The post-apocalyptic novel by Catalan writer Manuel de Pedrolo, Typescript of the Second Origin (1974, English 2017) celebrates Alba as humankind’s new mother. Alba’s mission, however, clearly depends on the help of a man willing to father her children, a role for which Pedrolo made an extremely singular choice: whereas Alba is already 14 when Typescript begins, Dídac is just a 9-year-old boy. Because of the exceptional situation (the catastrophic extraterrestrial devastation of Earth), Pedrolo forces Dídac to mature very fast, to the point that he is only 12 when Alba gives birth to their baby. Additionally, Dídac’s mixed-raced genetic legacy also contributes to ending racism for ever.
The name ‘Dídac’ (from Greek ‘Didachos’, Latinized as ‘Didacus’) means ‘educated’–hence ‘didactic’. I examine here how Alba educates Dídac to be her ideal companion; also, the expectations and misgivings which Pedrolo expresses in his novel regarding the future of masculinity. As I argue, Alba’s teaching succeeds only because Pedrolo characterizes the child Dídac as an apt pupil. This enables Alba to control his education and, thus, to end patriarchy with the boy’s full complicity.
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"Educating Dídac: Mankind’s New Father and the End of Patriarchy in Manuel de Pedrolo’s "Typescript of the Second Origin","
Alambique: Revista académica de ciencia ficción y fantasia / Jornal acadêmico de ficção científica e fantasía: Vol. 4
, Article 6.
Available at: https://scholarcommons.usf.edu/alambique/vol4/iss2/6