Aspects of dead protagonists’ perspective in Spanish and Latin American novels

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2012-05

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Abstract

Since the classical ages to the modern times the dead have received attention in literary works from Dante’s Divine Comedy (1308-1321) to O’Brien’s The Third Policeman (1967) and from Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1604-1637) to Zorilla’s Don Juan Tenorio (1844). Many of these present dead characters in the literary works as though they were living. In contrast to these examples, many Neorealist novels in the mid-Twentieth Century Spain employ dead protagonists in their works by means of secondary characters who supply memory and perspective. Analogously during the mid-Twentieth Century in Latin America several novelists employ dead protagonists from a first-person perspective similar to the aforementioned literary precedents.

This study seeks to actualize the use of dead protagonists in Spanish and Latin American novels during the mid-Twentieth Century by analyzing the narrative perspective and the space within the following novels: María Luisa Bombal’s La amortajada (1938), Elena Quiroga’s Algo pasa en la calle (1954), Juan Rulfo’s Pedro Páramo (1955), Carlos Fuentes’s La muerte de Artemio Cruz (1962), Luis Romero’s El cacique (1963), Rodrigo Rubio’s Equipaje de amor para la tierra (1965), and Miguel Delibes’s Cinco horas con Mario (1966). The novels are studied in chronological sequence, which implies no ranking but allows the reader to examine similarities and differences over the approximately two decades in question.

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Keywords

Protagonists (persons) in literature, Spanish fiction, Spanish literature, Latin American literature

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