Quick Search:

uzh logo
Browse by:

Zurich Open Repository and Archive

Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-34214

Clerici, A. Detrás de muros y rejas : familias oligárquicas frente al proceso medernizador en la novelística hispanoamericana. 2008, University of Zurich, Faculty of Arts.



My dissertation aims to analyze twenty novels and some short stories that portray the decay of the Hispano-American oligarchy, in the context of the economic and social change at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. I give special attention to La casa de los Felipes (Luisa Mercedes Levinson, 1951), La casa (Manuel Mujica Láinez, 1954), La casa del ángel (Beatriz Guido, 1954), Coronación (José Donoso, 1957), and Un mundo para Julius (Alfredo Bryce Echenique, 1970).
Since the publication of Oligarquía y literatura (Blas Matamoro, 1975) and Apogeo de la oligarquía: literatura argentina y realidad política (David Viñas, 1975), only a few monographic works dedicated to specific authors consider the relations between oligarchy and literature.
A comparative approach allows examining both the narrative techniques and the motifs of the literary corpus. The decadent ambience is accentuated by the frequent use of flashbacks and a circular narration structure, suggesting that the main characters are paralyzed, prisoners of the past, their solitude emphasized by the predominance of inner monologues and free indirect discourses. At the same time, fortified mansions and country houses play a central role in the configuration of an oligarchic space of self-enclosure, where the main characters are interpreted as symbols embedded in a hermetically sealed, doomed social stratum. Topics of frustration, emotional disorder, incest, and death cross the stories as leitmotifs.
Finally, child figures always appear in this narrative context provided with an open attitude that contrasts their parents’ stiffness. The children are the ones who try to establish the communication between the static universe of their families and the dynamic world beyond the houses’ walls and fences. Their subversive deeds and transgressions make possible to unveil a life, which existence is otherwise ignored by the adult view.


993 downloads since deposited on 26 May 2010
288 downloads since 12 months

Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Dissertation
Referees:Lienhard M, López Guil I
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Romance Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:470 Latin & Italic languages
410 Linguistics
450 Italian, Romanian & related languages
800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism
440 French & related languages
460 Spanish & Portuguese languages
Deposited On:26 May 2010 19:11
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:08
Number of Pages:212
Related URLs:http://opac.nebis.ch/F/?local_base=NEBIS&con_lng=GER&func=find-b&find_code=SYS&request=005717388

Users (please log in): suggest update or correction for this item

Repository Staff Only: item control page