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Open Cultural Studies

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Cervantes, Lizardi, and the Literary Construction of The Mexican Rogue in Don Catrín de la fachenda

Patricia Vilches
Published Online: 2017-12-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2017-0040


This study explores the socio-economic legacies and critique of nation-building found in the work of Jose Joaquin Fernandez de Lizardi (1776-1827). In the nineteenth century, the Latin American elite struggled to disassociate itself from a suffocating colonial machine; they sought their own identity, and writing became a way to express their frustration. As in other parts of Latin America, Mexican intellectuals protested fossilisation via Cervantes’s Don Quijote. Using the Spanish author’s text as a blueprint, Lizardi’s Don Catrín de la fachenda depicted a turbulent society that was in the process of abandoning a decaying colonial order. Don Quijote’s characters engaged in power struggles and were involved in a variety of forms of social antagonism. Lizardi juxtaposed and superimposed these on an American geographical and socio-economic space where there was much dissension around the nation’s direction. The social and economic rules of Mexico (and Latin America) today can be said to be already present in the social exchanges in Don Catrín. It was in this context that Don Quijote was “Mexicanised” by Lizardi and thereby made to participate in local reflections on liberty, patriotism, capitalism, and citizenship. Cervantes’s text thus took on a socio-political meaning in the narrative of Latin America’s past and present.

Keywords: Don Quijote; Mexico; nation; materialism; social class


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About the article

Received: 2017-08-10

Accepted: 2017-12-05

Published Online: 2017-12-29

Published in Print: 2017-12-20

Citation Information: Open Cultural Studies, Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 428–441, ISSN (Online) 2451-3474, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2017-0040.

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© 2018. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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