Narrative technique in selected fictional works by Luisa Valenzuela

Cook, Joy Alyce, Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia
Shaw, Donald L., Department for Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia

Luisa Valenzuela's fiction has merited the attention of leading literary critics, and many of her novels and short stories have been translated into English. Apropos of the quality of Valenzuela's narrative technique, her name has been linked with Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez and many more. Yet, only two in-depth considerations of her works exist to date. Sharon Magnarelli's critical text, Reflections/Refractions: Reading Luisa Valenzuela. places an emphasis on Language; Juana María Cordones-Cook's study, Poética de transgression en la novelística de Luisa Valenzuela. filters Valenzuela's fiction through the lense of post-structural theories of transgression. The present investigation, while not wholly different from the two existing critical studies, is a piece of straightforward criticism that re-examines from a new perspective several works previously analyzed by Magnarelli and Cordones-Cook and attempts to throw light on Valenzuela's latest two novels, recipients, as yet, of scant critical attention. Our objective is dual in purpose: 1) to indicate an existing relationship between the works considered within our study, and 2) to relate these texts to earlier and later ones of a similar kind of intent. In regard to our first purpose, we demonstrate that Valenzuela's technique of portraying oppressor/victim relationships from a numer of different viewpoints results in narratives that are original both in terms of their creation of form and their expression of certain aspects of reality. Our approach is analytical, concentrating on plot structure, presentation of characters, and style. As to our second purpose, we touch upon Valenzuela's writing in relation to both Boom and Post-Boom writers, in the hope of shedding light on what the term Post-Boom might signify. Each of the five chapters of our study treats a particular work by Valenzuela, and the chapters are arranged chronologically, that is in order of the frist publishing date of their respective texts. The works to be included are as follows: Hav que sonreír. Cola de lagartija. Cambio de armas. Realidad nacional desde la cama. and Novela negra con argentinos.

Note: Abstract extracted from PDF file via OCR.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Digitization of this thesis was made possible by a generous grant from the Jefferson Trust, 2015.

Thesis originally deposited on 2016-03-14 in version 1.28 of Libra. This thesis was migrated to Libra2 on 2017-03-23 16:35:18.

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