Reinterpretation of Spiritual Autobiography Genre in Richard Rodriguez’s Darling
Keywords:Richard Rodriguez, autobiographical novel, ethnic identity, identity formation, memory, race, religion, ethno-cultural group
The article is focused on the reinterpretation of the genre of spiritual autobiography in Richard Rodriguez’s novel Darling. Rodriguez’s autobiographical prose depicts his extremely embittered attitude to heritage and the pitfalls lurking at the crossroads of cultural practices. For a long time, this author had been placed outside the canon of Chicano literature and was considered an ‘outsider’ because of his statement that he was not a representative of a minority but a supporter of the assimilation of immigrants into the broader mainstream American society. Rodriguez emphasized the privilege of the individual over the collective identity. The study focuses on the formation of ethnic identity by autobiographical narrator Rodriguez and the evolution of his views on the nature of the concept of ‘self-identification’. In addition, as Mexican-Americans are gradually becoming the largest ethno-cultural group in the United States of America, the issues of identity, assimilation, heterogeneity and cultural hybridity raised by the author stay relevant and important.
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