Document Type

Dissertation

Department

Spanish

First Advisor's Name

Erik Camayd-Freixas

First Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Renee Silverman

Third Advisor's Name

Maida Watson

Fourth Advisor's Name

Aurora Morcillo

Keywords

Loynaz, Jardín, discurso tropológico, literatura cubana

Date of Defense

3-30-2011

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation is to analyze how the tropes or figurative discourse in Loynaz’s novel, Jardín, becomes a means by which she involves the reader within a text that subverts socio-cultural conventions. Through textual analysis, it explains how the poet communicates her views of the world as a conflictive space where existence is the will to live, life being a human construction like a garden, and a woman’s decision –often frustrated by men– to seek self-realization.

By tracing some critical studies focused on polarities allegedly present in Jardín, such as: poetry/prose, lyric poetry/novel, word/silence, life/death, character novel/space novel, civilization/barbarism, posmodernismo/vanguardismo, and femininity/feminism, this essay explores Loynaz’s esthetic and ideological codes to demonstrate how opposition can be seen in her novel as part of her arrangement of an artistic philosophy.

This research refers to three main sources: the semiotician Umberto Eco’s notion of the text’s indeterminacy as an opera aperta, reception theory, and Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept of dialogism. By applying these theories to the analysis of this novel, I seek to show Loynaz’s literary modus (tropological language) and ideological dictum, which correlate oppositions and transform them as a point of departure to reconsider civilized life. The poet is presented as an esthetic force that compels the reader to question some false values, by creating an implicit but intelligent dialogue between him/her and a lyrical text. To describe such literary procedure, I coin in this study the term dialirismo (dialyricism).

My essay is centered on the tropes through which Loynaz creates her dialyrical text. By focusing on metaphor, symbol, synecdoche, and metonymy, I examine Jardín as a convergence of the following conceptual aspects: intertextuality, primitivism, and feminist discourse. I argue that Loynaz’s novel is a creative response to the literary tradition, as well as a proposal to understand writing –and reading– as an open, interactive process in search not only of artistic values but also of critical knowledge.

This exploration shows how the novelist faces a so-called civilized world through the eyes of her fictional character, Bárbara, who confronts patriarchal discourse. It celebrates Loynaz’s poetic representation of this inquisitive woman, in her fenced garden, as a human being who can see, above and beyond an iron curtain, the possibility to overcome an aggressive male-centered civilization.

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