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Reclaiming the Author: Figures and Fictions from Spanish America

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The recent fiction of Spanish America has been widely acclaimed for its experimental and revolutionary qualities. In Reclaiming the Author, Lucille Kerr studies the sources of power of this newly emergent literature in her detailed examination of the critical concept of "the author." Kerr considers how Spanish American narratives raise questions about authorial identity and activity through the different figures of the author they propose. These author-figures, she maintains, both complement and contradict ...
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Reclaiming the Author: Figures and Fictions from Spanish America

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Overview


The recent fiction of Spanish America has been widely acclaimed for its experimental and revolutionary qualities. In Reclaiming the Author, Lucille Kerr studies the sources of power of this newly emergent literature in her detailed examination of the critical concept of "the author." Kerr considers how Spanish American narratives raise questions about authorial identity and activity through the different figures of the author they propose. These author-figures, she maintains, both complement and contradict notions of authority that exist outside of the world of fiction.
By focusing on works by well-known Spanish American authors—Cortazar, Donoso, Fuentes, Poniatowska, Puig, and Vargas Llosa—Kerr shows how the Spanish Americans have formed a radical poetics of the author. Her readings demonstrate how exemplary Spanish American texts, such as Rayuela, Terra nostra, and El hablador, call into question the author as a unitary or uniform, and therefore unproblematical, figure. Individually and together, Kerr's readings reclaim "the author" as a complex critical concept encompassing diverse, conflicting, even competitive roles.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Lucille Kerr has undertaken to show us how Spanish American novelists have 'done' theory—in particular, the theory of the Author—by 'doing' literary fiction. . . . [She] wears her mastery of theory lightly, but it is clear that she knows whereof she speaks, not only when it comes to theories of the Author and authority, but also over a whole range of other relevant theoretical topics, including verisimilitude and truth, narrative structure and its relation to authority, and the problem of style."—Brian McHale, coeditor Poetics Today

"Lucille Kerr performs a remarkably intelligent rereading of major modern Latin American texts. Her rich, multilayered study invites the reader to revise accepted notions of authority and dependence, of center and margins, of seduction and submission, of presence and fragmentation, opening a space for new and exciting critical discussion."—Sylvia Molloy, Albert Schweitzer Professor of Humanities, New York University

"This book offers a fresh view of certain Spanish American novels . . . presenting them as texts in which the question of the author/authority is an essential part of their narrative structure. In doing so, it offers a new angle for the critical reading of these works and reveals a rich field for intellectual debate."—Jose Miguel Oviedo, University of Pennsylvania

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822312277
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/1992
  • Pages: 228
  • Lexile: 1620L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.38 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Lucille Kerr is Chair of the Department of Hispanic Studies at Northwestern University.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Situating the Author: Notions Old and New 1
2 In the Name of the Author: Reading Around Julio Cortazar's Rayuela 26
3 Gestures of Authorship: Lying to Tell the Truth in Elena Poniatowska's Hasta no verte Jesus mio 46
4 On Shifting Ground: Authoring Mystery and Mastery in Carlos Fuentes's Terra nostra 65
5 The Dis-Appearance of a Popular Author: Stealing Around Style with Manuel Puig's Pubis angelical 89
6 Writing Disguises: Turning Around the Author with Jose Donoso's El jardin de al lado 111
7 Facing the Author: Telling Stories in Mario Vargas Llosa's El hablador 134
Afterword 160
Notes 171
Bibliography 211
Index 223
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