, Volume 94, Issue 3, pp 451–458 | Cite as

Pasajes para perderse: la problemática de la escritura de Teresa de Ávila en el Libro de su vida



By taking a new approach to a work that has resisted classification, which bowdlerizes its inconsistencies and “errors” in the pursuit of clarity, this study proposes to analyze how the peculiarity of Teresa de Ávila’s style in Libro de su vida can be explained by historical and personal conditions that make her work appear ambiguous, paradoxical, and contradictory in order to express her marginality. Teresa’s constant effort to adapt her writing to the masculine postulates of her confessors and their discourse, while, at the same time, giving expression to her desire, results in a language that, in an effort to justify itself, constantly self-examines and mends itself, thus producing an auto-reflexivity that stimulates the emergence in the discourse of a polyphonic, fluid, bisexual, and non-logocentric voice. She mediates this tension between voices through the intersection of genres and the introduction into her writing of tropes, such as oxymoron and anacoluthon, that deconstruct the deficiencies and “errors” of patriarchal language. Placed in the margins between voices and genres, Teresa’s discourse insinuates the “otherness” obscured by language’s logocentrism, thus producing the space within discourse for her voice.


Teresa de Ávila Mysticism Logocentrism Marginality Gender Poliphony 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Foreign Languages and LiteraturesLe Moyne CollegeSyracuseUSA

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