Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Spanish

Advisor's Name

Santiago Juan-Navarro

Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Advisor's Name

Maida Watson

Advisor's Name

Renee Silverman

Advisor's Name

Ana Maria Bidegain

Keywords

Kábala, Marcos Ricardo Barnatán, discurso contemporáneo

Date of Defense

10-24-2011

Abstract

This dissertation analyzes the relationship between several mystic Sephardic texts called the Kabalah which include the three basic mystic books of Judaism: Sefer Yetsira, Sefer Bahir, and Sefer Zohar, and Argentine writer of Jewish descent, Marcos Ricardo Barnatan´s experimental work. The premise is that several mystic Sephardic texts have certain literary characteristics that make them fertile sources for the inspiration of writers like Barnatan. This thesis proves that Barnatan’s poetry and his first novel El Laberinto De Sion both use the most general concepts of the Kabalah in developing his literary and artistic creations.

This study is focuses on the concept that there exists a possibility of reading kabalistic texts not only in an exegetical way, but also in a poetic way. Barnatan’s literature is prone to this kind of reading of the texts. He creates a surprisingly expressive structure without ties to established models. This expressive structure is built on a vast amount of symbols, which results from this freedom. Barnatan adopts multiple symbols from cosmogenic theories and makes use of them, thus incorporating both the spirit and style of kabalistic texts into his own work.

Instead of addressing some of the main concerns of Kabbalistic study and its commentary, Barnatan avoids the concern for Law, the study of the Torah and its commentaries, while avoiding the use of the Hebrew language. For this reason Barnatan is too deviant to be considered an extension from the mainstream Kabbalistic commentary. Barnatan’s work is destined for a reader who cannot only understand his experimental methods, but who can also assemble a disjointed text while accepting a fundamental instability of space and time.

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