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Destabilizing the boundaries of the techno/human: the fluxable cyborg in Rosa Montero’s Lágrimas en la lluvia

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In “A Cyborg Manifesto”, Donna Haraway (2006. “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late twentieth Century.” In The International Handbook of Virtual Learning Environments, edited by Joel Weiss, Jason Nolan, Jeremy Hunsinger, and Peter Trifonas, 117–158. New York: Springer) set forth the cyborg as figure that could symbolize a move beyond the binaries and categorizations that have defined feminist identity politics, toward hybridities that exist along a continuum of organic-inorganic, fiction-reality, nature-culture. In the concrete manifestations of the cyborg and the cyborg body in science fiction, however, this has not been the case, with gender binaries reinscribed more often than challenged. In the case of the female cyborg, these characters find inclusion in many science fiction narratives only as fetishistic caricatures or are infantilized, existing only as manifestations of their use value, existing to satisfy the sexual needs of human men rather than as fully realized beings. However, Bruna Husky of Rosa Montero’s eponymous trilogy – comprising Lágrimas en la lluvia, El peso del corazón and Los tiempos del odio – breaks this restrictive mold. This essay proposes that through Bruna in Lágrimas en la lluvia, Montero destabilizes masculinist gendered conceptions and performativity of the female cyborg body that permeate science fiction. Bruna demonstrates what Ramzi Fawaz (2016. The New Mutants: Superheroes and the Radical Imagination of American Comics. New York: New York University Press) calls “fluxability”, that is, a state of continual material and psychic becoming rather than being, capable of going beyond binaries and negotiating multiple, contradictory identities and/or affiliations. Furthermore, in Bruna’s interactions with human and nonhuman life, Montero highlights how the limits of humanity–inhumanity become blurred, porous and highly relational in the posthuman reality of the future world she depicts.
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Keywords: Lágrimas en la lluvia; Posthumanism; cyborg; fluxability; science fiction

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Romance Languages, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2020

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