El mesticismo en la novelística de Jorge Icaza
Ortiz, Claudia O. T.
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Although Jorge Icaza is well known and recognized by his indigenismo, it would not be fair to classify all his work in the same way. Therefore, opening new patterns which look at mesticismo allows readers to see Icaza under a broader and more diverse creative light. My interest is to re-classify Icaza’s novels and define the spectrum of his whole body of work to include not only indigenismo, but show the process of mestization. This process is based on the mestizo and the problem caused by mestizaje. My study describes the process of mestization in order to support the concept of mesticismo in Icaza’s novels. My dissertation establishes how the mestizo develops in Icaza’s work. I adopted the concept mesticismo from the neologism introduced by Angel Rama in his critical study Transculturación narrativa en América Latina (1982). According to Rama, indigenismo was a construct shaped by the worldview of authors from the new rising middle class, such as Icaza. This is what Rama has called mesticismo. However, I propose a new variation of mesticismo as a concept that encompasses novels that show the process of mestization. Mestization applies to the postcolonial period and is understood in this study as the process of acculturation resulting from conquest and colonization, the strain between whites, Indians, blacks and mestizos, as well as the formation of the political process that ensured the hegemony of theoligarchic power groups. Such circumstances were leading Ecuador to create a national identity that leans on the National State. Four of Icaza’s novels can be classified as mesticistas. The novels which show the process of mestization are En las calles (1935), Cholos (1937), Media vida deslumbrados (1942), and El chulla Romero y Flores (1958). I agree that Huasipungo (1934) is an indigenist novel; however, Huairapamushcas (1948) shows the shift in emphasis toward Icaza’s treatment of the mestizo. Thus, analyzing Icaza’s work in this way gives the author the merit of being considered indigenista as well as mesticista.