Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Ficciones corporales: Cuerpo y naciĆ³n en los cuentos naturalistas hispanoamericanos
by Warner, Theresa A., Ph.D., Temple University, 2014, 219; 3611190
Abstract (Summary)

This doctoral dissertation examines the intersection between body and nation in the context of Spanish American naturalist short stories from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The many forms of naturalism are useful for exploring national and societal concerns, yet most existing scholarship focuses exclusively on the naturalist novel. By combining the theories of Michel Foucault, Benedict Anderson, and Cesare Lombroso, among others, this dissertation considers the treatment of characters' bodies in their historical contexts and the larger national concerns they portray. Collections by three authors from the Southern Cone are studied: Sub terra, Baldomero Lillo (Chile, 1904); Cuentos de la Pampa, Manuel Ugarte (Argentina, 1903); and Campo, Javier de Viana (Uruguay, 1896).

The prologue introduces the theoretical framework that supports the analyses in subsequent chapters and describes the cultural context of the literary movement. It argues that the short story is a particularly useful tool for exploring this topic because, due to its brevity, characters' bodies must often relay vital information. Chapter one analyzes Sub terra and the Chilean miners it presents, studying its connection to the Chilean national body's exploitation at the hands of foreign capitalists who are solely interested in extracting its wealth of natural resources. Chapter two moves to Argentina and examines Cuentos de la Pampa, exploring those characters who reside in limbo between past and present, civilization and barbarism. Chapter three is dedicated to the study of Campo and the ways in which Javier de Viana uses the degraded gaucho body to represent the societal decay plaguing the Uruguayan countryside.

For all of these authors, naturalist short stories prove an effective means of exploring national concerns. Within the genre of short fiction, every word is of vital importance and, thus, the body frequently serves as a vessel to communicate ideas such as moral and physical decay, weakness, abuse, and excess. Characters' bodies are a microcosm of the national body as a whole, whose maladies these three authors explore in a variety of ways.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Aldarondo, Hiram
Commitee: Esteban, Angel, Lorenzino, Gerardo A., Pueyo Zoco, Victor
School: Temple University
Department: Spanish
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 75/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Latin American literature
Keywords: Body, De viana, javier, Naturalism, Short stories, Ugarte, manuel, lillo, baldomero
Publication Number: 3611190
ISBN: 978-1-303-71697-3
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