Graduation Year

2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Spanish

Major Professor

Pablo Brescia, Ph.D.

Keywords

Chilean, Argentine and Uruguayan short stories, McOndo, Post-dictatorial literature, Literary disputes

Abstract

This thesis argues that a literary change occurred after the fall of the dictatorships of the Southern Cone, characterized by the emergence of markets that provoked a "mini-boom" in sales and, at the same time, a change of aesthetics which abandoned the allegorical models of the post-boom in favor of a realistic literature in dialogue with popular culture. This is the sign of postmodernity and globalization in Latin America, reflected in its literature, particularly in the short story writing of the Southern Cone, which has utilized the parody and pastiche of the postmodern era without the trivialization that occurred in other parts of the world. With the goal of establishing a periodization that is different from that which has always prevailed in Latin American literature, the thesis proposes the term "post-vanguardist realism" to designate the literature of the 1990s and the twenty-first century in the Southern Cone.

As is the case in all periods of rupture and new beginnings, polemics and disputes appeared between literary bands. The disputes protagonized by Alberto Fuguet and Jaime Collyer in Chile, experimentalists and "planetarians" in Argentina, and Escanlar and the generation of '45 in Uruguay, reflect this new commercial and aesthetic reality. Despite the emergence of a literature more in tune with popular culture and pastiche, the continental anthologies that unite these authors demonstrate how their projects began to fade away, and showcase the appearance of new voices, who take the lead after 2000 and break with this type of literature, in favor of a less schematic narrative with more intertextual dialogue, without, however, returning to magical realism.

Despite local differences in short story writing and the literary traditions of each country, these new voices are united by a common aesthetic, the use of literary genres and themes from the shared history of the Southern Cone, and by the traumatic experiences of dictatorship and globalization.

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