Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Spanish

First Advisor's Name

Dr. Santiago Juan-Navarro

First Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Dr. Florence Yudin

Second Advisor's Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Dr. Reinaldo Sanchez

Third Advisor's Title

Committee Member

Keywords

latin american narrative, postmodern fiction, historical novel, Alejo Carpentier, Abel Posse

Date of Defense

11-14-2002

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation was to analyze the narrative works of Alejo Carpentier and Abel Posse within the context of the new Latin American historical novel that revises the Old World-New World Encounter. Focusing on El arpa y la sombra and Los perros del paraíso, the dissertation studied the particular manner in which Latin American novelists, and particularly Alejo Carpentier and Abel Posse, approach and question traditional historiography. The research also compared different novels to identify various trends within the new historical novel that rewrites the foundational period of Latin American literature.

This study considered the theories of the new historical novel as proposed by critics such as Seymour Menton, Fernando de Aínsa, Linda Hutcheon, and Brian MacHale. The new novel was examined within the frameworks of postmodern literary and historiographic theories. The study also contemplated the philosophical views that have influenced postmodern thought, and, especially, the ideas of Nietzsche, Heidegger, Lyotard, Harbermas, and Foucault.

Research showed two major trends within the new Latin American historical novel. In the case of the first trend, initiated by Alejo Carpentier in 1949 with El reino de este mundo, the novelist’s approach is founded on historicism and factual rigor. The second trend, initiated by Reinaldo Arenas with El mundo alucinante in 1969, is marked by irreverence, parody, irony, and carnavalization. Characterized by intertextuality, dialogism, and anachronism, novels such as Carpentier´s El arpa y la sombra and Posse´s Los perros del paraíso, undermine the values and beliefs instituted by the traditional historiographic paradigm and the discourse of power.

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