Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Realismo mágico, vallenato y violencia politica en el Caribe Colombiano
by Figueroa, Jose Antonio, Ph.D., Georgetown University, 2009, 360; 3350469
Abstract (Summary)

In this dissertation I propose a reading of One Hundred years of Solitude in the context of Garcia Marquez’s dialogue with Magical Realism literary movement and the Latin American sociological thought of the 1970’s. These intellectual movements interpret Colombian peasant struggles. Garcia Marquez critique of cultural artifacts in the Caribbean racial domination portraits the endogamic structure of Colombian political parties by using the symbol of incest. In contrast, the liberal party appropriated his work by emphasizing exotic images of the Caribbean society and described this region as traditional and peaceful while peasants were in fact rebelling against big landownership and servitude.

By reading Caribbean novels and ethnographies I trace the conformation of a critical tradition which influences aesthetics and social thought, and makes public the relation between cultural myths and social inequalities. In contrast to Alejo Carpentier’s image of the Caribbean as a sanctuary where intellectuals escape from western rationalism, Garcia Marquez introduces a cultural critique of paternalistic fictions and neocolonialism in the region. These sources show how the moral economy of the matrilineal family determines power relations.

I illustrate how liberal intellectuals and literary critics that read in Garcia Marquez’s work the portrait of a regional peasantry liable to traditionalism obscure the fact that during the 1970’s this population headed the most important peasant mobilization of the 20th Century in the search of land reform and political change in Colombia. The exotizing of the Caribbean peasantry was a mean through which the Liberal elites rejected the peasant’s claims for modernization leading to a period of political violence. Edward Said’s approach to the relation between the text and the world in colonial and neocolonial societies and ethnographical perspectives from Johannes Fabian, Adam Kuper, James Fergusson, and Joane Rappaport are used for an interdisciplinary approach to literature and society in the Colombian Caribbean.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rappaport, Joanne
Commitee: Beverley, John, Legras, Horacio
School: Georgetown University
Department: Spanish & Portuguese
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 70/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Latin American literature, Cultural anthropology, Political science
Keywords: Colombia, Costa Atlantica Colombia, Cultura, Culture, Magical realism, Political violence, Realismo magico, Violencia politica
Publication Number: 3350469
ISBN: 978-1-109-08510-5
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