Lo monstruoso en dos novelas contemporaneas : una indagacion de la modernidad en latinoamerica
Burneo, Raul Antonio.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Georgetown University, 2009.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. My thesis is about two contemporary novels, The War of the End of the World by Mario Vargas Llosa and The Obscene Bird of the Night by Jose Donoso, where these use the monstrosity and the grotesque to critique modernity in Latin America.; In The War of the End of the World, there is a military and ideological confrontation between the modern and urban classes that inhabit the coast of Brazil and the inhabitants of sertoes, rural areas of the Bahia state, in Northeastern Brazil. The urban classes drive a modernization project -supported by scientific positivism- that has begun to move into the sertoes, where in contrast, a premodern culture prevails, in which a popular aspect of the Catholic religion plays a fundamental role. Both the urban classes and the inhabitants of sertoes see their adversaries as monsters.; According to Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, the monster embodies the anxieties, fears, and inadmissible desires and fantasies of a community. Modern Brazilian people see the inhabitants of the hinterland as monsters because they embody their fear, repulsion and attraction of a pre-modern lifestyle, which they consider to be a barrier to progress. Moreover, the modern Brazilian state and its agents, including its officers and army troops, embody the fear of the inhabitants of the sertoes, from their religious perspective, of eternal damnation. Therefore they choose to reject the agents of the state, whom they view as dogs and representatives of the Antichrist.; In The Obscene Bird of the Night, through various forms of expression of the grotesque -i.e., the grotesque body, the motifs of the mask and madness, and the design of the surrounding reality as a strange and hostile world-, the novel creates a description of the world opposed to the realistic description of the world, which relies on the notion of the modern subject and the socio-political structures created by the elite. The realistic description of the world proves to be as monstrous as its grotesque counterpart, not only because it is a fiction, but also by the oppressive order that it imposes. The chaos in the grotesque description of the world serves to reveal this state of affairs in the social order and to show the falsity of the idea of the subject that acquires its unity and coherence in reason.; The monstrosity and the grotesque both bear witness to the inconsistencies and exclusions that triggered the ruling elite class in Latin America to attempt to modernize its society and criticize the intellectual basis for this project: the rational subject and the foundations of social order established by the elite.
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