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Title:The Fantastic And Magical Realism In The Contemporary Mexican Short Story As A Reflection Of "lo Mexicano"
Author(s):Duncan, Cynthia K.
Department / Program:Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Latin American
Abstract:The unifying thread of this dissertation is the relationship between the Mexican's search for a national psychic identity and his search for an authentic voice with which to express that identity in the contemporary short story. The first part of the study, titled "Background and Theory," is divided into three chapters. In Chapter One, an overview of some of the historical and political events which have contributed to the shaping of Mexican society is presented, in order to show the sociological impact they have had on the formation of the Mexican's self-image. A brief outline of the history and development of the short story in Mexico is also included, so that the relationship between the search for literary and psychic identity can be discerned. Chapter Two is an examination of the development, treatment, and application of the terms, Fantastic and Magical Realism, to works of prose fiction in Latin America. An effort is also made to contrast and compare the two concepts and to show how these two narrative modes have been used by Mexican writers to explore national reality. The contribution of myth to these forms of expression is brought to light in Chapter Three, where the role of myth in the formation of an authentic self-image in Mexico is studied. Myth is seen as a powerful force in the reshaping of the Mexican's interpretation of the past and the way he sees himself in the present, and the so-called "cult of death" is examined as an example of myth at work in the everyday world of the Mexican.
In the second part of the dissertation, sixteen contemporary cuentos by a number of different authors are examined in detail, while other stories, similar in theme and approach, are briefly mentioned. These narratives reflect the diverse ways in which the Fantastic and Magical Realism have been used to delve into three specific aspects of lo mexicano: the Mexican's "living" past, which returns to haunt him in the present; the use of marginal characters, who perceive reality from unusual points of view; and the cult of death as a synthesis of Mexico's dual heritage.
Issue Date:1983
Description:564 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1983.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8324539
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1983

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