The Postmodern Storyteller: Donoso, García Márquez, and Vargas Llosa by Patricia E. ReaganThe Postmodern Storyteller: Donoso, García Márquez, and Vargas Llosa by Patricia E. Reagan

The Postmodern Storyteller: Donoso, García Márquez, and Vargas Llosa

byPatricia E. Reagan

Hardcover | June 21, 2012

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The Postmodern Storyteller examines three key novels of the 1980s, including José Donoso's El jardín de al lado (The Garden Next Door) (1981), Gabriel García Márquez's Crónica de una muerte anunciada (Chronicle of a Death Foretold) (1981), and Mario Vargas Llosa's El hablador (The Storyteller) (1987). Each text has an observer narrator who is not the protagonist of the story he narrates; rather he tells the story of another individual. These storytellers can be considered postmodern not only because they reject the notion of communicating truth, but also because they require an active reader-accomplice who will formulate an individualized message for him- or herself through reading the text and observing the Other. The shift from the modern to the postmodern storyteller is necessary, because, as Walter Benjamin indicated, it has become nearly impossible to convey personal experience through a traditional first-person mode of narration in contemporary society. As a way to preserve the importance of the author in a society in which communication is devalued, Donoso, García Márquez, and Vargas Llosa, who each earned their acclaim during the Latin American literary Boom of the 1960s, reject the truth-telling function implicit in first-person narration and the testimonio genre that became popular in the 1970s. Each reactionary narrator figure investigated in The Postmodern Storyteller discards the notion of communicating truth by parodying a truth-bearing genre, which include the realist, chronicle, and ethnography genres. As a result of the simultaneous observation of a protagonist Other, the narrator and the reader-accomplice can assuage the fragmentation of the individual in a postmodern society. As Reagan's analysis shows, the act of reading can serve a psychotherapeutic emotional appeal for the active reader when coupled with a postmodern storyteller.
Patricia E. Reagan is an assistant professor of Spanish at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 2006. Her primary field of study is contemporary Latin American literature with secondary concentrations in nineteenth-century Latin American literature and contemporary Peninsular ...
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Title:The Postmodern Storyteller: Donoso, García Márquez, and Vargas LlosaFormat:HardcoverDimensions:164 pages, 9.26 × 6.28 × 0.68 inPublished:June 21, 2012Publisher:Lexington BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0739169955

ISBN - 13:9780739169957

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Problem with the Traditional First Person NarratorChapter One: Self-Exile as a Means of Self-Affirmation in José Donoso's El jardín de al ladoChapter Two: The Anti-Rhetoric of the Non-Chronicle in Gabriel García Márquez's Crónica de una muerte anunciadaChapter Three: Stories of the Other/Reflections of the Self in Mario Vargas Llosa's El habladorConclusion: Postmodern Problems with Postmodern Solutions

Editorial Reviews

A cogent exploration of an important aspect of Boom narrative technique which contains new insights into selected novels by these three major Spanish American authors-this is a splendid first book by a new young critic.