Title

Against Colonial Imaginaries: Rewriting Latin America in Juan José Saer’s The Witness & Bernardo Carvalho’s Nine Nights

Faculty Advisor

Vélez Quiñones, Harry

Area of Study

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Publication Date

Summer 2020

Abstract

Trapped within the Western imagination as an exotic locale to colonialism and magic realism, Latin America has been a constant spectacle, ripe for creative, scientific, and political intervention from foreign explorers. Yet, writers such as, Juan José Saer and Bernardo Carvalho have combated such restrictive colonial expectations through their novels El Entenado (The Witness) and Nove Noites (Nine Nights) respectively, creating instead singular, subjective narratives that, though based on historical events, focus instead on the power fiction has to present illuminating realities separate from the collective narratives found in identity-based works of the regional, “Latin American” genre preferred by Western audiences. In my project, I will analyze how these novels adopt colonial history and refashion them into fictional narratives that subvert the expectations of the Western reader. Throughout my project, I will draw from scholars who have researched coloniality through literature and history, such as Walter Mignolo, James Clifford, John Beverly, and Nancy Leys Stepan, among others, to analyze how El Entenado and Nove Noites create fictional and introspective narratives that resist the literary phenomena of reducing merit to collective testimonies by means of their reconstructions of colonial history that challenge the Western, literary consumer’s perception of truth, history and the verisimilitude of fiction.

Publisher

University of Puget Sound

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