Questing Fictions: Latin America's Family Romance

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U of Minnesota Press, 1986 - 163 pages

Questing Fictions was first published in 1986. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

Questing Fictions analyzes twentieth-century Latin American fiction in the light of contemporary literary theory. Djelal Kadir examines key works by several writers—including Jorges Luis Borges, Octavio Paz, Lezama Lima, Alejo Carpentier, Juan Rulfo, and Carlos Fuentes—and demonstrates how these writers are obliged to invent their own reality and how their successors inevitably must continue that inventive tradition. In a larger sense, Kadir describes how works of literature originate and, in turn, generate other literary works.

Aiming at the specific nature of discourse written from the perspective of non-European cultures, Questing Fictions identifies and focuses on the predicament of writers caught between the cultural domination of Europe and the need to strive for cultural autonomy. Kadir explains that this predicament is shared by all Latin American authors and may well characterize all recently emergent literatures. He traces the problems of continuity and rupture within the Latin American tradition and addresses, as well, deeper questions of narrative and narration. In the process, Kadir reveals the interrelatedness of the continent's principal fables and shows their relationship to the larger Western tradition. Finally, Questing Fictions posits that Latin American narratives cannot escape the the quest for an identity that they can never fully attain.
 

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Contents

Errant LandscapeUntimely Pilgrimage
3
2 Borgess Ghost Writer
39
Mexicos Gothic Family Romance
70
Quest as SelfReminiscence
86
5 The Quests Impossible SelfSeeking
105
Notes
143
Index
153
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About the author (1986)

Djelal Kadir is an Edwin Erle Sparks professor of Comparative Literature at Penn State University.

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