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La littérature de l’éclatement ou l’utopie de la totalité au tournant du XXIème siècle : 2066 de Roberto Bolaño, Flores de Mario Bellatin et Vidas perpendiculares d’Álvaro Enrigue

Abstract : A turning point was apparent from the end of the twentieth century in Latin-American literature, after a few uncompleted attempts to search for “totality” through the literary movement of the Latin-American boom of the ‘60s.Then, a new postmodern literature developed, opposed to the “utopian” objectives of the boom (such as the “total novel”, which embraced all the genres, proposed exhilarated eroticism, a metafictional reflection and a political commitment). The writers born in the ‘50s took over new processes which aimed for “dislocate” literature. Among these processes figure numerous narrative voices, parallel universes, generic hybridity, a “cinematic” (visual and sonorous), fragmented writing, scattered with flashbacks and flash-forwards.In order to analyze the limits of literary totality –more accurately, novelistic totality– and to define this postmodern “dislocated”, “antitotal” writing, I focused on three works which cover the years 1995-2010, published by Spanish-American writers from diverse countries (even though they belong to the same postmodern or postnational generation), being spread through a proper aesthetics, but sprinkled with communal characters, reflection on literature and atmosphere/tone.Mario Bellatin's fragmentary, short and polyphonic novel Flores (2004) relates many criss-crossed stories, in an indeterminate and claustrophobic space, in which characters are come down to their “body”.Vidas perpendiculares (2008), by the Mexican Álvaro Enrigue, uses the same strategy as a “puzzle”, as stories' fragmentation and simultaneity. Here, the narrator recounts five love stories which left a mark on the life of one character, Jerónimo, in the form of successive “reincarnations”, on an ironic and pleasant tone.As for the long (anti)total and apocalyptic novel of the Chilean Roberto Bolaño, 2666 (2004), it evokes the destiny of many characters –most of them related to the literary world– in the fictional city of Santa Teresa (Ciudad Juárez).The Mexican Jorge Volpi entitled one of his most polemical article ”La literatura latinoamericana ya no existe”, but the fact that literature disintegrates itself, breaks with the codes that defined itself, plays with them and/or reinvents them, isn't it after all a form of literature (and not of lack of literature), such as the form of splitting, dislocation?It is precisely this new aesthetics that tries to find itself, in pursuit of identity, that constitutes, according to me, a major interest. And even more in an intervening period (between two different centuries, generations, worlds).To deal with these aspects of contemporary Latin-American literature in depth, I will principally focus on four angles of the aesthetics elaborated by the writers of my corpus : I will define first the concepts of totality, unity, modernity and postmodernity, essential to any later reflection ; then, I will examine the structure both totalizing and distotalizing of Bolaño, Bellatin and Enrigue's work ; and finally, I will be interested in the paradoxical and dichotomous nature of postmodern Latin-American literature, always through the prism of the three authors.This is only thanks to a comparative, theoretical and analytical study that I could try to provide the literary criticism field with other approaches. Therefore, I will attempt to determine contemporary, postmodern literature's (differential and similar) features, to underline its intents, limits and contradictions, while I will take a political, social, cultural, economic context each time more (omni)present.
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Iris Cotteaux. La littérature de l’éclatement ou l’utopie de la totalité au tournant du XXIème siècle : 2066 de Roberto Bolaño, Flores de Mario Bellatin et Vidas perpendiculares d’Álvaro Enrigue. Linguistique. Université de Cergy Pontoise, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014CERG0724⟩. ⟨tel-01161806⟩

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