On the Discoursive Construction of the Spanish Hero in Intercultural Romances

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Here's the abstract:

This chapter explores the different strategies employed for the construction of the Spanish identity of male protagonists in a sample of romances published between 1955 and 2003 by Harlequin/Mills & Boon. Set in a Spanish-speaking area, the Canary Islands, many of these novels narrate the love stories of mixed couples, invariably a hero of Spanish origin and an English-speaking heroine. After a brief review of the romantic idea of love in popular culture and the concepts of identity and national character, the perceptions of Spaniards and the image of Spain throughout history are examined. Then the chapter focuses on the multiple facets of the hero's Spanishness, including references to his physical features, personality and behaviour. His characterization also draws from a number of literary and historical figures, which apparently work as inspirational sources. The role of language is also highlighted, since the texts tend to be interspersed with Spanish terms and expressions. All together, these elements seem to effectively contribute to the discoursive construction of the romantic Spanish hero.