“Lady of Science Fiction” and Human Rights
Elena Aldonat uses science fiction as a testing ground to examine human behavior and the extent to which human rights are respected in their own right. “Lady of Science Fiction” has a rich, mostly unknown work, addressing issues of feminism, indigenousism, classism and other issues of current recurring interest.
The more we learn about our past as a nation, the more we reveal about a glorious intellectual mission where women left a legacy that, when illuminated in the present, shows that they shaped and desired a socially different future for Chile. This is the case of Elena Aldonat, better known as the “Lady of Science Fiction,” who nearly six decades ago through fantasy literature began to bring out the facts that still weigh us down.
Born Maria Elena Aldonat Pizzanella (1925-2005), this Santiago-born daughter of a National Literature Prize winner began writing in the 1950s about women’s emotions in a traditionally restrictive medium, later dedicating herself to narrating human relationships (and also among aliens) with advanced technology but not present at that time; It was thus ranked as one of the first companies in this part of the world to dedicate itself professionally to science fiction. Weighing the cosmopolitan flair of his stories, which are distinguished by surprising originality, in many of them an atmosphere of Chileanism is seen that makes readers proud and identifies with the personality of the women there.
Thus, Elena Aldunate stands out in science fiction not only for being a woman who embraces the worldwide literary genre led by men, but also for the merit of her creations. Indeed, this writer harmoniously combines technological fantasies with the legitimate fantasies of women. Through suggestive titles like From the universe they want virgins (1977), tells the story of love and devotion as a woman bears thousands of children to survive on planet Earth. But it also has works that can be used for educational purposes to develop imagination, especially in young people, such as Ur and Macarena (1961), where the alien helps to find out the inner and outer world of the girl.
However, the most disturbing work is Juana and Cybernetics (1963), which recounts the experience of a financially and emotionally helpless forty-year-old woman who is accidentally trapped in the factory where she works as a worker.
In this book, during New Year’s Eve, when she suffers from her confinement, the heroine contemplates the provision of strategically located health services to maintain control of operators. He also remembers the insulting joke he received from a man on a failed date. She noticed abuse among the women themselves as she remembered how her aunt had burdened her with housework. He compensates for the injustice caused by the man of the night being dismissed for his refusal to work on that holiday. She wonders how many unemployed women will remain in the face of the advance of machinery. It is impossible for her to forget that eternal question which they ask her everywhere: “Married or single”. But he keeps hope by imagining it will now appear in the papers: “The Woman Who Spent Three Days Locked Up in a Machine Room.” Joanna thinks this news might be publicity for the company and thus a salary increase which she was repeatedly denied, an event which did not happen because in the end, in the solitude of her enforced confinement, she ends up dying herself. sexually into a machine.
In this story and others, Elena Aldonat uses science fiction as a testing ground to examine how human beings behave and how their rights are respected as such. “The Lady of Science Fiction” contains a rich mostly unknown work in which it addresses Feminist, national, class and other issues of frequent current concern.
It is possible that the stories and novels of this great writer were overshadowed by the circumstantial patriarchal literature that flooded science fiction in the last century and perhaps because of the cultural blackout that affected our country under the dictatorship. Since now the scenario has changed, Elena Aldonat can take her rightful place in the diverse Chilean society.
Academician in the Department of Industrial Technologies at the University of Santiago de Chile Technological College.