Los ruidos del silenco: Tres ejemplos en la tradición del nuevo relato fantástico latinoamericano

Cornide, Ana, Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia
Pellón, Gustavo, Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia

My dissertation argues that since the 1970s a new mode of writing the fantastic has emerged. This development of the short-short story genre corresponds to the ideas of the post-structuralist movement. The authors I treat use the fantastic to confront a crucial theme of the contemporary period: the absence of fixed meaning in the text. Thus they break with the ordered rationality of common sense, imbuing their stories with an allegorical quality. Ultimately, these stories serve as metaphors intended to destabilize and dissolve the dominant culture. Since the 1970s a third and new form of the fantastic has emerged. Under this form, fantastic reality is created from the playful ambiguity in the act of writing. The authors treated in my dissertation generate this ambiguity in different ways: Cristina Peri Rossi and Ana María Shua create symbolic spaces, Gabriel Jiménez Emán, Eduardo Liendo (Venezuela) de-familiarize reality, and Óscar de la Borbolla, and Gerardo Déniz (Mexico) create distopias. However, the novelty of these fantastic works is not only found in their playful character but also in the fact that they are self-reflective writings. These short-short stories explore alternative visions of realty as they emphasize the act of writing itself, the capacity of language to create and recreate reality. To study these texts, I adopt an approach that attends to the double intentionality of their language. On one hand, because language is not a vehicle for reality, it is redefined in the process of describing the variable nature of things. On the other hand, these stories are not simply linguistic games. These works create worlds and talk about them. They are transfigurations from a recognizable cultural world into a nightmarish world, whose metaphorical implications cry out for a response from the reader. Consequently, I have chosen a theoretical approach that allows me rescue the allegorical and metaphorical character of these texts, which does not simultaneously forget their playful character or the pact they establish with the reader.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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