by Delgado Aburto, Leonel

Abstract (Summary)
This dissertation examines some canonical Central American autobiographical works of the 20th Century. The authors studied include Rubén Darío, Rafael Arévalo Martínez, Froylán Turcios, José Coronel Urtecho, César Brañas, Eunice Odio, Roque Dalton, Miguel Mármol and Rigoberta Menchú. The dissertation maintains that autobiographical writing always interpellates the Others story and that this interpellation is based in the need to incorporate into modern discourse the social sectors considered pre-modern. Indigenous people, peasants, women, artisans and workers, oral or illiterate cultures, represent a zone of autobiographical fear and desire. These combined impulses are connected to some cultural peculiarities of the Central American region: mainly, the way in which the rhetoric and practice of Liberalism is adapted by the regional elites from the end of 19th Century onward. After a general overview offered in Chapter 1, this dissertation is divided in three parts that correspond to three different cultural epochsModernismo (Chapters 2, 3, 4), Vanguardia (Chapters 5 and 6), and Postvanguardia y testimonio (Chapters 7 y 8). In Modernista autobiography the class-racial-ethnic Other appears as something that haunts the traditional, representing both an object of fear and a limit to a Eurocentric concept of modernity. In contrast, the Vanguardista autobiography emphasized its desire of the Other. This general desires for incorporate the (national) Other is linked to the foundational /nationalist emphasis that the avant-garde showed in Central America. However, Liberalism never incorporated fully the utopian social models of the Vanguardistas. Due to the crisis of both the Liberal rhetoric and Vanguardista cultural projects, during the 1960s and 1980s the aesthetic-ideological project of the Vanguardia suffered a radicalization. One of the main outcomes was the popularization of testimonio, which has become the most analyzed form of Central American autobiographical writing today. In testimonio the Other and his/her cultural model (basically, orality) and the Gemeinschaft of rural community become embodied as a counter-hegemonic voice that seeks to interpellate the cultural models of the lettered city and modernity from a subaltern location.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Gerald Martin; John Soluri; Joshua Lund; John Beverley

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:hispanic languages and literatures


Date of Publication:03/30/2006

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