Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

Santiago Juan-Navarro

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Ricardo Castells

Third Advisor's Name

Maida L. Watson

Date of Defense



The thesis explores Mario Vargas Llosa's Historia de Mayta in light of recent studies of Latin America's new historical novel (Menton, Juan-Navarro) and in connection with contemporary literary theory (Waugh, Stonehill) and new trends in the philosophy of history (White, Foucault). In my study, I focus on three major levels of analysis: 1) significant events in Peruvian history to which the novel alludes; 2) biographical elements that strongly evoke the lives of Ernesto "Che" Guevara, Jacinto Rentería, and Vargas Llosa himself; and 3) the self-referential devices that aim at questioning the validity of empirical analysis in both fiction and history. The allegorical dimension of the novel's view of modern Peruvian politics, its biographical component, and the self-consciousness of its historiographic approach make of Historia de Mayta both a metahistory of Perú and a biographical metafiction. The thesis ultimately reveals the problematic borderline between fiction and reality, the novel and history.





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