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In an interview conceded to the critic Reed Dasenbrock in 1991, Sandra Cisneros claimed:

( ... ) all the expresiones in Spanish when translated make English wonderful ( ... ) The
readers who are going to like my stories the best and catch all the subtexts and all the
subtleties, that even my editor can't catch are Chicanas ( ... ) But I'm also very conscious
when I'm writing about opening doors for people who don't know the culture. 1 try my
best. 1 won't do it for the sake of an Anglo reader. ( ... ) People will have to use a
dictionary. They can still get it. ( ... ) I'm not going to make concessions to the non-
Spanish speaker.
In the first place, this appointment reveals a tension with respect to the different potential
empirical readers of the work of the Chicano writer. On one side, English-speaking monolingual
readers appear for whom, in terms of ([1979] 1999), the writer's text presents blank spaces,
interstices that are impossible to fill. On the other hand, Chicano women readers are the ones
who, according to Cisneros, will be able to "fill in the gaps" to update their texts and thus give
them the work status. Even if both -angles and Chicanas- are empirical readers of their work, the
quoted fragment reveals, in reality, the difference between what Eco defined as the Model
Reader of a text and the empirical reader, the receiver concrete of the work. The instance of the
Model Reader can be defined as the addressee alluded to by the text, one who is able to decode
all the signals that the work puts into operation and thus cooperate with interpretation, which
requires a thorough understanding of a set of sociocultural assumptions that can not be
established ad-hoc. On the other hand, the empirical reader, external to the text, may or may not
meet the characteristics of the Model Reader. Altamirano and Sarlo (1993) point out that the first
is a constant, a kind of "textual function", while the second is a variable that can not be defined
outside the communication situation posed by the literary work and that alludes to the situation
Writing and reading.

Author and Model Reader are textual strategies45 • As Adam and Lorda point out (1999) when
retaking the distinction of Echo, the (empirical) readers also make an image or idea of the
producer of the text that they read that approaches more or less the empirical author46.

45 Indeed, there are many debates about the way in which the category of author is defined,
among those that have transcended Barthes' essay ([1968] 1994) "The death of the author"
and the Foucault lecture ([1969] 1999 ) "What is an author?" Pease (1990) takes a historical
tour of the notion of author from the Middle Ages to poststructuralism. As will be noted, this
topic exceeds the limits of the present investigation.

The process of interpretation results from the dialectic that is generated between the Author and
the Model Reader, a sine qua non condition of its existence. In the words of Eco (op cit .: 79): "a
text is a product whose interpretive luck should be part of its own generative mechanism" 47 •
Maingueneau (1990) points out that the cooperative activity of the Model Reader is contained in
the indications offered by the text in its conformation. Thus, this reader, instituted in the text,
forms part of his enunciation. The more he moves away from the didactic function and
approaches aesthetics, the author presupposes and institutes in the text a greater competence in
the Model Reader. Thus, the possibility of interpretive cooperation depends on several factors,
among which we can mention: a certain linguistic-cultural competence, certain encyclopedic
knowledge, the domain of certain discursive or literary genres and at the choice of a specific
language. Likewise and as indicated by Amossy and Pierrot ([1987] 2001), when pointing out the
encyclopedic competence, Eco resorts to the notion of scripts48, which may well enter into
dialogue with the stereotype referred to in the previous section. In effect, the semiologist
distinguishes two types of scripts. On the one hand, the common gmones that allude to
knowledge shared by a specific cultural community (for example, the predictable conversation
that can be had in a consultation with the dentist in a given country). On the other, the
intertextual scripts refer to three subtypes: the generic forms (novel, police tale, comedy), the
motives (the woman as an angel of the house, the double) and the situational scripts (scenes of
recognition). In this way and as linguists point out, the success of updating the text depends in
part on the possibility of applying these scripts correctly. Now, with these concepts in mind, let
us return to the hypothesis of interlingual heterogeneity. As we will argue, linguistic-cultural
processes of translation and negotiation that operate within the interlingual heterogeneity
determine a particular interpretive gesture through a number of instructions for reading and
rereading, which provide, as indicated by Garcia Negroni (2000), a new semantic value to the
word written, which is added to the first reading in the process of rereading. In her work, this
researcher, following Ducrot ([1984] 1986), formulates a hypothesis that indicates that "the
global interpretation of a discourse can be explained by the combination of the interpretation of
the different statements that constitute it" (García Negroni , op.cit .: 90)
46 Adam and Lorda (1999) use the terms MODALIZED AUTHOR and MODALIZED
READER to speak of the Model and Author Reader, respectively, categories that oppose those

47 The italic corresponds to the translation of Pochtar that we follow in this work.

48 Scripts (jrames) should be understood as frames of reference, data structures that serve to
represent stereotyped situations and that contain information that is activated before a given

From there, the García Negroni's innovative proposal focuses on the aspects related to "the
possibility of retroactive re-reading movements in which the occurrence of a statement Ei
transforms into the context of reinterpretation for a previous E1 statement" (op.cit .: 91) . Our
study, which takes these concepts of rereading and reinterpretation, shows that the forms of MA,
which constitute sites of interlingual heterogeneity in our corpus, are presented in the manner of

E2 statements and, therefore, generate a new context of reinterpretation for themselves. It should
be noted that here it is not necessarily a question of the reinterpretation that arises from the
combination of two different statements (E1 and E2). As it will be seen, among others, in
Chapter 5, the forms marked with MA determine an interpretative gesture that forces the
rereading and reinterpretation of its own constitution. Moreover, given the particular corpus that
concerns us, we must warn that these phenomena of Re-reading affects both Spanish-speaking
and English-speaking readers, since there is always a desire on the part of the speaker-Author to
master the meaning. In the case of the English-speaking reader, his reading reveals obstacles that
he must overcome by updating the codes that appear in the same text before following his
interpretive path in the indicated direction. For its part, the Spanish-speaking reader, the obstacle
referred to imposes the consideration of new meanings and the delimitation of the interpretive
gesture. In all cases and in the case of Spanish and English mainly, the first reading occurs from
left to right, while the phenomena of rereading and reinterpretation are manifested as retroactive
processes that describe a journey from right to left.

We thus notice an oscillation, a crossing of borders, which also determines the type of reading
that the discourse builds in our corpus. Likewise, we should note that the general question of
stereotyping explained by Amossy and Pierrot is duplicated here by the simultaneous presence of
the two linguistic-cultural systems that nourish the saying and that refer, therefore, to different
cultural communities. Also, in close relation with the development of these strategies of reading
and rereading is the notion of multidimensional perception proposed by Hicks (1991) and
alluded to in 3.3.1. As will be remembered, the critique defines multidimensional perception as
the ability to perform a reading based on the simultaneous consideration of two different cultural
or referential codes. However, we must add that the reading (and rereading) of a border work,
such as that of Cisneros, imposes specific conditions that are placed in the field of interlinguism,
rather than bilingualism, since these codes are in constant tension, as we have indicated by citing
Bruce-Novoa. Of this thus, this narrative, through the marks of the sites of Interlingual
heterogeneity, the processes of reading, rereading and reinterpretation reorient, as we will see in
the second part of this thesis, the discourse towards the interlingual field. Based on these notions,
it is possible to define reading gestures and make certain observations regarding the
interpretative demands posed by the literary texts of our corpus in the process of its updating. We
will return to these topics whenever it is relevant to the proposed case analysis.

The House on Mango Street

As mentioned above, the first of his narrative works has a thematic indication in the title to
address the reading of the text, which includes the experiences and experiences of Esperanza
Cordero-speaker-narrator of the story-in the Latin Quarter of the city of Chicago in which he
spent his childhood and which appears symbolized, to a great extent, by the allusion to the house
that is located on Mango Street. And here it should be noted that, from a syntactic point of view,
the title makes up a reduced relative clause, which can be specified as The House which is on
Mango Street. As such, the main proposition, whose core is "The House", remains incomplete9,
and this constitutes a strong reading instruction as the reader is somewhat impelled to enter the
story in search of definitions around the characterization of the house. On the other hand, as an
exponent of a minority writing, Mango Street highlights the life of a teenage girl, which may, in
reality, be the life of any member of the Chicano community to which she belongs. The house on
Mango Street manifests itself as a strong symbol on which the different episodes of the work will
revolve until 9 The same goes for the title of the story "Papa Who Wakes Up Tired in the Dark",
which also indicates an instruction of reading that is oriented in the same direction as the title of
the work, as Karafilis (1998) points out, on its own axis in the last account of the collection, in
which the protagonist must say goodbye to the neighborhood in order to grow and then return to
her place of origin with new energy and possibilities to help others, who could never leave the
ghetto10. As Sandoval (2008) has noted, the house appears personified in some of the passages
of the work. For example, in this last story, "Mango Says Goodbye Sometimes", the house,
which acquires feminine features, resembles the figure of a mother who dismisses her children
from the home so that they can grow and develop, guaranteeing a space for the when that period
has ended and the children are in a position to return, perhaps to review and rework their origin.
Also, on the end of the novel there is a strong identification between the house and the street,
which happens to be the same thing: "but what 1 remember most is Mango Street, sad red house,
the house 1 belong but do not belong to "(Cisneros, 1984: 110).

Also, the title is relevant because it also evokes one of the versions of the American dream -the
dream of owning a home-, as indicated by O'Malley (1997) and Karafilis (1998), who link, for
this reason, the work of Cisneros with one of the great themes of American literature. On the
other hand, and as Karafilis affirms, from the title a space is constructed that is central to the
development of this kind of learning novel that transgresses some of the Bildungsroman's
traditions. Unlike other novels of this type, Mango Street puts the emphasis on the community
aspects rather than on the individual level, as is usual in the novels of learning that often carry in
the title the name of its protagonist. points out the criticism, this issue is reflected, among other
aspects, in the titles of the chapters that collect on several occasions the names and histories of
the different characters that populate the ghetto and, more specifically, the universe of Mango
Street. Thus, the work highlights –en the center, we could say - even through the paratext, on the
one hand, the sense of community so dear to the Chicano people, and on the other, characters
that are marginal. While it is true that this feature is accompanied by the main story, it is crucial
to note that the operation that focuses on marginality originates at the very edges of the text.
Interlingual heterogeneity is played here mainly in the level of discourses that are associated with
this title. In the first place, the mention of a house located on a private street, called Mango 12,
begins by orienting the reading; then, in the first episode of the story that bears the same title as
the work, the reader becomes aware that it is the new house of the protagonist of the story and
that it is in a ghetto. In this first episode, the house of La Mango works as a symbol of the
American dream, even if it appears linked to the shame that is derived, in the universe of the
Latin Quarter that recreates the text, of poverty and of ethnic belonging, which they are aspects
that always appear closely linked. The title is evoked in the last story, as we have already pointed
out, and also in the next-to-last episode entitled "A House of My Own" and that is woven, as
indicated by Doyle (1994) and Sandoval (2008), in a relationship of intertextuality with the essay
"A Room of One's Own" by Woolf (1929). In a brief note, Sandoval puts the emphasis on the
dream of owning their own space as a common point between these two texts, an issue that is
presented as indispensable to open the way in the work of creative writing. However, as Doyle
(1994) states well, the allusion to Woolf's text is central to the configuration of the entire work,
not only of this episode. In fact, it is possible to trace a strong identification between the essay by
the English writer and the work of Cisneros, who seeks inspiration in that own space, physical
and symbolic, denied at length to the woman, about the one who investigates the work of
Woolf13. And in this relationship of intertextuality, the aforementioned identification is
generated and a difference that alludes to the particularities of the house - own space -, object of
desire of the narrator on the end of the novel.

10 For a literary study and other perspectives on this work, you can consult: Rosaldo (1989),
Doyle (1994), Karafilis (1998), Adamoli (2001), Bolaski (2005), Wissman (2006), Sandoval
(2008), among others. 11 Within the American tradition, which is different from the European
tradition, one can cite, among others, the following texts that address learning and initiation
from very different perspectives: "Young Goodman Brown" by Hawthome; The Catcher in the
Rye by Salinger; James Daisy Miller; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Twain; lndian
Camp, of Hemingway; Native They are Wright's.

12 As verified in Google Earth, Mango is the name of a Chicago avenue, not a street; its
coordinates are: 41 ° 57 'N, 87º 46' O.

13 In particular, a passage of the text in which Woolf imagines the great and insurmountable
difficulties that life would have had for a supposed and very talented sister of Shakespeare,
had existed in Elizabethan England.

Claramente, en el anteúltimo episodio la casa aparece definida como un espacio en el que no hay
presencia de ningún hombre, un sitio en el que la mujer es dueña de todos sus actos y no depende
de nadie, ni nadie depende de ella 14 • Sin embargo, también es preciso destacar que, a través de
este discurso evocado, se evidencia un exterior constitutivo para el discurso, que contribuye no
solo al sentido del título de este episodio sino al sentido del título de toda la obra, que también
lleva en su designación el sintagma "house".Así, advertimos que se construyen diversos sentidos
alrededor de la casa a la que alude o puede aludir el título de la obra, pues este se va nutriendo de
distintos componentes que lo constituyen a medida que avanza el texto. No se trata, simplemente
o únicamente, de ser propietario de una casa, en el sentido del sueño americano que describimos
antes, sino de poseer una casa que le dé independencia a la mujer frente a la opresión que genera
la sociedad machista, que aparece representada en el texto. Es posible afirmar que sobre el final
de la novela, la casa del título hace alusión a estas dos cuestiones: por un lado, la casa que viene
a cumplir el sueño americano y que libera al chicano pobre y marginal de parte de su opresión;
por el otro, y más importante aún, la casa que otorga independencia a la mujer y le permite
desarrollar el arte de la escritura, actividad que se propone como liberadora y que le posibilitará
regresar al ghetto para salvar a otros, pero sin olvidar jamás su origen. Según sanciona el relato a
través de una adivina que le habla a Esperanza: "You will always be Mango Street. You can't
erase what you know. You can't forget who you are." (op. cit.: 105) 15 . Es de relevancia señalar
que el sentido de esta casa también se alimenta de otras alusiones que aparecen en el texto. Hay,
pues, un tercer sentido que se asocia a los dos anteriores y que se instala en el texto a partir del
relato titulado "No Speak English", en el que la mirada de la protagonista se posa en el
sufrimiento de Mamacita, una pobre inmigrante mexicana que sufre las vicisitudes del desarraigo
y clama:
"Home. Home. Home is a house in a photograph, a pink house, pink as hollyhocks with lots of
startled light. The man paints the walls of the apartment pink, but it's not the same, you know.
She still sighs for her pink house, and then I think she cries. I would." ( op. cit.: 77).

14 For a thorough examination of this intertextuality relationship, MacCracken (1989),

Fachinger (1993), Doyle (1994) can be consulted. Likewise, Rosaldo (1989) points out, even if
she does not explore it, this relationship of intertextuality.
15 In different episodes of this work, we highlight the shame and conflict that Esperanza
experiences living in such a poor house in the Latin Quarter. To expand this vision, you can
consult, among others, the stories "Edna's Ruthie", "Sally", "The Three Sisters" and "Alicia
and 1 Talking on Edna's Steps", from the collection.
This image that recovers the sense of home is not the one that will prevail in this text that, as
Rosaldo (1989) has pointed out, manifests feminist concerns and positions.
Finally, it is crucial to stop at the word "mango", which is a site of interlingual heterogeneity,
since the term, which exists in both English and Spanish, evokes a whole range of meanings. In
English as in Spanish, with the sense of fruit, the word "mango" is a loan, which comes from
Portuguese, a language that, in turn, borrows from Tamil. alternation of languages and loans -
often account for moments of great tension.The Tamil word "mango" inhabits other languages
from different situations of occupation that originate in India. XVIII, this tree spreads through
other tropical regions and arrives in Brazil to settle in other parts of the Americas and ascend
through those of America.16 Hence, the fruit and also its name become associated, in English
and Spanish, with the countries that grow it in A America, including Guatemala, Peru and
Mexico. And this is one of the paths that runs through the sense in the space that is configured
around the meeting linguistic-cultural alluded. In effect, the designation of the street contributes
to create a sense that is associated with the Latin from the beginning, thus anticipating the
characterization of the neighborhood in which the characters live. On the other hand, this choice
of a name brings to the scene different speeches evoked: mango is one of the quintessential
Central American fruits, which is known to be exotic and exquisite. Mexico is one of the
exporters The main ones of this fruit are to the United States, a country in which, due to
importation, fruit becomes a more coveted commodity in the market. In the title of the book, the
word "mango" evokes, as "king of fruits", as some people say, the idea of an expensive fruit in
both senses of the term: it is expensive and it is also loved, desired. It is not possible to think,
considering the location of the city of Chicago, that the street in which the house is located is
wooded with mango plants. However, this association is also given, even if to discard it, in the
speeches that the title evokes.

16 Mango is native to India, where it is known as a symbol of fertility and love. Likewise, this
fruit is used in religious rituals. To expand on this topic, you will find the entry of The New
Encyclopcedia Britannica
Now, in Spanish, the word "mango" also has other meanings that are linked to its Latin origin.
As indicated by Fachinger (1993), the term that alludes to handle or handle is also used, in a
vulgar register, to refer to the penis, which contributes to form an image that completes very well
the idea of the patriarchal and macho structure which symbolizes Mango Street and that
reinforces the hypothesis of interlingual heterogeneity regarding the construction of interlingual
spaces and the reading gesture that defines the same text. Also, begins to sketch an image of the
person responsible for enunciation that reveals different meanings and discourses in the
constitution of his saying. To conclude, the senses associated with the title that we have
examined confirm the non-referential hypothesis about the construction of meaning (Ducrot,
[1984] 1986, 2004) to which this thesis adheres. Indeed, we have seen that the meaning of title is
constructed in the evocation of the discourses that are associated to it and not in its relation with
a determined extralinguistic entity. As Ducrot (2004) states, the meaning of a linguistic entity
lies in the set of discourses that this entity evokes and is, therefore, of a discursive nature.
Moreover, by retaking the postulates of argumentative semantics, García Negroni (2005) points
out that to speak - and also to write, we can add - "is not therefore to describe or inform about the
world but to direct the discourse in a certain direction, towards certain conclusions away from
others (...) To speak is to inscribe our statements in a certain 'dynamic discursive', that of the
total text (...) "(op cit: 4-5). It should be noted that within the framework of these theoretical
perspectives, the meaning is always analyzed in terms of a single linguistic system. The narrative
of Cisneros, like many other writings, 17 bases its discursive meaning on the simultaneous
evocation of two linguistic-cultural systems that materializes from the processes of cultural
negotiation and translation that are manifested among them, pillars of heterogeneity interlingue,
as already indicated. The meaning here is more explicitly and deliberately based on the
semantics that these two systems bring to discourse. Therefore, framed within this theoretical
framework, the meticulous study of Cisneros' writing can also constitute another step in the
description of the construction of the discursive sense within the perspective of argumentative
semantics. Thus, a central feature of Cisneros' writing that concerns the conceptualization of
interlingual heterogeneity that will accompany the examination of different strategies to which
his discourse appeals in the process of the constitution of meaning is anticipated. It is, then, an
operation that affects the value of the signs of the two linguistic systems that intervene in the