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Title page for ETD etd-04132006-153514

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Latinez, Alejandro
Author's Email Address alejandro.e.latinez@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-04132006-153514
Title Narrativas de aprendizaje, narrativas de crecimiento: el personaje adolescente y los límites del discurso del desarrollo en Latinoamérica entre 1950 y 1971
Degree PhD
Department Spanish and Portuguese
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Cathy Jrade Committee Chair
Earl Fitz Committee Member
James Lang Committee Member
William Luis Committee Member
  • modernidad
  • escritura
  • Brasil
  • América Latina
  • discurso económico
  • siglo XX
Date of Defense 2006-02-17
Availability unrestricted
The validity of “development” in Latin America as a cultural force has not been thoroughly questioned – either by those from the industrialized world or by Latin American politicians, technicians, and military personnel. Within the Latin American cultural world, although the ideological effects of development have been considered, yet critics have neglected literary discourses. Recognizing the specific nature of development as a discursive construction and the adolescent character as a representation of the future of Latin American nations, this dissertation attempts to recognize the cultural discussion on the power of development, a key aspect of its modernity. The study shows the limits of development practices in Octavio Paz’s 1950 essay El laberinto de la soledad, Mario Vargas Llosa’s 1963 novel La ciudad y los perros, Clarice Lispector’s short stories and chronicles, José Lezama Lima’s 1966 novel Paradiso, and Elena Poniatowska’s 1971 testimony La noche de Tlatelolco.

These narratives exemplify the interplay between the rhetoric of development and the ensuing literary responses: texts and contexts feeding each other through characters and plots. Additionally, the traditions of the Bildungsroman and picaresque give insightful commentaries on the society, subject development, and integration with the nation, relating in different ways education and survival in preparation for the adolescent’s tasks for the future. All these aspects together conjugate to examine critically this chapter of the modernity. In this perspective, the incorporation of a social category such as "development" in the narrative creates a different registry within the Latin American literary tradition.

The relationship between this symbolic representation of an adolescent group – the Latin American nation’s future – and the goal to mold them into industrious “good citizens” or “new men” exposes the interpellation of the development ideology inherent in Latin American literature and culture. Hence, this study reveals both the continuity and disruption of development discourse during Post War Latin America culture, using examples exemplary of the period.

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