Ugo Fracassa

Recent Representations of the Venus and Mars Love Stories

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Keywords: Literary Topos; Venus and Mars; Queer; Latin American Novel; Concordia Discors.

The love between Venus and Mars is one of the most prolific themes of western art and literature. The model was defined in the classical age and became popular again after the rediscovery of classic sources during the Renaissance - the most famous new representation being the panel painting by Botticelli that can be seen at the National Gallery of London. The myth was passed down allegorically over time but this way of interpretation was replaced after Humanism by moralistic reinterpretation. Then later, during Manner¬ism, the literary topos acquired erotic-bourgeois characteristics. In the contemporary age the theme has had a transgressive revival in some literary and cinematic works both in Latin America and Europe. In Manuel Puig, Neil Jordan and Pedro Lemebel's works the Venus figure is played by trans-gender characters. Nevertheless the diegetic role of the goddess remains the same due to the underlying archetype of "concordia discors", which was recognized by Edgar Wind as the anthropological core of the theme.

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