Reinterpretation of Spiritual Autobiography Genre in Richard Rodriguez’s Darling




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.

Author Biographies

Viktor Rakhnianskyi, Kyiv National Linguistic University

Viktor Rakhnianskyi (PhD Philology, Senior Lecturer) is currently employed at Kyiv National Linguistic University. His research interests include American multicultural literature, British and American drama.

Oleksandra Chernikova, The National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine

Oleksandra Chernikova (PhD Philology, Assoc. Prof) is currently employed at the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine. Her research interests include semantics, film translation, comparative history of languages and metaphor. 

Polina Khabotniakova, The National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine

Polina Khabotniakova (PhD Philology, Assoc. Prof.) is currently employed at the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine. Her research interests include images and symbols in modern literature, intertextuality and cognitive pragmatics.

Anna Gaidash, Boris Grinchenko Kyiv University

Anna Gaidash (PhD Philology, Assoc. Prof.)is currently employed at Boris Grinchenko Kyiv University. Her research interests include literary gerontology, comparative literature and poetics.


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How to Cite

Rakhnianskyi, V., Chernikova, O., Khabotniakova, P., & Gaidash, A. (2022). Reinterpretation of Spiritual Autobiography Genre in Richard Rodriguez’s Darling. Baltic Journal of English Language, Literature and Culture, 12, 101–113.