Reflejos de Narciso en la narrativa española contemporánea: José Maria Merino, Juan José Millás y Rosa Montero

Armero, Maria del Carmen Garcia, Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia
Pope, Randolph, Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia
Gies, David, Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia
Anderson, Andrew, Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia
Owensby, Brian, Department of History, University of Virginia

The theoretical question analyzed in this study is how a classical myth, that of Narcissus, survives, and is adapted in present - day novels and short stories, as well as in our (post)modern culture, to reflect the human condition. The literary works of Jose Maria Merino, Juan Jose Millas and Rosa Montero are characterized by their psychological complexity as well as by their ideological depth. Their narrative texts not only contain allusions to the inherent difficulties to establish a personal identity, or to differentiate the boundaries between fiction and reality, but also denounce destructive attitudes and behaviors which prevail in our culture. Writing represents to many of these fictional characters the only activity that gives meaning to their empty daily life, therefore, the literary text acts as a mirror that reflects their own image and existence. The protagonist's mental life, their emotional instability, and identity crisis, in addition to a poignant critique of our society are integral aspects of the richness that distinguishes their narrative. Although many common themes prevail in the literary texts of these three authors, their treatment of this classical myth is unique. The classical fable of the young and beautiful Narcissus, who glimpsed his own reflection in the waters of a spring, fell in love with his image, and died of despair unable to obtain the object of his passion, as stated by Ovid in his Metamorphoses, is a tragic episode that has inspired numerous writers, painters and film directors, besides generating a great variety of theoretical speculations about the concept of "narcissism" in fields of study as diverse as philosophy, psychoanalysis, and sociology. The current obsession that, as human beings, we have to analyze ourselves, the increase of narcissistic IV behavior, and the cult of our own personality, as dominant characteristics of the contemporary "homo psicologicus", have been important subjects of discussion in other fields of study. Therefore, these literary texts do not appear in an isolated context, but belong to a specific epoch where the study of recent psychoanalytical theories on narcissism is essential to fully understand this artistic trend and cultural phenomenon. Capitulo 1. Capitulo 2. Capitulo 3. Capitulo 4. Capitulo 5. Capitulo 6. Capitulo 7.

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PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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