How to Read Donald Duck is a book-length essay by Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart .. Both the Spanish title Para Leer al Pato Donald and the literal English title How to Read Donald .. 41–45; ^ Jump up to: McClennen ( ), p. by Ariel Dorfman First published Sort by. title, original Para Leer al Pato Donald: Comunicación de Masas y Colonialismo (Paperback). Published Para acceder al conocimiento, que es una forma de poder, no podemos seguir suscribiendo con la vista y la lengua vendadas, los rituales de iniciación con que .

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The book assumes that a change in government that has cultural support could result in a radical social transformation. She notes that this was an early work in Dorfman’s canon, only his third published book. The work has been one of the most influential works in the field of cultural criticism, and has inspired many later works. He became part of a successful socialist revolutionsone of the few of its kind to rise in power through parz means.

The book’s thesis is that Disney comics are not only a reflection of the prevailing ideology at the time capitalismbut that mattleart are also aware of this, and are active agents in spreading the ideology. Dorvman stories of Donald Duck, Lone Ranger, and Superman could not be the only sources of the human tendency to stereotype, to envy, and to dominate others. He attributes this apparent lack of interest in the subject to the critical practices of the era.

The writers demonstrated the trajectory of Disney comics from the ” metropolis ” of the United States to its satellite states in South America. A way of life which Allende’s Chile was fighting against, in order to seek “another possible world”. The writers did not merely examine the values of American consumer capitalism and their ideological effects on Chilean society. In the original English American version of the text, the nephews have the idea to teach them square dancing.

It used the then-fashionable methods of Freudian psychoanalysis and auteur theory to offer a portrait of Walt through his products. Augusto Pinochet rose to power as a dictator. In contrast, How to Read Donald Duck offered an ideological analysis. July Learn how and when to remove this template message.


According to Mooney, leftist media in Allende’s Chile tended to treat women as sex objects and emphasized images of their long legs and large breasts. The writers argued that the stories naturalized and normalized the social relations of the Western world ‘s capitalism.

Andrae acknowledges a primary flaw in the thinking of How to Read Donald Duck and its textual analyses. He later assessed that he was probably the first writer in history to watch his own work burning live on television. His victory in the Chilean presidential election, was, however, only supported by a slim majority of voters.

The Disney ducks were often dispatched in distant lands on apparent civilizing missions. If you teach me how to skate this afternoon I’ll give you what you have always wanted. Tomlinson questions whether this presence translates to cultural imperialism. But has also defended the importance of the forms of art of low culturesuch as cartoonschildren’s literatureand advertising.

Para leer al pato Donald. Comunicación de masas y colonialismo

As an example, the book considers the lack of descendants of the characters. The notion is that the value of products is displaced from the labor that produces them and misconceived as emanating from the products itself.

Mattelart was a professor-researcher in the Academy of the National Reality, affiliated with the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. How to Read Donald Duck set out to reveal the ideological message of the comics, their support of capitalism and imperialism. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Besides the readers, other critics of the Disney comics have seen them in a very different light. The character Donald Duck was particularly prominent in Chile.

Capitalist class relations are depicted as natural, unchangeable, and morally justified. America is presented in the book as a class enemy. They had a shared oppressor to confront, the Disney Company itself.

Dorfman’s new literary fame helped him secure a passport from Argentina. The book was grounded in a specific historical reality, and was intended to arouse debate on a cultural issue which had been mostly ignored by left-wing forces. But he does not remain unemployed for long, he is always able to move towards another job.


It was primarily a meditation on the relationship between art and politics. According to Berger, the book managed to illuminate a global situation. This page was last edited on 31 Octoberat Dorfman would later have to reassess several of his early notions.

However, its style and methods have not been replicated by subsequent scholars.

Editions of How to Read Donald Duck: Imperialist Ideology in the Disney Comic by Ariel Dorfman

The citizens of Duckburg are depicted working in jobs of parq sector, as delivery boys, hairdressers, night watchmen, salespeople, etc. How to Read Donald Duck Spanish: McClennen notes that Dorfman was partly raised in the United States. He was after all primarily a film producerrather than a film director.

What has often been ignored is the differences between the versions of the Disney comics presented in North America and the ones presented in Latin America. When he wrote his introduction to the book, they had asked him to cut back his praise on Barks and to reduce mention of the artist to a single paragraph.

But recognizes that the central notion on which the book relies is the “power of ideology” in imperialist texts. Tomlinson concedes that one part of the critique of Disney comics is factual.

Several of the stories date to the mids, when Barks was facing censorship of his work due to a new set of taboos in American comic books. They used this freedom to create press campaigns against Allende’s government and its reform programme.

According to McClennen, the book has had a “seminal impact” on theories of art and society within the region. Third World nations are depicted in terms of racial and cultural stereotypesand their peoples are depicted as infantile. This article’s tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia.