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175 y su catedra uni vers i tar ia. . . . Querfa casarse con la sensacion y la seguridad que subfa por la escala social" (p. 10). The obvious point of interest here is the problems and pressures an Indian faces once he is successful in terms of white society's values and ideals. Essentially, then, although the Indian motif represents a secondary theme in women writers' short stories, the available material certainly demonstrates the authors' interest in Indian folklore, and their concern with the suffering endured by the indigenous communities. Indeed several writers have contributed to a greater understanding and appreciation of the Ecuadorian Indian: on the one hand, the idealized portrayals of Indian figures, many of which are based on Indian legends, reflect an attempt by some women to conserve a vital part of national oral history; on the other hand, such writers as Castro and Coryle have tried to bridge the cultural gap between the white and Indian races by avoiding a purely dualistic point of view characteristic of much of indigenista literature. The Theme of Con temporary Angu i sh in the Short Story The anguish and feelings of alienation of many modern writers who face a paradoxical world in which scientific progress and advanced technology seem to move people closer to total destruction has also troubled Lupe Rumazo and Alicia Yanez Cossfo, two writers who have revealed their contemporary fears in numerous short stories which describe the individual's search for identity and meaningful existence. Rumazo's "Edad fetiche," for example, presents a young woman's fear of being

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176 completely absorbed by the dehumanizing effects of a machine-oriented wo r 1 d : Un senor me da un golpe en el brazo; quiero protestar, pero ya se ha i do rapidamente; he visto su expresion de sonambulo. Va tambien al empleo. No tenemos el rostro libre de los niinos que se dirigen a la escuela. iNo es acaso el trabajo una escuela dedicada a ensenarnos las relaciones con las maquinas? Yo detesto la mfa; enfrenta su perfeccion electrica a mi incapacidad. "Todo le sucede por estar nerviosa; controlese y vera como no comete faltas . . ." Mi maquina verde ceniza no tolera desequi 1 i br ios . iComo introducir su frialdad dentro de mi? A pesar de todo, la besarTa en ocasiones; es mi salvadora en trances angustiosos. iPor que besan los esclavos a los patrones? (p. S^) Clearly, the protagonist is deeply troubled over the power of machines to dominate and determine human behavior. Whether it be the "sonambulo" described above who apparently has worked so long with machines that he no longer can vary his routine, or the protagonist herself who admittedly feels inadequate because she is not as capable as her typewriter, people are obviously governed by a machine-like mentality which values efficiency and production more than interpersonal relationships that traditionally have given men and women a sense of importance. Moreover, the narrator's suffering is further heightened when she alludes to her own struggle against living a life of daily/routine work that tends to numb one's sense of creativity and originality: Luchan en mi dos tendencias: aquella que me obliga a laborar en una forma excluyente y aquella que me senala un peligro. "Listed ha vendido su tiempo, no su mente y sus facultades; no caiga en el abajamiento con tanta facilidad," me dice la segunda. "Usted debe triunfar en su labor como ha dominado todo lo que se ha propuesto; . . ." interviene, autoritaria, la primera, (pp. 60-6l) Later she laments: "Estoy desor f entada . Solo busco la perfecci6n de lo mecanico. Ya no Intenta brindar ayuda; es inijtil, me voy insensi-

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177 bilizando paulat i namente. El aspecto sensible y, sobre todo, el de satisfaccion personal va perdiendo dTa a dfa sus contornos, diluyendose" (p. 62). This same concern over the dangers of modern technology is also seen in Alicia Yanez Cossio's collection of futuristic stories, Triquitraque . However, whereas Rumazo talked about struggling against the dehumanizing trends of contemporary society, Yanez projects further into the future and describes a world already controlled by computers and the excesses of cybernetics. In "La nina fea" (pp. 29-31), for example, one learns that the medical discoveries which have eliminated death also have worsened today's overpopulation and hunger problems, and consequently, people are shown to be even more alienated and disoriented than at present : Abajo, los estadistas han llegado a un acuerdo mediante el cual no habra otra guerra mundial, pero la humanidad casi la desea porque en las ciudades no hay espacio suficiente para convivir. ... El aire es rancio y los alimentos sinteticos no abastecen. Algunos piensan que dos bombas de hidrogeno serTan suficientes para limpiar el mundo. . . . Se supone que en algun lugar secreto exTste una gran nave inter-planetaria dispuesta a llevarse las semillas humanas a otros planetas . . . Se dicen tantas cosas . . . y este temor es el que hace que los hombres se odien entre sT y se miren como enemigos. El miedo y la inseguridad ha i do formando poco a poco una generacion fr'a y desalmada. (p. 29) In effect, people's increased dependence on science and automation coupled with an ever-present fear of destruction have removed any possible sense of human solidarity. Hence, after a child is killed by a "vehfculo supersonico" in "Uno menos" (pp. 18-21), Yanez describes the indifference that characterizes people's reactions to human suffering:

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178 "La gente que transitaba de sus asuntos a su rutina y vio el espectaculo, se encogio de hombros y dijo: ' Uno menos'" (p. 20), Moreover, the child's death is further depersonalized when the author writes: " l.nstantaneamente aparecio en el lugar un carro de limpieza y con una pala mecanica recogio los restos del nine. Los metio en su fondo junto a la basura que trafa. Luego limpio la calle con un chorro de agua y desaparecio . . ." (p. 20). Yanez's futuristic view becomes even more pessimistic in "La IWM Mil" (pp. ^46-49) , a story about a kind of pocket calculator which does all of man's thinking: "Hace mucho tiempo, todos los profesores desaparecieron tragados y digeridos por el nuevo sistema" (p. kG) . After a period of time, however, various people decide they want to be self-sufficient, knowledgeable, and hence, they begin to study the alphabet in order to learn how to read. Later, enthusiastic over their intellectual achievements, the members of the group travel to Takandia, a land where there are no machines to govern their existence. Notwithstanding this return to a completely human world, Yanez quickly points out that the future dangers described throughout Triquitraque are still present: "Los hombres que han llegado a Takandia se dan cuenta de que por primera vez en sus vidas estan entre verdaderos seres humanos y empiezan a sentirse felices. Buscan amigos, gritan como el los, y empiezan a quitarse la ropa y dejarla tirada entre las matas. Los habitantes de Takandia se olvidan por unos momentos de los visitantes para pelearse por las ropas que encuentran tiradas . . ." (p. k) . In short, there seems to be no escape from man's incessant search for something new and unknown--a

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179 natural instinct apparently destined to lead humanity to eventual destruction. Of course, while much of contemporary anguish and fear has been attributed to automation and subsequent depersonalization of life, not all writers have described their concerns exclusively in terms of man's struggle to overcome domination by machines. In fact, a significant portion of contemporary fiction has focused on the sense of futility that people experience when realizing they are unable to communicate or identify with others. Consistent v/ith this trend, Lupe Rumazo has written "La marcha de los batracios," a story about a novelist who decides to commit suicide because he cannot satisfactorily articulate his i deas whi ch total ly contradict established beliefs: "Estaba harto. Sf, en un tiempo el habta pensado que su novela habrTa podido producir una conmocion. La novela hecha, terminada en trescientas paginas, aunque estuviera Tntegra en su cabeza; era una novela de la marcha, que paradoj icamente no marchaba. La novela detenida, como habfa que detener hoy, y no despues, la existencia de su autor" (pp. 33~3^) • Besides additional stories ("Barrer desperdi cios" and "Pingpong," in Silabas de la tierra) which illustrate the feelings of loneliness and estrangement characteristic of contemporary 1 i fe , Rumazo's chief contribution to women's fiction in Ecuador is not her use of innovative themes, but rather her ability to write with the most avant-garde literary techniques presently in vogue in the Latin American narrative. Unlike other Ecuadorian women writers who have been primarily concerned with demonstrating to the reader a specific problem, Rumazo writes psychological studies in which the characters

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180 themselves discuss their inner-most thoughts. Consequently, because she has abandoned a traditional (chronological) narrative technique that deals mainly with immediate social problems, numerous stories are marked by the author's experimentation with time, interior monologues, stream of consciousness, and counterpoint. For example, in "Edad fetiche" Rumazo recreates the manner in which the human mind functions when she combines real conversations with imaginary ones, and above all, when she abandons conventional paragraphing and punctuation. Accordingly, during the narrator's dreams about meeting her fiance, one reads: ilntuTas que este es nuestro ultimo encuentro? iPor que va a ser el ultimo? . . . No me veras nunca mas. Faltan dos metros para que llegue el vehfculo. Le hago senas de prisa. iPor que, por que?, pregunta. . . . Senorita, no oTa sus llamadas; no hay volumen en su voz. Si no volteo a mirar, no me doy cuenta, interviene el chofer, . . . Pablo pretende acompanarme. No lo dejo ... Me ofendes con tu rechazo. Pues a mf me ofende mas que no te decidas a amarme; tu eres el hombre que yo quiero. Siga r^pido, r^pido, le ordeno al conductor, (p. 135) Similarly "La marcha de los batricios" reveals Rumazo's interest in experimenting with new forms of presenting dialogue: Y la familia de Mahler esperandole con un gran almuerzo con polio y el, no soy antropofago, por eso no mato animales en mis obras. Y la esposa, riendose de la occurrencia, si hubieramos sabido su aversion; pero hay tantas otras cosas que hemos preparado para usted, y el enigmatico, con voz ronca, prefiero no comer nada, solamente mirarlos; ustedes son m'os , de mi misma sangre, aunque a Mahler no lo quieran ciertos intelectuales , asf de frente y de pronto para desconcertar los . Y el la, furiosa, pero disimulando, deseando al mismo t i empo saber que dicen de su marido. Y el, les contare eso, ... (p. 2k) In addition, both stories mentioned above show Rumazo understands reality in terms of multiplicity and simultaneidad , a basic concept found

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181 in much of contemporary fiction. Significantly, each work recreates a total experience (i.e., the narrator's youth in "Edad fetiche;" the novelist's last few days before committing suicide in "La marcha de los batracios") by presenting a fragmented series of seemingly unrelated events and ideas, independent of logical time/space patterns. As a result, Benjamin Carrion has commented: "Lupe Rumazo nos prueba que tiene capacidad y vocacion para romper las ataduras de la receta balzaciana del relator contar sucedidos. . . . Tiene rotas las ataduras-tan diffciles de rompei — de la vieja manera de contar, de la que se esta sacudiendo, con Tmpetu inesperado, la juventud literaria lat i noamer icana. Sabe el la de los nuevos tempos para medir espacio y tiempo. . . . Lupe Rumazo esta muy bien armada para . . . darnos [a los ecuator ianos] un novel ista de la gran I'nea lat i noamer i cana que se ^8 I n I ci a. Besides the themes and works already discussed, some women have written children's literature intended to entertain and educate young people. According to Manuel del Pino, editor of Antologia de literatiwa infantil ecuatoviana {ouento y teatro) , children's literature is "una narracion generalmente corta, sugestiva, interesante, bellamente escrita, llena de incidentes, que encierra siempre alguna ensenanza moral y es producto casi exclusivo de la imaginacion del autor. . . . [Ademas,] se narran sucesos ext raordi nar ios , prodigiosos, sobrenaturales , de arboles que cantan y bailan, de pajaros que hablan y razonan, de botas que caminan solas, etc." Consistent with this definition are stories written by Mary Coryle, Teresa Crespo de Salvador, Julia Ramon

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182 de Espinosa, Emma Hipatia Gordillo Rodriquez, Graciela del Pino A., and Angelica Martfnez de Vinueza,

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183 Notes Chapter VI Cornelia Martfnez, "Paulina (impresiones y recuerdos) ," Los mejores ouentos ecuatorianos , ed. ines Barrera and Eulalia Barrera (Quito: Empresa Editora "El Comercio," 19^8), pp. 152-163; Rosario Mera, "El eterno Don Juan," Los mejores cuentos eauatorianos , pp. 260-263. 2 ^ Galeria del espiritu: Mujeres de mi patria, pp. 93-9'*. According to Carvajal , Ayala Gonzalez published her first story in 189^, five years after "Paulina (impresiones y recuerdos)". It is assumed Carvajal was referring to Ayala Gonzalez as the first woman who actually dedicated herself to writing short stories. ^Ibid. , p. 95. I, 8-9 (July-August, I9I8), 171. Once she began to publish in Ecuador, Ayala Gonzalez wrote mainly for Guayaquil's La IlustraciSn, publishing the already-mentioned stories: "La procesion de las animas," I, 2 (May 27, 1917), 53, 56; "La maldicion," I, 1 (May 6, 1917), 22. "Cultura femenina: Floracion intelectual de la mujer ecuatoriana en el siglo XX," p. 327. Cristobal Garces Larrea, review of Urbe by Zoila Marfa Castro, in Letras del Ecuador, V, 53"5'* (January-February, 1950), 15. The Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana has nucleos in each region; the nucleos have their own literary magazines and serve the interests of their respective regions. Letras del Ecuador (Quito) and Cuadernos del Guayas (Guayaquil) are the principal publications because they are from Ecuador's two major cities. Unfortunately, due to economic and organizational problems, much of the Casa's effectiveness has faltered in recent years. 8 ~ Review of A noventa millas, solamente by Eugenia Viteri, Manana (n.v., n.d.), p. 13. The review must have been written in I969 or 1970 since Viteri published the cited novel in 1969. 9 Cuenca: Editorial "Amazonas," 1952. Coryle is a pen name; the author's real name is Ramona Marfa Cordero Leon. Cheri Register, "American Feminist Literary Criticism: A Bibliographical Introduction," p. 1^. Register footnoted this statement, acknowledging Elaine Showalter, "Women in the Literary Curriculum," College English 32 (May 1971): 856; idem, "Women writers and the Double Standard," Woman in Sexist Society: Studies in Power and Powerlessness, ed. Gornick and Moran (New York: Basic Books, 1971), P3^3; Barbara

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184 Alson Wasserman, The Bold New Women, rev. ed. (Greenwich, Connecticut: Fawcett Publications, 1970, p. 10; and Joyce Nower, in a letter to Register, March 7, 1972. "Los que no llegaron," La Semana, I I , 29 (January 2, I96O), 3, 1^, 15. 1 2 Voce cuentos (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1962), pp. 35-38. ^"^rbid. , pp. 19-24. 14 . . Tviquitvaque (to be published by Ediciones Paulina, Bogota). A copy of the original manuscript has been used for this dissertation. Other stories concerned with women's problems are the following: by Mary Coryle, in Gleba: "Madre," pp. 50-53;, "En la policTa," pp. 82-87; "Las hembras ciudadanas," pp. 88-92; "La doncella era una santa," pp. 93-97; "Dona Figuracion," pp. 133-137. Zoila Marfa Castro, "La malograda," Uvbe (Guayaquil: Publ i caciones del Grupo Madrugada, 19^9), pp. 18-20; by Eugenia Viteri: "Departamento de arriendo," Dace cuentos, pp. 41-46; "La misa del Nino," Dooe cuentos, pp. 75-81; "Materni dad ," El anillo y otros cuentos (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1955), pp. IJi-lh; "Florencia," Los zapatos y los suenos (to be published by Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, Nucleo del Guayas , 1976), pp. 1-6; "En una noche de ebano," Los zapatos y los suenos, pp. 1-6 (pagination for stories in original manuscript of Los zapatos y los suenos is not consecutive). By Violeta Luna: "La empleada," Los pasos amarillos (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, I969) , pp. 13-16; "La celda," pp. 19-29; "Un ser anonimo," pp. 33-36; "Locura," pp. 111-113. Lupe Rumazo, "Barrer desperdi ci os ," Silabas de la tievra, 2nd ed. (Madrid: Ediciones EDIME, 1968), pp. 15-26. Mireya Ramfrez, "Treponema," in Antologta de cuentos esmevaldenos , ed. Nelson Estupinan Bass (Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, I96O), pp. 45-47Review of Viteri 's El anillo y otros cuentos, Letras del Ecuador, XI, 103 (July-September 1955), 34. According to the review, the quoted material paraphrases a statement made by Benjamfn Carrion. Taped interview with Viteri; March 13, 1975. 1 8 Critobal Garces Larrea, review of Urbe . See note 6. See note 15. 20 Already cited in note 1521 Besides the difficulty in locating a copy of Urbe, many Ecuadorians have had no contact with Castro because she lives in New Yorl< City.

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185 22 Already cited in note 15Her two other collections are: Doce cuentoSj and Los zapatos y los suenos. 23 Taped interview with the author; March 13, 197525 "iLiteratura evasionista o literatura compromet i da? ," Letvas del Ecuador, Xii, 107 (January-May 1957), 10. 26 interview with author; March 13, 1975^'^Ibid. 28 More examples of this kind of compassion and human solidarity can be found in Viteri's Los Zapatos y los suenos, a collection of related stories about a group of ghetto residents who live and struggle together. See also, in El anillo y otros cuentos: "Minina" (pp. 51-55), "Un gran torero" (pp. 69-72); in Dooe cuentos: "La vida y los recuerdos" (pp. 27-32), "Por Navidad" (pp. 69-72). 29 This does not include the references to homosexuality/lesbianism found in Viteri's novel, A noventa millas^ solamente (pp. 56, 17^0Taped interview with author; March 13, 197531 Letras del Ecuador, 1^3 (August I969), 26. Volume number not 1 isted. 32 Taped interview with author; March 13, 1975it has already been suggested that "Florencia" be considered within the context of women's problems. 33 As explained in note 15, the pagination in the original manuscript of Los zapatos y los suenos is not consecutive. 3/, This information is based on a letter received from Viteri, dated 17 November 1975Also, in a letter dated 16 February 1976, Viteri wrote that her story "Los zapatos y los suenos," from the same collection, recently received the "Primer Premio: Joaqufn Gal legos Lara" in Guayaqu i 1 . '^'^La semana, II , 46 (May 21, I96O). 3, 16. 36 Already cited in note 15, 37 ' Ambato: Imprenta de Educacion, 195^. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1962. ^^See also: "La flor del olvido" (pp. 12-21), "Historia de la piedrecita blanca" (pp. 22-26), and "Hellotropo" (pp. 37-^3).

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186 I, -71 Rona broto!!!," Gleba, p. 22. Marfa Angelica Idrobo, "Taita Imbabura: Leyenda indfgena," Alas, I, 1 (December IBS'*), 36. "Runa Cristo," Mundo pequeno (Cuenca: Editorial Amazonas , IS'tS) , pp. 75-76. ""La chinita," Mundo pequeno, p. 102. Other stories of interest are: by Mary Coryle, in Mundo pequeno, "Manito" (pp. 6l-7^) ; "Eran esclavos" (pp. 87-96); in Gleba, "Por las costas" (pp. 25-30); "El Vicente Me j fa" (pp. 31-3'^); "El amo teniente" (pp. 35-'43) ; "Descastado" (pp. 1^5-152). Violeta Luna, "El retorno," Los pasos amavilloSj pp. 73" 76. Similarly numerous women have written pieces about historical events and legends that do not deal wtih the Indian. Perez de Oleas Zambrano's collection, already cited, includes a variety of themes. See also: Zoila Rendon de Mosquera, "La procesion de Viernes Santo," in Tradiaiones y leyendas del Ecuador, ed. Ines Barrera and Eulalia Barrera (Quito: Empresa Editora "El Comercio," 19'*7), pp. 301-305; Eulalia Barrera, "La capilla del consuelo, in Tradiaiones y leyendas del Ecuador, pp. 310-312. ^6 Already cited in note 15; this collection of stories was originally published in 196'*. hi Rol beligerante , pp. 15-39. ^8 "Un comentario de Benjamfn Carrion," Yunques y crisoles americanos , p. 235According to Rumazo, this article was originally entitled, "Lupe Rumazo, ensayista y cuentista," published in El papel literario of El Nacional (Caracas), October 9, 1966. Quito: El Colegio Normal Experimental "Juan Montalvo," 1973Cited from prologue of Antologia de literatura infantil eouatoriana {cuento y teatro) , p. 5See: Mary Coryllj Mundo pequeno, pp. 109-177 (these pages correspond to the collection's third section, entitled "Vidas mfnimas"); Teresa Crespo de Salvador, Pepe Golondriyia y otros cuentos, Cuadernos de narradores cuencanos contemporaneos (Cuenca: Ediciones del Departamento de Extension Cultural del I. Municipio de Cuenca, I969); for the other women, see selections in Antologia de literatura infantil ecuatoriana {cuento y teatro). It should be added that these stories lack any apparent traces of feminism.

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CONCLUSION An important aspect of the recent literature on women has been its attempt to correct false female stereotypes that have limited the general public's understanding of women's place in society. Susan Soeiro explains that much of the current research on the Latin American feme 1 e forms a minute part of a necessary revision aimed at achieving a balanced and multidimensional view of the I bero-Ameri can reality, past and present. Men, as the traditional transmitters of culture in society, have conveyed what they knew, understood, and judged to be important. Since women's activities differed considerably from those of men, they were regarded as insignificant and unworthy of mention. Scholars have further perpetuated the patriarchal and sexist assumptions of their own societies or those they have studied. As a result, more than four and a half centuries of history and all of the important ongoing processes of modernization, urbanization, professional ization, and even propagation seem to have occurred without the participation or even the presence of women.' In the light of these distortions, and consistent with other studies, this dissertation has reevaluated certain traditional beliefs about women, focusing on the role Ecuadorian women have played in national letters. The present study has concentrated on two principal objectives: (1) to refute traditional claims that women have not written prose literature in Ecuador; and (2) to demonstrate that the major themes found in their works offer a penetrating view of women's place in Ecuadorian society. With respect to the first point, after considering the authors and works already analyzed, it becomes apparent that critics 187

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188 have neglected many women writers who have turned to literature as a means of expressing themselves. Their numbers might be larger were it not for the fact that they have bee.n "victimized," so to speak, by a body of literary criticism that overlooks and/or denies both their ability to write and their presence in national letters. The few writers who have overcome this prejudice and have ultimately been recognized in anthologies and literary histories (i.e., Dolores Veintemilla de Galindo, Marietta de Veintemilla, and Blanca MartTnez de Tinajero) have nevertheless been treated as secondary figures whose works are assumed to be of scant importance or undeserving of serious critical attention. Consequently, in our study we have shouldered the burden of reexamining women's place in national letters, with the express purpose of demonstrating that a meritorious literary tradition exists among Ecuadorian women writers. It must be borne in mind that since "cultivation precedes 2 fruition," it is imperative women be made aware of past literary models from which they can learn and develop their artistic talents. In connection with the need for continued experimentation, Alejo Carpentier's theory of narrative development is especially pertinent: "Para hablarse de la novela es menester que haya una novel Tstica. . . . Con solo haberse escrito el Werther y El hombre que vie no podrfa hablarse hoy de novela vomanttoa . . . . [Para] que un paTs tenga novela, hay que asistir a la labor de varios novelistas, en distinto escalafon de edades, empenados en una labor paralela, semejante o antagonica, con un esfuerzo continuado y una constante exper imentaci on de la tecnica." Thus, although there are no great Ecuadorian female

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189 writers to date, it makes no sense to spurn the efforts of potential writers whose production needs to be evaluated and analyzed objectively. Regarding the prose and its treatment of female images in Ecuadorian society, it becomes obvious that women have not been totally satisfied with their secondary roles in national development and growth. Contrary to Benjamfn Carrion's belief that Ecuador is a "pueblo hi jo de mujer," women's literary works point out that the female has had to fight continually against male domi nat ion--pol i t i cal , cultural, and/or sexual. Thus, despite apparent acceptance of motherhood and the mavianista ideal, it has been shown that Ecuador's women have championed many feminist issues, revealing their rejection of the inequities and injustices that traditionally have oppressed them. Naturally, it should be remembered that the writers' comments about women in Ecuador which we have included only reflect the viewpoint of the urban middle-class female intellectual. In other words, up to the present, Ecuadorian women writers have provided readers with a limited interpretation of the female's overall situation in Ecuador; Indian women, the montuvias (rural women from the coast), and marginal women from the city are noticeably absent. Similarly lacking are studies on women journalists and poetesses; the image of women in male writers' works; a reevaluation of women's participation in history; sexual attitudes among women; and women in the labor force. In short, because much remains to be done in terms of investigating the attitudes and problems of the Ecuadorian female, it is hoped that this dissertation will underscore the voids in our knowledge and stimulate the continued redressing of traditional prejudices about Ecuadorian women through studies on their numerous and diverse contributions to society.

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190 Notes Conci us ion "Recent Work on Latin American Women: A Review Essay," p. 4972 Cynthia Ozick, "Women and Creativity: The Demise of the Dancing Dog," Women in Sexist Society: Studies in Power and Powevlessness, p. khl. 3 "Problemat i ca de la actual novela 1 at i noamer i cana ," T-ientos y diferencias (Montevideo: Area, 1967), pp. 9-10.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY OF WORKS CONSULTED Works by Ecuadorian Women Acevedo Vega, Carmen. "Critica literaria y antologica." Revista, 111,9 (March-July I966) , 9-21. "El contrabando." Cuademos del Guayas, X, 18 (October 7, 1965), 16, Ih. . "El periodista." La Semana, IV, 121 (April 20, 1962), 3. 10. "Ella querfa morir." La Semana^ I I , 57 (September 17, "T9S0), 3. I'*. . "En puerta abierta." La Semana, II , 63 (November 12, I960), 3, 1^-15. . "La Ifnea 7-" La Semana, I I , 46 (May 21, I96O) , 3, 16, . "Los que no llegaron." La Semana^ I I , 29 (January 2, 19^), 3, 14-15. "Secretaria de Comision." La Semana, IV, 101 (September 30, 1961), 3, 14. Albornoz, Ana Marfa. "Mayo." LaMujer,_ I, 2 (May 1905), 38-41. Andrade Coello, Marfa Esther de. El laurel desgajado. Quito: Editorial Olmedo, I969. Anon. "Agosto sagrado." Flora, I, 8-9 (July-August I9I8), 155-156. . "Editorial." Nuevos Horizontes , I, 3 (December 1933), 5. "La cultura femenina." Inioiaoion, I, 1 (April 1934), 3"Legion Femenina de Educacion Popular." Nuevos Horizontes ^ I , 1 (October 1933) , 26. • "Mi pesimismo: Caso general ." La Mujer Ecuatoriana, I, 5 (November 1918) , 113191

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192 Anon. "Notas edi tor i a les . " La Mujer, I, 1 (April 1905), 31-32. . "Nuestro ideal." La Ondina del Guayas , I, 1 (October 1907), "^ 1-2. . "Peticion." La Milt er, I, 5 (August 1905), 158-159, . "Presentacion." Fraternidad, I, 1 (August 19'*7), 2. . "6Se puede, Companeras?" Alas, I, 1 (December 193^), 1. Ayon de Messner, Digna E. Tvayectovia historica y cultural de la Universidad de Guayaquil: 1867-1967 . 2nd ed. Guayaquil: Departamento de Publ i caci ones de la Universidad de Guayaquil, 1967. Barrera B., Eulalia. "Flop de amor: FaotasTa grabe. " Los mejores Guentos ecuatorianos . Ed. Ines and Eulalia Barrera B. Quito: Empresa Editors "El Comercio," 19'48, pp. h]S-h]8. . "La Capilla del Consuelo." Tradiciones y leyendas del Ecuador. Ed. Ines and Eulalia Barrera B. Quito: Empresa Editora "El Comercio," 19^7, pp. 310-312. Benftez, Elofsa. Teatro infantil. Quito: Li tograf fa e imprenta Romero, 1938. Borja de Icaza, Rosa. Aspectos de mi sendero. Guayaquil: Editorial Jouvin, 1930. "[Carta a Isabel]" Nuevos Horizontes , I, 1 (October 1933), 6. . Hacia la vida. Guayaquil: Imprenta y Talleres Municipales, "La Legion conmemoro su clasica fecha." Nuevos Horizontes, I, 9 (July-August 193^), 10-11, 2k. Teatro. 2nd ed. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1962. Bravomalo, Mireya de. La pena fuimos nosotras . Guayaquil: Imprenta Muni cipal , 1953Burgos, Carmen de. "Mision suprema." Nuevos Horizontes, I, 1 (October 1933), 27. Bustamante de Perez, Marfa Luisa. Verdad, justicia y belleza. Quito: Editorial "Fray Jodoco Ricke," 19'»8.

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193 Cabrera Egas, Dolores. "Loor y gratitud: A las Senoras Redactoras de La Micjer." La Mujer, I, 2 (May I905), 51-53Cardenas de Bustamante, Hipatia. Encuesta: IQu^ dehe haoer el Ecuador para librarse de las diataduras? Quito: Litograffa e Imprenta Romero, 1939. Oro^ rojo y azul. Quito: Editorial Artes Graficas, 19't3. Carmenia. "Por obra de la mujer ha de afianzarse la paz del mundo." Nuevos Horizontes, I, 3 (December 1933), 19. Carajal, Morayma Ofyr. Galevia del esptritu: Mujeres de mi patria. Quito: Editorial "Fray Jodoco Ricke," 19'<9. Castillo de Levf, MarTa Piedad. "Las proximas elecciones y la actuacion de las mujeres." El Telegrafo, May 31, 1952, p. k. Castro, Zoila MarTa. "Historia sin adjetivo." El Diario La Prensa Literary Supplement, September 16, 197'^, p. 13. "La cita." La Semana, IV, 3k (August 5, 1961), 3. . "La mujer en Colombia." Fratemidad, I, 1 (August 19^*7), TS7"36. . "La pesca." Cuadernos del Guayas , VII, 13 (April 1956), 11, 17. "Presencia femenina en la literature ecuator i ana. " Cuadernos del Guavas , IV, 7 (December 1953), I'*, 19Urhe. Guayaquil: Publ i caciones del Grupo Madrugada, 19^. Veronica: Historia de amor. New York: UN I DA Printing Corporation, 1975Coryle, Mary. Gleha. Cuenca: Editorial "Amazonas," 1952. . Mundo pequeno. Cuenca: Editorial "Amazonas," 19^8. . "Tres mujeres maximas en la literatura nacional." Anales de la Universidad de Cuenca, VIII, 2 (April-June 1952), 153-162. Crespo de Salvador, Teresa. Breves poemas en prosa. Quito: "Editorial Ecuator iana," 1973' . Pepe Golondrina y otros cuentos . Cuadernos de narradores cuencanos contemporaneos . Cuenca: Ediciones del Departamento de Extension Cultural del I. Municipio de Cuenca, 1969-

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]3k Elisa. "Carta a Laura." LaMujer, I, 1 (April 1905), 27-28. Espinel, Isabel de. "Anhelos." LaMujer, I, I (April 1905), I2-1'4. Espinoza de Orellana, Nelly. Haxribre rubia. Mexico: Libro MEX Editores, 1959Falquez de Veliz, Blanca. "La mujer moderna." Fratemidad, II, 3 (August 19^8), 35. Fernandez Salvador de Raza, Aliz. La estetica y la musiaa. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1973. Flor, Dolores. "Educacion." LaMujer, I, 3 (June 1905), 69-7I. Galarza, Rosaura Emelia and Galarza, Celina Marfa. "Proemio." Flora, I, 1 (September 1917), 1-2. Garcfa Ortiz, Marfa Gu i 1 1 ermi na . Lo eterno femeni-no . Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1969. Godoy, Luc i la. "Femi n i smo. " Nuevos Horizontes , I, 2 (November 1933), 18. Gonzalez de Moscoso, Mercedes. "Doble sacrificio." La Mujer, \, 3 (June 1905), 72-77; I, k (July 1905), IO5-IIO. . "Los zapatos de boda." LaMujer, \, 1 (April 1905), ^4-6. Ibarra de Duenas, Delia. "Femi ni smo." Nuevos Horizontes, I, 8 (May-June 193^) , 8, 24. Idrobo, Marfa Angelica. "Taita Imbabura: Leyenda indfgena." Alas I , 1 (December 1934), 36. "Informe nacional del Ecuador en el Segundo Congreso de Mujeres de Toda America." Obra Revoluoionaria , 2 (January I963), 95-100. Insua, Mireya de. Yoimar . Guayaquil: n. p., 1974. Iza, Ana Marfa. La casa de tia Berta. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1974. Izurieta, Bertha de. Juventud inmolada. Quito: Editorial "Minerva," 1954. Jaramillo R. , Alicia. "Iniciando." Iniaiaaion , I, 1 (April 1934), 6-7. Jesus Marfa Herrera, Sor Catalina de. Secretos entre el alma y Dios o Autohiografta de la Venerable Madtre Sor Catalina de Jesus Maria Herrera. Ed. Fray Alfonso A. Jerves. Quito: Editorial "Santo Domingo," 1950.

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195 Larrea Borja, Piedad. Ahenhazcm en la literatura ardbigoespanola. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, i960, . Ensayos. Quito: "Fray Jodoco Ricke," 19^6. Edbla femenina quitena'. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, I968. . Juglaresca en Espana. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, I965. Nombres eternos — Sendevos, Quito: Editorial Casa dc la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 195'*. Luna, Viol eta. La Ivvtaa ecuatoriana actual: Guia de analisis literario. Guayaquil: Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, Nucleo del Guayas, 1973Los pasos amarillos. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, I969. Marfa Teresa. "Luchemos por la libertad de ensenanza." Nuevos Horisontes, I, 3 (December 1933), 9Martfnez, Cornelia. "Paulina ( Impres iones y recuerdos)." Los mejores cuentos ecuatovianos . Ed. Ines and Eulalia Barrera B. Quito: Empresa Editora "El Comercio," 19^8, pp. 152-163. Martfnez M. , MarTa Esther. "El problema feminista en el Ecuador." Nuevos HorizonteSy I, 2 (November 1933), 7, 2^4. "Unas palabras a 'Nuestra palabra,'" Nuevos Hovizontes, I, 9 (July-August 193^), 21. Martfnez de Tinajero, Blanca. Contestaoion a una cvttica. Ambato: Editorial Atenas, I96O. . En la paz del campo. Quito: Imprenta del Ministerio de Educacion, 19^0. Libertad, mujer y democracia. Quito: Talleres Graficos de Educacion, 19^3Luz en la noche. Ambato: Imprenta de Educacion de Ambato, 1950. 19^. Prosas camperas. Quito: Talleres Graficos de Educacion, Purificacion. Quito: Talleres Graficos del Ministerio de Educacion, \3hl.

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196 Mej'a de Fernandez, Abigail. "Ideario feminista." Nuevos Horizontes^ I, 9 (July-August 193^), 13Mera, Rosario. "El eterno don Juan." Los mejoves cuentos ecuatorianos . Ed. Ines and Eulalia Barrera B. Quito: Empresa Editora "El Comercio," ig'jS, pp. 260-263. Mera de Navarro, Eugenia. "Enemigos desiguales." Los mejores cuentos ecuatorianos. Ed. ines and Eulalia Barrera B. Quito: Empresa Editora "El Comercio," 19^48, pp. 293-295Moncayo, German i a. La Universidad de Quito: Su trayectoria en tres siglos. Quito: Imprenta de la Universidad de Quito, 19^^. . Mariana de Jesus: Senora de Indias . Quito: La Prensa Catolica, 1950. Montalvo, Lucila. "Carta fntima." La Mujer, I, 3 (June 1905), 78-81. Moscoso Davila, Isabel. Abanioo de recuerdos. 2 vols. Cuenca: Editorial Monsalve, 1970, 197'*. . Elegia y glorificacion de la maestra. Cuenca: Casa de la Cultura, Nucleo del Azuay, 1961. . Yo soy mi libertad. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1956. Mosquera A., Antonia. "Sor Lorenza." La Mujer, I, 6 (October 1905), 169-172. Ortega, Matilde de. "El coche." El nuevo relato ecuatoriano: Critica y antologta. Ed. Benajmm Carrion. 2nd ed. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1958. "El encuentro." Letras del Ecuador, XIV, 115 (April-June 1959), 11, 25. . Lo que deja la tarde. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1955"Manuela Saenz y su epoca." Letras del Ecuador, XII, 106 (April-December 1956), 10, 31. Perez de Oleas Zambrano, Laura. Historias, leyendas y tradiciones ecuatorianas . 2 vols. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1962. Sangre en las manos. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1959-

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197 Perez Chiriboga, Eulalia. Ensayos literarios. Quito: Editorial Colon, 19^3. Ramirez, Mireya. "iFue la lezna?" Antologia de cuentos esmeraldenos . Ed. Nelson Estupinan Bass. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, I96O, pp. ^8-59"iSera la tunda?" Antotogta de cuentos esmeraldenos. Ed. Nelson Estupinan Bass. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, I96O, pp. k]-kk. . "Treponema." Antologia de cuentos esmeraldenos. Ed. Nelson Estupinan Bass. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, I960, pp. 45-^7Rendon de Mosquera, Zoila. La mujer en el hogar y en la sociedad. 3rd ed. Quito: Editorial Unl vers i tar i a , I96I. ' . "iSera la tunda?" Antologia de cuentos esmeraldenos. Ed. Nelson Estupinan Bass, Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, I96O, pp. h\-kk. . "Treponema." Antologia de cuentos esmeraldenos. Ed. Nelson Estupinan Bass. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, I960, pp. hS-hj . Rendon de Mosquera, Zoila. La mujer en el hogar ye en la sociedad. 3rd ed. Quito: Editorial Un i vers i tar ia , I96I. . "La mujer en los diversos organismos humanos." Prevision social, 11 (September-December 19^8; January 19^9), 150-162. . "La mujer quitena." Alas, I, 1 (December 193^), 33-34. "La procesion de Viernes Santo." Tradiciones y leyendas del Ecuador. Ed. ines and Eulalia Barrera B. Quito: Empresa Editora "El Comercio," 19^7, pp. 301-305"Tras un idilio, lagrimas." Los mejores cuentos ecuatoriana s . Ed. Ines and Eulalia Barrera B. Quito: Empresa Editora "El Comercio," 1948, pp. 403-407. Romero Pape, Jenny. For un mundo mejor. Guayaquil: Imprenta Segura, 1968. Rumazo, Lupe. En el lagar. Madrid: Ediciones EDIME, I96I. "Etnolog'a estructural en America." Letras del Ecuador, T5r'(February 1973), 7, 23. . "Falacia de la literatura: Estructural." Letras del Ecuador, XXIV, 141 (January I969), 4-5.

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198 Rumazo, Lupe. "La marcha de los batracios." Antologia del relato ecuatoviano . Quito: Editorial Casa de la Culture Ecuatoriana, 1973, pp. 241-264. . Rot beligerante. Madr.id: Ed i clones ED I ME, 1974. . Silabas de la tievva. 2nd ed. Madrid: Ediciones EDIME, 968. "Teorfa del i nt rarreal i smo. " Cuademos Hispanoamericanos , Tp~(June 1969), 739-748, 'Un real poeta venezolano." Letras del Ecuador, 146 TJun'e 1970) , 6, 22, Yunques y orisoles omericanos. Madrid: Ediciones EDIME, Segundo Congreso de Mujeres de Toda America. "Informe nacional del Ecuador." Obra Revoluoionaria , 2 (January 1963), 95-100. Suarez de Artieda, Matilde. Gabrieta Mistral: Ensayo. Quito: Ediciones Surcos, 1962. Tinajero Martfnez de Allen, Eugenia. Leyendas indigenas . Ambato: Imprenta de Educacion, 1954. Ugarte de Landfvar, Zoila. "Aspi raci ones . " La Mujer, I, 4 (July 1905), 97-102. . "Nuestro ideal." La Mujer, I, 1 (April 1905), 1-4. . \Salve Quito\ Quito: Imprenta Municipal, 1934. "Voces Tntimas: Marfa Ester Cevallos de Andrade Coello." Alas, I, 1 (December 1934), 37, 44. Ugarte de Landfvar, Zoila et al . "iSe puede, Companeras?" Alas, I , 1 (December 1934) , 1. Vaca , Marfa Natalia. "Cuento de Navidad." La Mujer, \, 5 (August 1905), 144-154. iPobre Marfa!" Lamjer, I, I (April 1905), '9-23; I, 2 TMiy 1905), 45-50; I, 3 (June 1905), 83-87. . "Viaje en di 1 igencia." La Mujer, I, 4 (July 1905), 11 1-1 18. Vasconez, Marfa. "Recuerdos de Mayo." La Mujer, I, 2 (May 1905), 42-44,

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199 Vasconez Cuvi , Victoria. Aatividades domesticas y sociales de la mujer. Quito: Talleres Tipograficos Naclonales, 1925, . Ensayos literarios . Quito: n.p., 1922. . Honor at feminismo. Quito: imprenta Nacional , 1922. Problemas educativos. Quito: Tipograffa Editorial Chimborazo, 1936. Vida de Mariana de Jesus. Quito: Imprenta "Bona Spes," 19^. Veintemilla, Josefina. "La mujer." La Mujer, I, 1 (April 1905), IS. "Rita la loca." La Mujer, I, i» (July 1905), 122-126. Veintemilla, Marietta de. Conferenaia sobre psicologia moderna. Quito: Imprenta de la Universidad Central, 1907Digresiones litres: A la memoria del Doctor Agustin Leonidas Yerovi. Quito: Imprenta Municipal, 1904. Paginas del Ecuador. Lima: Imprenta Liberal de F. Mas 'as y CompanTa, I89O. Veintemilla de Galindo, Dolores. Producciones literarias. Ed. Celiano Monge. Quito: Editorial de Proano y Delgado, I908. Velasco de Batallas, Enriqueta. La profesora. Latacunga, Ecuador: Editorial Cotopaxi , 1965Velasco Galdos, Adelaida C, "iFemini smo?" El Hogar Cristiano, VIM, 81 (July 191^), 58. Verdesoto de Romo Davila, Raquel. Manuela Saenz. 2 vols. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, I963. Violeta. "iAmar mas de una vez?" Tradiciones y leyendas del Ecuador. Ed. Ines and Eulalia Barrera B. Quito: Empresa Editora "El Comercio," 19^7, pp. 246-250. Viteri, Eugenia. A noventa millas, solamente. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, I969. 'A 30 anos de su muerte: Gardel es el tango." El mundo del Domingo, June 27, 1965, P3. "Congreso cultural de la Habana." Cuademos del Guayas, XIII, 26-27 (December 1968), 10.

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200 Viteri, Eugenia. "Correr en un Cadillac." Cuadeimos del Guams, 32-33 (May I970), 9. _. Voce cuentos. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultural Ecuatoriana, I962. . El anillo y otvos ouentos . Quito: Editorial Casa dt la Cultura Ecuatoriana, I955 "EI mar trajo la flor." Teatro ecuatoriana: Cuatro pvezas en un aato. Quito: Editorial del Ministerio de Educacion 1962, pp. 127-I'43. "iLiteratura evasionista o literatura compromet i da?" Letras del Ecuador, XII, 107 (January-May 1957), 10, 16, 20. _^^. "Los que se van: Un libro crucial." Letras del Ecuador. 152 (August 1972), 5, 23. Los zapatos y los suenos. To be published by Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, Nucleo del Guayas, I976. "Nuevas Lilianas." Letras del Ecuador^ \k3 (August, I969), 2^ ,-• "Ruminaiiui , primer guerrillero de America." El Mundo del Dormngo, July 18, I965, p. h. Vida nueva." Letras del Ecuador. XI, 105 (January-March 1956), 12, 26. Yanez CossTo, Alicia. Bruna, soroche y los tios. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1973. -^ Triquitraque . To be published by Ed i clones Paulina, Bogota.

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WORKS ABOUT ECUADORIAN WOMEN""' Aleman, Hugo. "Aurora Estrada y Ayala de Ramfrez Perez." Cuadevnos del Guayas, XII, 23 (July 1967), 8, 27-28. Alvarado, V. R. "Primer centenario de la muerte de Manuela S^enz: (23 de noviembre: I856-I956)." Cuademos del Guayas, VII \k (December 1956), 8. Andrade Coello, Alejandro. "Cultura femenina: Floracion intelectual de la mujer ecuatoriana en el siglo XX." El Libevtador, V, 71-73 (July-September 19^2), 316-337. Anon. Review of El anillo y otros cuentos , Eugenia Viteri. Letras del Ecuador, XI, 103 (July-September 1955), 3^. Arias, August. "La mujer en las letras ecuator ianas ." Humboldt, \l , 20 (1964), 50-52. . "Las mujeres de la independencia . " El Libertadov, n. v. (April-June 19^+5), h\-kl. Ayala Cabanilla, Jose. "Mireya Romero Plaza de Bravomalo, poetisa y novel ista." Prologue. La pena fuimos nosotras , Mireya de Bravomalo. Guayaquil: Imprenta Municipal, 1953, PP1-2. Cannon, Mary M. "Women's Organization in Ecuador, Panama, and Peru." Bulletin Pan American Union, 11 (19^3), 6OI-607. Carvallo Castillo, Ignacio. Review of Presencia de la muger ecuatoriana en la poesia, Rodrigo Pesantez Rodas. La Semana, III, 71 (January 28, 1961), 5. Carrion, Benjamfn. "Prologo: Ana Marfa Iza: del canto al cuento." La casa de tia Berta, Ana Marfa Iza. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 197^, PP9-12. Carrion Aguirre, Alejandro. "Llegada de una escritora." Prologue. El anillo y otros cuentos, Eugenia Viteri. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1955, pp. 9-12. . ^'Secretes entre el alma y Dios , el libro de la Madre Catalina de Jesus." Cuademos del Guayas, IV, 7 (December 1953), 20, 19., '"'For related works by Ecuadorian women see previous section entitled "Works by Ecuadorian Women." 201

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202 Engel, Paul. Review of A noventa millas^ solamente , Eugenia Viteri. Letras del Ecuador, \hk (November I969), Ik. Review of Bruna, soroche y los tios, Alicia Yanez Cossfo. Letras del Ecuador, 155 (April 1973), 23, Garces, Enrique. Marietta de Veintemilla. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 19^9Garces Larrea, Cristobal. Review of Urbe , Zoila Marfa Castro. Letras del Ecuador, \l , 53-5^* (January-February 1950), 15. Granda, Euler. Review of A noventa millas, solamente, Eugenia Viteri. Cuademos del Guayas, XIV, 3O-3I (November 27, I969), 33. Jerves, Fray Alfonso A. Ed. Florilegio doctrinal de la Venerable Madre Catalina Luisa de Jesus Maria Herrera religiosa del Monasterio de Santa Catalina de Sena de Quito. Quito: Imprenta de Santo Domingo, 1932. . La Venerable Madre Herrera Religiosa de Santa Catalina de Quito: Rasgos biograficos de ella. Quito: Editorial "Santo Domingo," 19^5Maldonado Rennella, Jorge. J El Codigo Civil del Ecuador y las reformas de 1970: Un retroceso en la historia Juridica del pais. II La situacion de la mujer casada en la legislacion civil. Guayaquil: Departamento de Publ i caciones de la Universidad de Guayaquil, 197^. Noboa Ar'zaga, Enrique. Review of A noventa millas, solamente, Eugenia Viteri. Manana (n. d.), p. I3. Pol it, Manuel MarTa. La familia de Santa Teresa en America y la primera oarmelita americana. Friburgo de 'Brisgovia, Alemania: B. Herder, 1905. 'La primera escritora ecuatoriana." La Union Literaria, VI, 2 (July I9I6), '»9-59. Poveda lobar, C. Samuel. "Herofnas ecuator i anas ." El Libertador, XV, 117 (December 1958), ^47-^8. Rendon, Victor Manuel. "Women Writers of Ecuador." Books Abroad, iX, k (1935), 380-382. Rumazo Gonzalez, Alfonso. "El gran amor de Sucre: La Marquesa de Solanda." La Semana, III, 85 (May 27, 1961), 2, ^4 , 15. . Manuela Saenz: La Libertadora del Libertador. Bibliotec^ de Autores Ecuator ianos , No. 32. Guayaquil: Clasicos Ariel, n.d.

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203 Sassone, Helena. "El primer libro de cuentos de Lupe Rumazo." Letras del Ecuador, XX, I3I (May-August I965), 17-

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GENERAL WORKS ABOUT WOMEN AND FEMINISM Cohen, Lucy. Las aolombianas ante la renovacion universitaria. Bogota: Ediciones Tercer Mundo, 1971. Chavez Franco, Modesto. "La mujer como factor economico. Su gran mision actual." Nuevos Horisontes , I, 2 (November 1933), 9Dall, Gloria. "Ideas renovadoras. " Nuevos Horizontes , I, k (January 193^), 9. Davila Mena, Fulvia. "La mujer y el trabajo." Prevision social^ 22 (September-December 19^8; January 19^9), 123-1^9. Donovan, Josephine. Ed. Feminist Literarij Criticism: Explorations in Theory. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1975. Espfn, Oliva M. "La Irberacion de la mujer cubana." Nuevos Rumbos, 11,3 (May 197^), 2-11. Gornick, Vivian and Moran, Barbara K. Ed. Woman in Sexist Society: Studies in Power and Powerlessness . New York: New American Library, 1971. Henault, Mirta et al. Las mujeres dicen basta. Buenos Aires: Ediciones Nueva Mujer, n.d. Inter-American Commission of Women. Historical Review on the Recognition of the Political Rights of American Women. Washington, D.C.: Pan American Union, 1965. Jones, Margaret E. W. "Spanish Women Novelists and the Problem of Contemporary Reality." A paper read at the South Atlantic Modern Language Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, November 8, 1975. Lopez Gorge, Jacinto. "iExiste una literatura especf f icamente femenina?" La Estafeta Literaria, 501 (October 1, 1972), 14-17. Martfn-Gamero, Amalia. Ed. Antologia del feminismo. Madrid: Al ianza Editorial, 1975. Mattelart, Armand and Mattelart, Michele. La mujer chilena en una nueva sociedad: Un estudio exploratorio acerca de la situacion e imagen de la mujer en Chile. Santiago de Chile: Editorial del Pacffico, S. A. , 1968. 20^4

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205 Millet, Kate. Sexual Politics. New York: Avon, I969. Mitchell, Juliet. Woman's Estate. New York: Vintage Books, 1971. Navarrete, Iflgenia de. La mujer y las derechos sociales. Mexico: Ediciones Oasis, I969. Pescatello, Ann. Ed. Female and Male in Latin America: Essays. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1973. . Ed. "The Changing Role of Women in Latin America." Journal of Intevamevican Studies and World AffariSj XVI I , ^ (November 1975), 372-516. Randall, Margaret. "La mujer cubana ahora." El Caiman Barbudo^ 1 I (June 1972), 5-10. Roszak, Betty and Roszak, Theodore. Ed. Masculine /Feminine: Readings in Sexual Mythology and the Liberation of Women. New York: Harper and Row Publishers Inc., I969. Schneir, Miriam. Ed. Feminism: The Essential Historical Writings. New York: Vintage Books. 1972. Stabile, Blanca. La mujer en el desarrollo nacional. Buenos Aires: Ediciones Arayu, I96I. Toro Godoy, Julia. Presencia y destine de la mujer en nuestro pueblo. Santiago de Chile: Ediciones Maipo, I967. Villacreces, G., Julio Cesar. "El derecho de sufragio y la mujer." Filosofia^ Letras y Ciencias de la Educacion, IX, 2k (JulyDecember 1956), 86-112. Ware, Cellestine. Woman Power: The Movement for Women's Liberation. New York: Tower Publications, Inc., 1970.

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OTHER WORKS CONSULTED Arias, Augusto. Panorama de la literatura ecuatoriana. 5th ed. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1971. Barrera, Isaac J. Historia de la literatura ecuatoriana. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, I96O. Barriga Lopez, Franklin and Barriga Lopez, Leonardo. Diccionario de la literatura ecuatoriana. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura, 1973. Barthes, Roland et al. Literatura y sociedad: Problemas de metodologia en soaiologta de la literatura. Trans. R. de la Iglesia. 2nd ed. Barcelona: Ediciones MartTnez Roca , S. A., 1971 Carpentier, Alejo. Tientos y diferenoias. Montevideo: Editorial Area, 1967. Carri5n, Benjamm. El cuento de la patria: Breve historia del Ecuador. 2nd Ed. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1973El nuevo relate ecuatoriano: Critica y antologia. 2nd ed. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1958. Destruge, Camilo. Historia de la prensa de Guayaquil. 2 vols. Quito: Tipograf'a y Encuadernacion Salesianas, 192^, 1925. Dfaz Icaza, Rafael. Ed. Cuento ecuatoriano contemporaneo . 2 vols. Biblioteca de Autores Ecuator i anos , Nos. k5 , ^6. Guayaquil: CI as icos Ariel , n. d. Dominguez Mancebo, Serafin. "Ecuador, su i ndependenc i a y su cultura." Cuademos del Guayas, IX, 17 (September 1958), 6. Estupinan Bass, Nelson. Ed. Antologia de cuentos esmeraldenos. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, I96O. Hidrovo Penaherrera, Horacio. Historia de la literatura manabita, I. Portoviejo: Editorial Gregorio, 197^. Jaramillo, Miguel Angel. Indice hibliogrdfico de la Biblioteca "Jaramillo" de escritos nacionales , I. Cuenca: Imprenta de la Universidad, 1932. Menton, Seymour. El cuento hispanoamericano: Antologia oriticohistorica. 2nd ed. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Economica, I966. 206

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207 Pareja Diezcanseco, Alfredo. Historia de la Republiaa: El Ecuador desde 1830 a nuestros dtas. 1 vols. Guayaquil: Comograf, S.A., n.d. Perez, Galo Rene. Pensamiento y litevatura del Ecuador: Critica y antolog-Ca. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1972. Pino, Manuel del. Ed. Antologta de la literatura infantil ecuatoriana [cuento y teatro) . Quito: El Colegio Normal Experimental "Juan Montalvo," 1973Ribadeneira M. , Edmundo. La moderna novela ecuatoriana. Quito: Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1958. Rojas, Angel F. La novela ecuato