Title

Extra-textual, intra-textual, and neo-baroque constructions of violent space in three women writers from the southern cone

Date of Award

1996

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics

Advisor(s)

Pedro Cuperman

Keywords

Griselda Gambaro, Diamela Eltit, Cristina Peri Rossi, Uruguay women authors, Argentina women authors, Chilean women authors

Subject Categories

Latin American Literature

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation is to use feminist theories, semiotics, and current theories on the Neo-Baroque, to analyze the way in which three 1970's and 1980's Latin American women writers from the Southern Cone configure artistic space, in order to reveal how their representations of space reflect the poly-dimensional nature of violence. In each of the texts presented, (Informacion para extranjeros by Argentine Griselda Gambaro, Una pasion prohibida by Uruguayan Cristina Peri Rossi, and Por la patria by Chilean Diamela Eltit), the intra-textual space carries extra-textual signification in its representation of the local political and cultural violence of the 1970's in their individual countries of Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile. At the same time, intra-textually, each of these writers uses the space of her text to present a complex structure of violence which infringes on universal as well as individual space. By examining the way in which these authors configure violent space, I postulate these texts as "neo-baroque." The question of space is paramount in the Neo-Baroque, as it was in its seventeenth-century variation. Be it with physical, geometrical space or with the structure of the written text, baroque artists, then and now, have struggled with the constructions of space and the ways in which people move through them. The texts in my study were written within fifteen years of each other by writers who experienced political violence in their homeland. These texts artistically present that political violence as it was manifested in their local, geographical spaces. The texts also display preoccupations with more extensive violences on both a universal, cultural level and at the level of crisis within the individual. Their depictions of violence go beyond the reproductions of the 'theme' of violence, by literally inscribing violence into the spatial structure of their texts. Thus, Gambaro's, Peri Rossi's and Eltit's text, through their contextualization of violent space, suggest the possibility of a feminine neo-baroque as a way of coming to terms with violence.

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