Ficción de racionalidad: La memoria como operador mítico en las estéticas polares de Jorge Luis Borges y José Lezama Lima

Jose R Vilahomat, Florida International University


The aesthetic placement and period designation of Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986) and José Lezama Lima (1910–1976) are complicated issues among critics. Borges is considered a predecessor of the Latin American literary “boom,” but despite that taxonomy his work transcends that definition and provides a foundation for new trends, such as the “neobarroco” cultivated by Severo Sarduy. Lezama is considered part of the second wave of the “boom,” but his work feeds, stylistically, from the Spanish baroque. At the same time, Lezama's daring treatment of homoeroticism and his system of images place him after the “boom” in a narrative style that is postmodern. This study undertakes a revision of external and internal issues, revealing the key fictive elements that characterize both writers. Through discourse analysis, a poetic system is formulated, which incorporates features of the “neobarroco,” and postmodern narrative styles. This dissertation uses a polar structure to analyze both poetic visions and finds that they are symmetrical. From this perspective, Borges and Lezama belong to the “core” of literature that centers its emphasis in the creation of a system versus other modes of writing in which mimetic function prevails. By doing this and by recycling world culture, they create postmodern myth: the new building material for Hispanic American literature. There are a few studies that explore the works of Borges and Lezama within the context of Baroque aesthetics. This dissertation offers a comprehensive analysis that considers their poetic visions at large. Besides the difference in perspective, defined as macro-spatial in Borges and micro-spatial in Lezama, there are many similarities. Both writers question the cause and effect relationship and the use of metaphor. They share a redefinition of genre as well as a hedonistic approach to literature. This kinship in poetic vision is revealed through the polar method used for this study, which proposes a new form of aesthetic placement and period designation.

Subject Area

Latin American literature|Caribbean literature

Recommended Citation

Vilahomat, Jose R, "Ficción de racionalidad: La memoria como operador mítico en las estéticas polares de Jorge Luis Borges y José Lezama Lima" (2003). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3086690.