Mark Danner

Writing After Modernism: Quixote, the Boom and Postmodern Play

Writing After Modernism

Quixote, the Boom and Postmodern Play

LIT 339   Fall 2017   W 130-350   Olin 309

Mark Danner

How to account for the startling rise of an artistic movement that seizes on the innovations of modernist giants Joyce, Faulkner and Woolf and pushes them further in untrammeled and boldly vertiginous directions? The Boom dominated Latin American letters for scarcely twenty years — decades in which Latin America found itself in the full glare of the Cold War struggle for influence — and yet it produced a score of masterpieces and its reverberations in world literature are still being felt. In this seminar we will trace some of the Boom’s antecedents, particularly in Miguel Cervantes’ woeful knight and Jorge Luis Borges’ intricate fictional mazes; examine its classics, from Carpentier, Cortázar,  Fuentes, García Márquez and Vargas Llosa; and delve into the work of some of its irrepressible second generation — seeking throughout to discover what might account for this brief efflorescence of bold literary experimentation.

Course Lectures


Writing After Modernism

Quixote, the Boom and Postmodern Play

LIT 339   Fall 2017   W 130-350   Olin 309

Mark Danner

Class Requirements This class will be a mixture of lectures and discussion, backed up by a very large amount of reading. The most important requirements are that students

*Attend all class sessions

*Keep up with reading assignments

*Participate in discussions

*Deliver one presentation to the class

*Hand in a final paper of 12 pages

A student’s record of attendance and participation in class discussion, together with the thoroughness of his or her preparation, will determine the success of our class and contribute the better part of the grade.

Schedule Note that classes will meet Wednesday afternoons at 1:30 a.m. in Olin 309.

Reading Our primary reading will draw from a handful of classics of the so-called Boom in Latin American literature, centering on the decade of the nineteen sixties and including masterpieces of Cortázar, Fuentes, García Márquez and Vargas Llosa. We will also delve into the immediate antecedents of the Boom, in the work of Borges, Rulfo and Carpentier; the far antecedents, in Cervantes and Machado de Assis, and one successor, Roberto Bolaño. Please note the reading component for this seminar is heavy, averaging about 300 pages a week.

Presentations Each student will make one presentation in class of ten to fifteen minutes on a subject related to our assigned reading or discussion. The latitude on subject matter is quite broad: it can take up the life of a given writer, an episode in his or her career, the relation of written work to film, its broader cultural impact, etc. Use of multimedia and social media is strongly encouraged.

Writing There will (likely) be an in-class midterm examination on October 11. There will also be a final paper, a short (three to four sentence) précis describing which is due November 29. The final paper, which is twelve pages, is due December 20 (though extra credit of a third of a grade will be granted if it is handed in a week early).

To bolster the clarity and vigor of your English prose, I strongly suggest studying two works: George Orwell’s essay, “Politics and the English Language,” which can be readily found on the web, and Strunk and White’s little manual, The Elements of Style.

Office Hours I will count on meeting with each of you individually at least once during the course of the term. We will make these appointments on an ad hoc basis. I am best reached via email, at My office is in Aspinwall 108. My writing, speaking and other information can be found at my website,

Grading Students will be graded on their preparedness and their participation in class, the strength of their presentations and the quality of their written work, as follows:

Attendance            25 percent

Presentation          25 percent

Midterm Exam     25 percent

Final Paper           25 percent

To do well in this class a solid record of attendance is essential.

Required Texts

Roberto Bolaño, By Night in Chile (New Directions, 2003 [2000])

Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones (Grove, 1994 [1944])

Alejo Carpentier, The Kingdom of This World (Farrar Straus, 2006 [1949])

Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote de La Mancha (Restless Books, 2015 [1605 and 1615])

Julio Cortázar, Hopscotch: a novel (Pantheon, 1966 [1963])

Carlos Fuentes, The Death of Artemio Cruz (Farrar Straus, 1964)

Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, Epitaph of a Small Winner (Farrar Straus, 2008 [1881])

Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (Harper, 1970 [1967])

Juan Rulfo, Pedro Páramo (Grove, 1994 [1955])

Mario Vargas Llosa, The Time of the Hero (Faber, 1995 [1963])

Suggested Texts

Jorge Luis Borges, Selected Non-Fictions

Michael Drolet (ed.),The Postmodernism Reader: Foundational Texts

Julio Cortázar, Literature Class: Berkeley 1980

Carlos Fuentes,The Great Latin American Novel

Juan Rulfo, The Plain in Flames

Mario Vargas Llosa, A Writer’s Reality

Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris (eds.), Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community

Tentative Syllabus

September 6, 2017 – The Boom: An Introduction.

September 13 — Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones (Grove, 1994 [1944])

September 20 – Alejo Carpentier, The Kingdom of This World (Minnesota, 2001 [1949])

September 27 – Juan Rulfo, Pedro Páramo (Grove, 1994 [1955])

October 4 – Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (Harper, 1970 [1967])

October 11 – Midterm Examination. Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (Harper, 1970 [1967])

October 18 – Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote de La Mancha (Restless Books, 2015 [1605 and 1615])

October 25 – Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote de La Mancha (Restless Books, 2015 [1605 and 1615])

November 1 – Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote de La Mancha (Restless Books, 2015 [1605 and 1615])

November 8 – Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, Epitaph of a Small Winner (Farrar Straus, 2008 [1881])

November 15 – Mario Vargas Llosa, The Time of the Hero (Faber, 1995 [1963])

November 22 – Carlos Fuentes, The Death of Artemio Cruz (Farrar Straus, 1964)

November 29 – Final paper précis due. Julio Cortázar, Hopscotch: a novel (Pantheon, 1966 [1963])

December 6 – Julio Cortázar, Hopscotch: a novel (Pantheon, 1966 [1963])

December 13 – Julio Cortázar, Hopscotch: a novel (Pantheon, 1966 [1963])

December 20 – Final paper due. Roberto Bolaño, By Night in Chile (New Directions, 2003 [2000])

Class Notes

By course assistant Thomas Eisenman

September 6th — Introduction: Quixote and the Boom. In-class Readings:

– Jorge Luis Borges — “Kafka and His Predecessors” and “Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote”

– A discussion of the Boom and its history. Originated in the early 1960s but with obvious predecessors.

– Its main authors Julio Cortázar, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa

– Many others could be included but important predecessors are Jorge Luis Borges, Alejo Carpentier, Juan Rulfo and Miguel Angel Asturias

– The difficulty of defining a period: by chronology, by selected writers?

– Premise of the seminar: Boom reaches forward as an example of postmodernism (we will seek a definition) but also backward, above all, to Don Quixote, the first postmodern novel

– Thus we will begin with predecessors (Borges, Carpentier and Rulfo), then plunge into the Boom (One Hundred Years of Solitude) then back to its distant roots in the Baroque (Don Quixote), then gradually work forward (Machado de Assis) and then into the Boom itself (Vargas Llosa, Fuentes and Cortázar). A vertiginous but we hope provocative journey

– Huge amount of reading in this course

– Several searches: to understand the Boom itself and where it comes from

– To understand Postmodernism and where its preoccupations originate

– Note recommended reading: primary reading is so heavy we will not require any scholarly apparatus. Professor will integrate these sources in the lectures at beginning of class

– Borges: In a sense his popularity – he won the International Publishers Prize (with Samuel Beckett) in 1962 – launched the international interest in Latin American literature

– He was a huge influence on the younger generation of Boom writers, not least in his postmodern play and his broad arc of reference (all literature)

– Though many of these pieces were written in the thirties and forties, they did not appear in translation until the early sixties (1962: Ficciones and Labyrinths from Grove and New Directions), which is when they began to have a worldwide influence on readers – and writers

– Preoccupation with self-reference, with the problem of writing and representation, working out of existential and ontological games, Chinese boxes, dream-and-reality, skepticism, the “open text,” the extreme demands on the reader. The play with fiction and reality (Quixote), fiction and non-fiction (many of his essays could be short stories) (the pseudo-essay) with the role or even existence of the author – all will be preoccupations of the Boom writers

– Influence of Don Quixote on all these books and writers

September 13th — Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones (Grove, 1994 [1944])

– Borges first read in English — dad’s mom was English

o DeQuincey, Chesterton, Stevenson

– Blind father — Borges becomes blind around 55

o Lawyer and taught psychology

– 14 years old — went to Europe to get eyes in Switzerland when war breaks out

– 1914-1921

o learns French and German in school there

o Later in Spain w/ ultraists movement

– Movement in Spanish poetry, a reaction against Spanish modernism

– An appreciation for history, as opposed to the modernists

– Father died in the 30s — his father was a failed writer

– His first job was as a director of a library

– Key Borges

– Agnostic

– Skepticism

– Playing with time

– Nonfiction vs fiction

– Funny, playful, pathetic irony

– Not nihilistic irony (oppositely, it is filled with emotion, pathos)

– Never completely serious

– Benefitting from a whole world of literature

September 20th — Alejo Carpentier, The Kingdom of This World (Minnesota, 2001 [1949]); Carpentier, “On the Marvelous Real,” and “The Baroque in the Marvelous Real,” both in Magical Realism collection

– Considered the first “boom” book

o Heavy use of magical realism – i.e. the miraculous in the mundane, the miraculous as quotidian

o Baroque of style (Carpentier’s definition of Baroque — i.e. as centerless, fraught with energy, sprawling

– The prologue to the book defines the “marvelous real,” a term later used to describe magical realism

o Marvelous real: the miraculous and surreal as every day, without elements of surprise.

– Book was written in 1949

– History of Alejo Carpentier

o Son to two French artists

o Began playing piano at an early age, was briefly a concert pianist

o Around this time, culture in Latin American was dominated by European figures

– Latin American literature at the time = naturalist writing

– This consisted of writing about tradition, region. This genre was

subservient to European literature, however.

o Borges and Carpentier become the most notable Latin American authors at the time, calling attention to Latin American literature world wide

o Carpentier became a journalist in Cuba. He soon got into political trouble and was put into jail for 40 days.

o After getting out, he escaped and moved to Paris.

o There he began working as a radio journalist.

– Interviewed many of the prominent surrealist figures (e.g. Dali, Picasso,Yves Tangue)

o He was associated with the surrealist movement, but rebelled against it.

– Did not like Western surrealism — grounded on nothing, superfluous, surreal for the sake of being surreal.

o Carpentier then visited Haiti

– During the war and dictatorship

– Visits landmarks of the country (e.g. Sans-Souci). Falls in love with the country, both its history and landscape

– Haiti has a vast history.

o Began as a French colony

o Consisted of farmers who imported slaves

– So much importation that black soon outnumbered the white

– The slave culture was African due to the importation, thus Voodoo

o First successful black/slave rebellion

– Haitian history is “marvelous,” “surreal”

o It is the marvelous real — the miraculous which is

normalized in everyone’s mind

– This book retells the events before, during, and after the slave rebellion

o The different accounts of history according to where one was raised

– Different accounts of history on both sides — i.e. black and white

o Myth is heavily embedded in accounts of the rebellion, as well as Haitian history as a whole

– This is where the “magical realism” comes into play

o In one part of the book, two different accounts of the same event are told

– Black and white accounts

– This accounts are entirely at odds with each other

– This discrepancy in accounts is never explained, just occurs in the


o This is one example of the books “baroque” nature

Class Recording

September 28th — Juan Rulfo, Pedro Páramo (Grove, 1994 [1955])

– Rulfo wrote much more of the book, but cut it down to its bare essentials

– The narrative is chaotic. Timeline is out of order.

o Foreground, middle ground, and background are blurred.

– You assume book takes place from past to present, but it in fact takes place from present to future

– History of Juan Rulfo

o Was also a photographer

o His family were landowners. They eventually lost their land.

o Rulfo didn’t make a living off his writing

– Was a tire salesman, working for the government

o Was not technically a boom writer, just influenced many of the boom writers

– Book has magical realistic traits, such as the existence of ghosts

– The book is similar to Faulkner in:

o A cacophony of voices, a collective consciousness

– The disorganization of the novel makes the despair within the narrative more prominent

– This book is about many things

o History being found in the gap between the powerful and the powerless

o The Mexican revolution

– A microcosm of Mexico — e.g. the power structure of the town (the

landowners vs the people)

– The search for Pedro = the search for power in Mexico

Class Recording

October 4th — Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (Harper, 1970[1967])

– Came out in 1967

– This novel is said to have brought about the boom.

o Even though other Boom novels had already come out, they weren’t coined as Boom novels until this book was released

o This book solidified Latin American literature as a force to be reckoned with

– Gabriel Garcia-Marquez

o Most, if not all of his writing was been influenced by his grandparents

– Told stories in a such a way that truth and fiction, the real and the

marvelous were intertwined, indistinguishable from each other

– Stories told as a sequence of events

– The book is a very traditional example of “magical realism”

o Narrative is filled with events which defy reality, yet occur in the narrative without any element of surprise

– Book is also self-aware, post-modern

o Melquíades, the “gypsy”

– The supposed novel of the book

– The manuscript read at the end of the novel — the one written by

Melquiades —is the novel itself

– The only thing that survives at the end of the book is the book


o This highlights the importance of art, its redemptive qualities as something which survives throughout time, exists beyond the history which it springs from

– The book acts as a continental epic

o Both Columbia and the rest of Latin America

– Begins with the genesis of the identity of the town (continental identity)

– Things begin without names — reference to the Latin American identity

– What does solitude mean in this book?

o Solitude in the Buendia family

– A completely insular family

– Book takes place mostly within the Buendia residence

– Incestuous relationships between family members keeps it insular

– The repetition of names and traits among the family members

o Solitude of culture

– Buendia family culture, larger national/continental identity

Class Recording

October 11th — Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote de la Mancha (Part 1) (Restless Books, 2015 [1605 and 1615])

– Don Quixote possibly the most famous book ever written

o Often seen as the first novel ever written

o Also the first post-modern novel, even though the term wasn’t used for another 300 years

– Influenced many, many authors (Faulkner, Kafka, Nabokov, etc.)

– Book is now read as one cohesive piece, but was originally two separate books (Book 1 in 1605, Book 2 in 1615)

– Written during the Golden Century

o This was the period in which one finds some of the best Spanish Art and Literature (Velasquez, El Greco)

– Before Don Quixote, Cervantes was down on his luck

o Had fought in the Battle de Lepanto

– Never got recompense

o Was a tax collector

o Lost the use of his left hand

o Without money, without much of a reputation

– Don Quixote became a huge success and solidified Cervantes as a writer

– A fake sequel (not written by Cervantes) was written in between the first and second book

o This forced spurred Cervantes on to finish the second novel

– Why was Don Quixote so big?

o Was the first modern novel (or post-modern novel)

– Difference between a novel and a romance

– Romance = characters don’t change

– Novels = characters do change

– The novel is an example of a picaresque novel (to some degree)

– Focusing on a rogue, swindler protagonist

– Also an episodic novel

– Compiled of different individual’s episodes which create the larger narrative

– Don Quixote is a complete anachronism in the world he lives in

o Knight errant era anachronistic in 1605

– Novel focuses on the difference between reality and fiction, the way in which the two intersect

o Don Quixote, a man who believes that the fictional is real, becomes a fictional knight, believing him to be real, and in turn affects reality in such a way that blurs what is real and fiction

– Modern (post-modern) in the sense that this man is creating his own reality

o Creates his own world because he doesn’t fit into reality

– This novel plays many games with fiction and reality

– Don Quixote’s delusions begin to penetrate reality

o E.g. Sancho

o E.g. The Priest, The Barber, Dorotea (etc.) all have to stick to the story they have

created to bring Quixote back to the village

o The romance of Cardenio and Dorotea very similar to a typical fictive romance

– The undermining of reality becomes more pronounced as Quixote becomes more well known

o Very post-modern

Class Recording

October 18th — Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote de la Mancha (Part 1 and 2) (Restless Books, 2015 [1605 and 1615])

– Cervantes wrote during the anti-reformation period in Spain

o Spain was very Catholic, weeded out everyone questioning Catholicism

o Focused on purity of blood (who is pure Catholic)

– The old Catholics (pure blood) v.s. new Catholics (recently convereted)

o An overwhelming animosity towards Jews, Moors

o A general paranoia regarding who people are

o This is what informs the post-modernism in Quixote

– Paranoia/skepticism

– Influences questions of identity throughout the book

– The book refutes the notion of one supreme idea

– This is very liberal in the context of the reformation

– What does it mean that Quixote is mad?

o He knows he is an anachronism

– Delusions become multifold due to the people who contribute to it

o This is even more so in part 2

Class Recording

October 25 – Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote de la Mancha

Class Recording

November 1st — Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote de la Mancha (Part 2) (Restless Books, 2015 [1605 and 1615])

– This book (part 2) contains weird moments in which reality and fiction become so intertwined, it creates existential vertigo

– Part 2 is the first post-modern novel

o The narrative folds in on itself, completely blurring the line between fiction and reality

– Part 1 is informed by the chivalry form other texts, while Part 2 is informed by Don Quixote in Part 1

o Part 1 = a reflection

o Part 2 = a reflection of a reflection

– Part 1 is much more straight-forward

o Renaissance (symmetrical, structured)

– Part 2 is baroque (in Carpentier’s language)

o Structureless, without symmetry,

– In part 2, you have different characters who almost act as writers

o These characters decided the outcome of the plot, deciding the lives of others

– E.g. the Duke and Dutchess, who momentarily write Sancho and

Quixote’s plot

o This is a post-modern idea

November 8th — Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, Epitaph of a Small Winner (Farrar Straus, 2008 [1881])

(aka The Postumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas)

– The most Don Quixote-esque of Latin American literature at that time

– Written in 1880

o This was during the height of realism

– This book goes against that grain

– How is this book similar to Don Quixote?

o Both books share theme of melancholy

– E.g. Epitaph = the yellow flower, the plaster

– E.g. Don Quixote = the knight of the sorrowful face

o Both share a picaresque structure

o Both are written by crazy/dead people (in different ways, of course)

o Both are about obsession

o Both are about the quest to become someone else

o Both are post-modern

– Pastiche

– Self-aware

– Self-referential

– The view of people is much darker than in other novels

o The death bed delirium perfectly summarizes this darkness

o Acts as a frame to the rest of the novel

– Human life as misery

– Human life as ruthless ambition, obsessive, self-motivated drive

Class Recording

November 15th — Mario Vargas Llosa, Time of the Hero (Faber, 1995 [1963])

– The first boom book (boom proper)

– A history making novel

– Published when he was 26

– Vargos Llosa most identified with the character Alberto

– Vargas Llosa attended a military academy

o Based the book off this

– The book was a big scandal

o Seen as an attack on the army

– Both Llosa and Borges win international awards this year

o This a big deal for Latin America

– A revolutionary book both mechanically and conventionally

o Academy as a microcosm for larger Peruvian society

– Peru a middle class country

– Majority native Peruvian (Indian), wealthy white

– Vargos Llosa grew up in middle class family

– Peru is seen by many as corrupt

– The book uses

o Stream of consciousness

o Hidden data

o Communicating vessels (different sub-plots that relate in one way or another, relate thematically)

– Linked structurally and thematically

– Book functions almost as a detective story

– Vargas Llosa — on Faulkner “structure can be a character, sometimes the most important character”

Class Recording

November 29th — Mario Vargas Llosa, Time of the Hero (Faber, 1995 [1963])

– The post-modern = the playful, the alterity (Cortazar)

– This book is big for the Boom

– What is a boom book?

o There were no boom novels before this

o The boom is retrospective

– This book was shocking

– Subject matter (corruption of Peruvian society, scandalous subject

matter, attacking a private institution)

– Ambition (to include all different parts of Peruvian society)

– Structure (its technical expertise — fragmenting the novel)

– Book is focused on a society in development that is fragmented

o This is post-modern

– The book is pastiche

o A detective novel, almost a game!!!!

– This is postmodern

– Machismo is partly at the core of this Peruvian corruption

– Jaguar seduced into criminal behavior

o Money

– This turns him into a toxic masculine figure

– Basically making a connection between class implications of Peru and toxic masculinity

Class Recording

December 6th — Carlos Fuentes, The Death of Artemio Cruz (Farrar Straus, 1964)

– Vargas Llosa attempted to write the great Peruvian novel

o About corruption

– Fuentes doing the same thing

o Writing the great Mexican novel

– Attack on all things Mexican

– Ambitious attempt to encompass Mexico and moreover Latin America

o Same w/ One Hundred Years of Solitude, Time of the Hero

– Formal predecessors

o Joyce, Faulkner, Proust

– Book consists of three voices

o I, you, he

– Voices occur over 12 ½ cycles

– Supposed to be 12 hours

– Book is told non-linearly, but is structured in a way

o Complicated but also empirical

o His life passing before him

– Stream of consciousness

o Post-modern in that sense

– Cruz comes from aristocracy and slavery

o White and black

– The green eyes point towards his white ancestry

– You don’t know anything about Cruz until the end of the book

o It’s all present tense — i.e. his origins are kept in darkness

– This book is heavily influenced by Citizen Kane

– Revolution creates new aristocracy

o Cruz is part of that new aristocracy

o Cruz is a product of the revolution

o This aristocracy is no different from the last

– The revolution fills the same role with different people

– Lite motifs in the novel

o Cruz – his green eyes

o Lorenzo – over the river

o Opening the window

o Gloria, his granddaughter

– This book consists of a series of conquests

o Revolution over aristocracy

o Cruz’s dad over his mother

o Cruz over his lovers

o Cruz over the land, landowners

o Death over Cruz

Class Recording

December 11 th — Julio Cortazar, Hopscotch (Pantheon, 1966 [1963])

– This book is very post-modern

o Completely non-linear, both in the narrative itself and in the literal form of the book

– What constitutes a boom book?

o Temporal shifts

o Unstable narrator

o Narrative voices shifts

o Blur reality and dream

o Simultaneity of modern chronology and mythical history

o Stop in time to describe absolute narrative

– Hopscotch fits all of these descriptions

– Hopscotch the most experimental boom book

o Most playful

– Morelli

o Maybe the author of the book

o A writer/philosopher

o His theories hold true to this book (describe this book)

o Concerned w/ art and reality — what to do after modernism

– Known as an anti-novel

o Cortazar — “book got out of hand”

– A lack of control over the writing of the book, a very post-modern idea

– Structure of the book reflects both his intentions and the circumstances in which he wrote it

– Writing of the book:

o Started as a vignette, a scenario without context

o Wrote the novel around it

o Included different pieces of writings he had compiled over the course of his years in Paris

– Book was written out of order

– Put all the chapters in a large studio and walked from chapter to chapter, letting chance guide him, which thus compiled the structure of the novel

– A reflexive novel

o About what a novel is, the process of writing a novel

Class Recording

December 13th — Julio Cortazar, Hopscotch (Pantheon, 1966 [1963])

– First chapter

o The fire (A fuel, a defining “thing”, something which links a generation of people)

– The serpent club

o On existential quest, trying to find “meaning”

– Oliveira going through existential crisis of his own

o Has to be authentic

o This attempt to be authentic gets in the way of his interactions with other people

– Chapter 28

o Argument of existential authenticity comes to a head at this chapter

– “false action”

– This allows them to ignore the real world

– It is a kind of privilege, a philosopher’s privilege

– This leads to the death of Rocamadour, the baby

Class Recording

December 16th — Julio Cortazar, Hopscotch (Pantheon, 1966 [1963])

– A philosophical game being played in which the author decides who lives and dies

o A character’s existence is entirely at the whim of the author

– Posit for the novel:

o La Maga kills herself, Horacio becomes increasingly unstable, crazy

– An existential purist (as traveler puts it) erodes his sanity

– Huge amount of mirroring in the novel

o Encounter between Horacio and traveler (doppelgangers)

o Argentina and Paris

o Talita and La Maga

– A lot of triangles (triangular desire)

o Horacio, La Maga, Ossip

o Horacio, traveler, talita

o Horacio, La Maga, Pola

– Chapter 41 (first thing he wrote)

o The bridge

– The rainbow

– What is the rainbow?

o An open improvisation

o It’s a happening (post-modern) — making art out of daily


o Making art out of life

– An epiphany

– Break through ordinary reality, get in

contact with actual reality

– A romantic notion

– There is much more to life, we can find it

through techniques of art, techniques of personality, techniques of dislocation, experience of landscape

– This rainbow connects Traveler and Horacio — the mirroring

becomes much greater after this chapter

o The triangle forms out of this — Horacio, Traveler, Talita

– Talita becomes an object of desire

o Between traveler and Horacio

o This is an example of the “macho”

– A deconstruction of the “object of desire” trope in a

lot of the books we’ve read

– The structure of the book makes you read the book in a different way

o Makes you a participant in the game

o Makes you an active reader

o It is very disorienting

– This perfectly mirrors Horacio’s point of view — his increasing madness and his existential crisis

– The game he constructs and sucks people into

Class Recording

Further Reading

Books that could have been assigned for this class but weren’t.

Roberto Bolaño, The Savage Detectives

Juan Rulfo, The Plain in Flames

Miguel Angel Asturias, Senor Presidente

Miguel Angel Asturias, Men of Maize

Mario Vargas Llosa, The Feast of the Goat

Mario Vargas Llosa, Conversation in the Cathedral

Miguel de Cervantes, Exemplary Novels

Isabel Allende, House of the Spirits

José Donoso, The Obscene Bird of Night

Julio Cortázar, Blow Up and Other Stories

Julio Cortázar, 62: A Model Kit

Laurence Sterne, Tristam Shandy

Machado de Assis, Quincas Borba

Clarice Lispector, The Hour of the Star

Clarice Lispector,The Passion According to G.H.

Clarice Lispector, Collected Stories

Alejo Carpentier, The Chase

Alejo Carpentier, The Lost Steps

Alejo Carpentier, Explosion in the Cathedral

Joao Guimaraes Rosa,The Third Bank of the River and Other Stories