Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
Lucha Corpi's novel, Delia's Song, operates on several levels which remain basically disparate; that is, we seldom have a sense of complete integration. Perhaps, finally Delia herself, must be seen as symbolic of the Chicana in search of self, although even this falters at times. Finally we cannot be sure if Delia represents all Chicana women, the educated Chicana, or the emerging Chicana. Even her name, "Artemis, the one from Delos .... Delia, the beautiful huntress," compounds the dilemma. Huntress of what? We've witnessed her sexual encounters with various males, Daniel, Mario, Fernando, Roger (the Anglo), Jeff, which suggest that a paradox exists even in her name. Artemis was not only a beautiful huntress, she was also chaste. Often the omniscient author suggests that perhaps Delia is schizophrenic. "Two people, equally strong, live in you," Cammille, the dabbler in astrology, tells her. Nor is this the first time the idea has occurred. The character herself eludes us, even though in Joycean style, the author allows us free access to Delia's mind. She claims she's always been subservient, but we see a unique individual behaving in unorthodox ways, a paradox again. And the title is no less difficult. What is her song? Is it a lament, a dirge? Is it a song of triumph? A lyric? We learn from Mattie that this is the title of one of Delia's poems that is "shaky at the end." The uncertainty remains.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1989