The constitution of marginalized identity in Signs of identity by Juan Goytisolo
Keywords:postwar novel, identity, otherness, marginalization
The main objective of the article is to investigate the modes of constitution of a marginalized and exiled identity in the novel Signs of identity by Juan Goytisolo. It is categorised as a “testimony and postwar novel”, and the subjects’ constant search of themselves, of their Self and all the elements that constitute their identity is central to the work. The novel is set in the postwar socio-historical period and the protagonist – Alvaro Mendiola – searches for his identity in his childhood memories and family pictures, but also amongst all the Others whose life stories intertwine with his journey of identification. Tracing his line of identity formation, we found three different routes: the first through the genealogical records, the second through the concept of Otherness and the last one through love. We find Identity as a kaleidoscope containing all the Others who served as moulds for his Identity, yet leaving it undefined and incomplete. Therefore, the identity of an exiled and marginalized individual is always in flux, continually reinitiating the constitution of the Self that had been eradicated from its first and formative imagery: the family and the fatherland.
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