Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: The Gaze and the Virgin: Marian Dimensions of Luis Buñuel's Viridiana
Authors: Penn, Sheldon
First Published: 8-Aug-2018
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Citation: Bulletin of Spanish Visual Studies, 2018
Abstract: This essay presents a new interpretation of the surrealist representation of female gender and patriarchy in Viridiana (1961) focused through its semiotic treatment of the Virgin Mary. Examining the reconfiguration of the Christian story, Christ and Mary are revealed as ‘ghosted’ doubles of Fernando Rey and Silvia Pinal’s characters. Analysing the ‘Last Supper’ and suicide sequences with reference to Bataille’s Story of the Eye, I trace an explicitly cinematic interplay of Marian motherhood and castrating patriarchy organized via the gaze. Conclusions on female gender and motherhood build on that commentary, giving insight into Spanish psychosexual identity in the film. Drawing on Kristeva’s ‘Stabat Mater’, I argue that the film questions logocentricity paralleling her text’s confrontation of the Word of the Father with the eventhood of childbirth. The doubling of Viridiana and Mary gives a surrealist counter-reading to the film’s bleak diegetic treatment of the bind of woman in patriarchy.
DOI Link: 10.1080/24741604.2018.1501955
ISSN: 2474-1604
eISSN: 2474-1612
Embargo on file until: 8-Feb-2020
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2018, Taylor & Francis (Routledge). Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy. (
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until 18 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, College of Arts, Humanities & Law

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
The+gaze+and+the+Virgin+August+2018+IRIS+copy.pdfPost-review (final submitted author manuscript)420.65 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in LRA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.