Faculty Advisor

Vélez Quiñones, Harry

Area of Study

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Publication Date

Summer 2020


Famous for its fantastic and magical narratives, Latin American literature has been a focal point for Western perpetuation of colonial views that seek to define the region, its people, and its literature as primitive, untamed, and mystical. During this preliminary investigation, I sought to understand how the Argentine author Juan José Saer and Brazilian author Bernardo Carvalho contested the conventions of Latin American literature. In particular, I aimed to analyze how these authors used fiction to rewrite colonial imaginaries and break away from a fantasized Latin America. Within this investigation, I focused on the essays of these two authors “La selva espesa de lo real” (1994) and “Fiction as Exception” (2010) respectively, as well as two of their fictional works El entenado (1983) and Nove Noites (2002) respectively. In addition to the works of Saer and Carvalho, I also drew from the work of scholars, such as Mariano Siskind and Héctor Hoyos to understand the commodification and trends of Latin American literature within a global setting, as well as Carlos Jáuregui and Nancy Leys Stepan to understand the construction of the historical and cultural identity of Latin America by both domestic and international forces. Within this report I will discuss the following three items 1) the scholarship I used to frame and develop my research, 2) the work/essay(look) of both authors, and 3) my hypothesis for further investigation. In doing this research, I aimed to explore how these authors used works of fiction to contest Western conceptions of Latin America and to critique the exclusion of Latin American writers from the universal literary discourse that has thus far been dominated by Western authors.


Revised April, 2021


University of Puget Sound