Beyond borders: Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, La saga/fuga de J.B., and the construction of literary fields
Martinez, Michael L.
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"Beyond Borders: Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, La saga/fuga de J.B., and the Construction of Literary Fields" examines the formation of the concept of a national literature by way of a close reading of the 1972 novel La saga/fuga de J.B. by the Galician author Gonzalo Torrente Ballester. Guided by the theoretical framework of the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, the political, social, and cultural intersections of the traditionally unbalanced center/periphery relationship between Galicia and its suzerain the Spanish State are assessed. Once situated into their historical contexts, it is argued that Torrente and his novel transcend the binaries that have been employed to define the Galician and the Spanish national literary fields. To support this premise, an analysis of the dialectical relationship between the historical context and the text's formal and thematic characteristics is carried out. This Bourdieusian theoretical approach is then employed to dismantle the exclusionary essence of the binaries that have informed the construction of national literary fields. To conclude, this dissertation proposes a more comprehensive approach to literary fields that accounts for the historically mediated artificiality of their formation.