The purpose of this paper is to reassess the ideological imprint of imperialism in late-nineteenth-century Spanish fiction through the analysis of two noncanonical novels: Eugenio Antonio Flores's Trata de blancas (1889) and Eduardo López Bago's Carne importada (1891). Both novels feature female protagonists who become entangled in networks of international sex trafficking in their respective migrations to Cuba and Argentina. Traditionally ascribed to Spanish "radical naturalist" fiction or simply dismissed as inconsequential instances of bordello literature, these texts are interpreted in this paper from the perspective of postcolonial criticism in order to reveal both the political significance of their transatlantic setting and the symbolic meaning that they assign to so-called white slavery and the figure of the prostitute. Ultimately, these novels will be read as symptoms of a collective anxiety resulting from the downfall of the Spanish Empire on the verge of its collapse in 1898.


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pp. 25-44
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