Man’s Struggles and Woman’s Intrigues.Carlos Fuentes begins Aura with the epigraph from Jules Michelet :“Man hunts and struggles. / Woman intrigues and dreams; [ . . .]. Fuentes explains in the his essay “How I wrote One of My Books,” that man struggles because he—through his own patriarchal schemes, devices, and delusions---has fragmented his natural self, separated reason from intuition, myth from history, carnal desire from love.In The Stillness of Love and Exile the existential journeys of Javier San Andres and Miguel Treviño are my answer to ellipse Fuentes poses at the end of Aura: Does man reintegrate himself in the person of his beloved, the quintessential primal woman who is a natural being, sequestered in dreams and the solitude of silence? Both Javier and Miguel are men divided, much like Felipe Montero in Aura, and both are exiles of memory. They undertake a journey without knowing why, drawn mysteriously to the same place as though by some unseen but very real force of nature, a phenomenon of their own unsolved desires. They instantly recognize something in Lilia beyond her sexual magnetism, as though she were the essential piece to the enigma of their secret selves, as though she awakens them from a spiritual slumber. Javier and Miguel, like Bengino and Marco in Pedro Almodovar’s film Habla Con Ella, can only discover their own inner voice, the secret sharer from within, through the silences of a woman. Benigno and Marco—unlikely doubles—learn to communicate with themselves and each other only after they have talked to the comatose Alicia and Lydia who reside deep in the non-temporal world of symbols and perpetual dreams. In the end of the film, after Benigno and Marco become essentially the same man, and Alicia, whom Bengino has awakened through erotic love, recognizes Marco as her beloved.Likewise, Javier and Miguel repeat the literary twin motif, with a twist, of course.
But Lilia, too, like Consuelo in Aura and Alicia in Habala Con Ella, needs the love of a man to free her from the imprisonment. Whereas Consuelo is trapped by the repetitive cycles and Alicia by her coma, Lilia is shackled by the shame incurred as a rape victim. Lilia recovers a modicum of her dignity in the same manner that oppressed people have endured humiliation throughout history: With silence. Silence is the mask that protects yet simultaneously exiles her. Moreover, she has repressed her sexuality because in this manner she retains her spiritual and psychological freedom because a woman cannot, through menace, be compelled to love. Her escape is abandonment in love, the act that Fuentes once called an outlaw act of self-affirmation. Lilia, like Alicia, believes that only Miguel is her beloved when it was another---Javier---whose erotic love has liberated her. The three men in Lilia’s life symbolize the masculine integers of the equation of man’s struggles and women’s intrigues. Her first husband is a man who takes Lilia---the symbol of all women--by force without regard for the woman’s desires yet suffers from her lack of reciprocity; Javier desires her willful surrender but believes, still, that she is his conquest and his sole possession; Miguel represent man who finally relinquishes his masculine illusions and embraces the desire in the Michelet epigraph: “The gods are like men: / they are born and they die/ on a woman’s breast … [.]”
Causes Rosa Villarreal Supports
Non-ideological, critical, free-thinking.
Equal Rights for Women.