Clorinda Matto de Turner’s Herencia as the creation of an alternative social knowledge Jennifer Fraser Abstract In this article I examine the broad discourse of. In this article I examine the broad discourse of private citizenship in Clorinda Matto de Turner’s Herencia () to ask how she alters the existing hierarchy of . Donor challenge: Your generous donation will be matched 2-to-1 right now. Your $5 becomes $15! Dear Internet Archive Supporter,. I ask only.

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Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. I argue that Matto de Turner reconfigures values by presenting two radical changes to social knowledge. First, she presents a secular framework, based in sociological thought, for making choices and understanding social and economic relations.

Second, she uses these new principles to contest European and oligarchic ideas about miscegenation. Article In Clorinda Matto de Turner published her third and last novel, Herencia, before leaving Peru to live in exile in Argentina.

Compared to her first iconoclastic novel, Aves sin nidothis text received little critical attention at the time and subsequent criticism has also been limited.

At the time, many Peruvian intellectuals struggled to come to terms with the heavy social, financial and territorial losses resulting from the war and attempted to influence the path of modernisation through their writing. In this article, I propose to examine the broad discourse of private citizenship in Herencia to ask how Matto de Turner alters the existing hierarchy of values to change social knowledge and thus bring readers into a new understanding of their role as citizens in a modern nation.

Through these families Matto de Turner demonstrates how hierarchies of values pass from clirinda generation to the next and where these lead in creating productive or unsustainable models of private citizenship. Unlike Aves sin nido, Herencia does not contain an overt anti-Church discourse. C,orinda of openly criticising the Church as an institution and its priests, Matto de Turner creates a space of almost total absence for them.

By using this technique she places the Church at the sidelines of the social body and as unimportant to the practice of modern citizenship.

In the place of social knowledge based on religion and the counsel of priests, the novel presents a new way of thinking that advocates rational choices, based mattto the positivist dd of sociology, for bringing about economic and social wealth. Ward observes trner Peruvian authors were influenced by positivist thinking about literature as a means to social change and that their novels reflect this atmosphere Ward However, Matto de Turner moves beyond this and openly declares the novel to be a site for sociological study.

Suggesting that the novel was a scientific study legitimised her social observations and allowed it to reach a broad audience that cut across a variety of social groups. Readers could rest assured that the clorlnda, although presented in a fictional form, turnrr grounded in scientific reasoning and were verifiable. The term in English means inheritance, or, in a biological sense, heredity.

Matti the context of nineteenth-century Peru this second meaning was only beginning to emerge. Its more usual meaning referred to wealth cloirnda from one generation to the next. As we will see, Matto de Turner plays with this notion to layer the meanings so the word opens up to refer to economic, social and physical inheritance, particularly that which mothers pass to daughters in the realm of private citizenship.

In the rebautizo to her novel, Matto de Turner suggests readers already know what she means by the term: However, through the course of the novel she works with the term to move it from established ways of knowing to a new hierarchy of values that includes the scientific principles of heredity and, in doing so, turns readers pre- conceived notions of clrinda term upside down.

Most literary criticism of Matto de Turner focuses on her better known novel, Aves sin nido. There is, however, a dd body of work on Herencia. The second smaller group of work provides more detailed examinations of Herencia Satake ; Tauzin Castellanos ; Cornejo Polar ; Sklodowska Some, for example those by Cornejo Polar, Tauzin Castellanos and Voysest, jerencia with her use of science.


Cornejo Polar does this in the context of discussing her use of the concept of inheritance and the contradictory message the novel carries regarding its scientific and social aspects.

Tauzin Castellanos examines how Matto de Turner uses medicine to explain social behaviour. None of these critics expand their studies to consider how the scientific elements of the novel are used to create a new field of social knowledge.

However, even before readers learn their names, they are set apart from other shoppers for the social ideals they personify and their patterns of consumption.

If Matto de Turner engages socially aware and fashionable readers with a description of the outfit, she now draws on a different clorindx of standards to lay the groundwork for a discussion about the values of healthy relationships. Here she asks female readers to aspire to be Margarita and male readers to identify with the man who would find Margarita attractive. Establishing this identification early on se important for the relationship Matto de Turner creates with her audience.

Those readers who can see themselves reflected in these characters from the beginning are those who will identify with and assimilate the new social values they represent. With this new point of distinction readers are alerted to the practice of a different economy, one based in fiscal and social moderation.

Both national and personal economies had been devastated by the war and elites, such as Matto de Turner, advocated restraint in spending and investment in infrastructure for recovering the health of national and family economies. In the narration of the shopping trip, their difference is underscored: Here moderation leads to fiscal health and to social well-being while decadence leads to corruption.

Matto de Turner also begins to hint at the way in which the physical body is an indicator of social and financial moderation, a theme to which I will return. These differences between moderation and excessive consumption and between transparency and the maintenance of appearances reveal cllrinda changes in social clrinda Matto de Turner attempts to establish.

Clorinda Matto de Turner’s Herencia as the creation of an alternative social knowledge

The underlying message here is not about the enjoyment of fine things but about the habit or moral discipline of moderation. Rather, these habits also include social activities. This difference in routines points to a dissimilarity in underlying social values.

This practice results in a health manifested financially, dde and physically. They are not required to do without in order to feign wealth through luxurious objects. However, they may choose the pleasures of fine clothes and parties when they wish.

The power of choice and the ability to employ it well is another key theme for Matto de Turner. Not only is Margarita the type of woman a man should choose as a partner in a spiritual relationship, her adopted father also embodies this type of citizen: Again, the question is not if one should not spend resources such as money and love. Rather, Matto de Turner is interested in how they are deployed. Fernando, with his elegance, strength and choices, exemplifies the new social values she espouses.

For Matto de Turner the logic, or cause and effect, of how these choices and values play out in the context of family relationships is equally important.

She emphasises the values underlying how choices are made for romantic relationships and the ways in which the subsequent households are managed.

Las acciones compradas a los mineros del Cerro de Pasco han triplicado el capital, y realizaremos nuestros ideales […] Mi mujer es de las pocas que conservan el buen fondo. This is the key turnee their happiness and success, as Fernando suggests in his wedding-day toast to Margarita and Ernesto: By way mattk introduction, readers are offered their lineage and the apparent prestige of the family name: For those with financial power, money could herencua and fix a myriad of problems and create the illusion of social acceptability and integrity.

In their circle, the marriage is cited as exemplary Matto de Turner []: However, behind all of this lies a criticism about the untrustworthiness of appearances. In that moment, his glasses fall and shatter. While Pepe finds matgo strategy designed to maintain the status quo, Nieves puts into action a plan to transform Aquilino into a respectable moneyed suitor. In the end, both the glasses and the money blur reality.


In actuality, Nieves creates the outward display of money as much as she uses it to maintain social appearances.

Herencia: Novela peruana

The irony is that the original mortgage to pay for the party was to secure a rich husband. Instead, Camila enters into a relationship which Nieves must now make over and fund into the foreseeable future.

This section of the ivBerg suggests this scene is part of blindness on the part of all trner who see only what they wish Just as Fernando earlier contemplated his growing money, Nieves is forced to face her depleted financial resources.

During the nineteenth century in Peru and elsewhere, writers, physicians and politicians argued for a strong link between sexuality and fiscal and social economies. The conservation of capital resources required for personal clorindda and the personal economy of virility were seen to be the same.

Good healthy citizens were to show sufficient self-resolve and control to channel their sexual impulses in a conservative and appropriate fashion. Citizens were to sublimate excess impulses into fraternal, economic or creative energies, so as not to squander resources.

BedermanGallagher and HeenciaRussett and Sicherman study similar themes in American and British social history, which are also relevant to this topic in Peru. Thus, moderation in spending became crucial for procreation and economic development and energy was to be deployed carefully so as to produce sexual and financial health Sicherman As Russett demonstrates, this conservation theory became so popular in the nineteenth century that it even surpassed the scope of Darwinism Russett Clirinda her portrayal of Margarita and Camila, Matto de Turner develops and exemplifies these arguments about the connection between sexual and fiscal economies.

First, she marto that their management is correlated. Where financial capital and sexuality are conserved and well deployed individuals and households flourish. Conversely, where wealth is squandered or feigned, lives are ruined.

One leads to virtue and viability while the other brings degeneration and insecurity. Matto de Turner also creates a relationship between individual, family and national health. Individuals who are socially, sexually and fiscally healthy reproduce the same in their families, which leads to a robust nation.

Her innocence and her lack of artifice and flirtatiousness create respect in her suitor. These differences mattk the lessons Camila learns at home. The Aguileras mattoo a history of sexual practices outside of the social mores espoused by Matto de Turner.

After her birthday party, Camila remembers: Mmatto is a family in which social, fiscal and sexual excess mirror one another. At the end of the novel, her pregnant body, already having been the site of a battle between her mother and Aquilino for social power, is also beaten by Aquilino for imaginary infidelities Matto de Turner []: What determines sexual behaviour is the question Matto de Turner uses to insert women into the debate around the economics of private citizenship.

Instead of interpreting these different aspects of herencia as clorinad, I read them as a complex response to the arguments of the time.

Clorinda Matto de Turner – Wikipedia

It is this education matgo atmosphere combined with their physical inheritance that determines their ability to act as private citizens. The novel contains a prominent discourse about a biological herencia centred on sexual behaviour, that is based on the Lamarckian idea that acquired or learned traits can be passed from one generation to the next through blood inheritance.

It is here that Matto de Turner employs a scientific language that completely denies any way of knowing other than a secular one.

Various characters and the narrator comment upon the inevitability that women pass sexual behaviour on to their daughters through blood: Pedreros Es ley que se cumple con rigorismo doloroso; ley fatal de trasmisiones de sangre que se cumple en las familias.

Cllorinda Matto de Turner []: Matto de Turner also has a didactic purpose behind the repetition of these ideas. The fact that only male characters discuss this aspect of herencia suggests scientific knowledge was limited to a masculine realm and that it had not moved into broader social knowledge.