Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Gestured Realism in Julio Ramón Ribeyro: Fiction's Fragmented and Contingent Form
by Choi, Eunha, Ph.D., New York University, 2013, 373; 3556985
Abstract (Summary)

While reconsidering Julio Ramón Ribeyro's short fiction, this dissertation re-examines the discourses about realism that predominated in the 1960s and 1970s, during the eruption of the Latin American literary and cultural phenomenon known as the boom. Situated at the intersection of philosophical reflection and literary criticism, it interrogates the boom's totalizing conception of realism and its equally exhaustive corollaries while arguing that Ribeyro's fractured form of realism forges new models to critique the relations between fiction and the real.

The first chapter of the dissertation studies the concept of realism that the boom denigrated while promoting their project of totalizing novels predicated on antirealist aesthetic forms. Assorted texts are examined to complicate the boom's conceptualization that realism, trammeled and outdated, simply mimics reality whereas antirealism conjures a richer view of it by contradicting it. Chapter two argues that Ribeyro's short story, whose form at once absorbs the structure of the fable and disavows the latter's allegorical compass, comes into being upon his failure to write the totalizing novel. His finite short story form occupies the absence enacted by the novel that never was. The last two chapters explore the everyday and the gesture in Ribeyro's short narratives as spatiotemporal reconfigurations—rather than figural constructions—that set the critical structure to re-imagine the short story form and by extension realism as assemblages of autonomous fragments of a never completed whole. Chapter three interrogates the time of realism when it becomes unhinged from teleological and etiological temporalities of fixed linearity. By mobilizing the gesture as a critical tool that amplifies interrupted actions rather than their dramatization, chapter four argues that Ribeyro's realism pieces together finite and contingent fragments that flatten the erstwhile hierarchical relations between things and people.

From the antipodes of figural or tropological regimes of interpretation, Gestured Realism advances new frameworks for the analysis of realism in short and long form fiction outside the paradigms of allegory and symbolism. By cracking echoes of doubt in the disciplinarian order of sequential and coherent signification, it proposes a realism that remains on the verge of disarticulation and incompletion.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Giorgi, Gabriel
Commitee: Dopico, Ana, Draper, Susana, Labanyi, Jo, Lane, Jill
School: New York University
Department: Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 74/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Latin American literature
Keywords: Aesthetics, Boom, Gestures, Peru, Realism, Ribeyro, Julio Ramon, Short story form
Publication Number: 3556985
ISBN: 978-1-267-99563-6
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