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Title:Aguila o sol? A Riffaterrian analysis of the prose poems of Octavio Paz
Author(s):Burk, Linda Janet
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Wilcox, John C.; Meehan, Thomas C.
Department / Program:Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Discipline:Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Latin American
Abstract:This dissertation is an analysis of Octavio Paz's ques Aguila o sol? (1951), a collection of three books of surrealistic prose poems to which critics have paid little attention. The methodology employed is the model Michael Riffaterre presented in Semiotics of Poetry. Chapter 1 contains historical background on the prose poem, a summary of Paz's theories of poetics from his prose writings, and an explanation of Riffaterre' s terminology. By applying this terminology, I demonstrate that the key to Paz's surrealistic imagery involves understanding ungrammaticalities (deviations of grammar or lexicon) and making connections to the hypogram (preexisting word group (s), which may be a system of signs possessing certain qualities or a complete text). Following this analytical procedure, readers understand the matrix (abstract concept of a poem) rather than just surface meaning presented in strings of surrealistic images.
Chapter 2, provides a detailed analysis of the sixteen prose poems that comprise Trabajos del poeta. I demonstrate that the matrix of Trabajos del poeta is the constant struggle of the poet with language, and that the hypogram, on which it is based, is the myth of Prometheus. I show that overdetermined poetic signs simultaneously refer to the matrix and the hypogram, and that Paz uses conversion to transform the passive acceptance of the invader (eagle of the Prometheus myth) into an active struggle against the word(s) that invade the artist/creator of Trabajos del poeta. Paz transforms the negative connotations of the rock imagery into positive connotations of the artist's struggle with the substance of poetic language.
Chapter 3 is a detailed reading of the ten prose poems that comprise Arenas movedizas, and Chapter 4 an analysis of eight of the prose poems of ques Aguila o sol? I establish that the matrix of these texts is the necessity to examine and question oneself and one's individual and national identity and that the hypogram on which they are based is Paz's own book of essays, El laberinto de la soledad (1950). The dissertation concludes with four appendices: "Semiotic Terminology," "Nahuatal Vocabulary," "Nahuatl Consonant Clusters," and a brief description of El laberinto de la soledad.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Burk, Linda Janet
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9503149
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9503149

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