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Identidad y representacion del personaje posmoderno: La saga de "Maqroll el Gaviero"

Doris Amanda Baron-Fritts, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


A lively debate on postmodern identity and character representation has arisen in literary circles over the past decade. The consensus seems to be that identity is multiple, variable and constructed, and character representation is no longer just the depiction of “men in action, men doing things” as Aristotle puts it (Poetics 33), but of character as an autonomous, self reflective and questioning subject. ^ The present dissertation explores the way in which Álvaro Mutis characterizes Maqroll el Gaviero as a postmodern subject. The predominant elements to confront are: (1) the construction of identity, and (2) the means of character representation. In the introduction I explain how the dynamics of modernism/postmodernism and modernity/post modernity have an impact in the understanding of Latin America as a valid cultural center. Chapter I examines the evolution of the concepts of identity and representation throughout two centuries of critical practice. Chapter II centers on the challenge postmodern characterization faces in terms of defining identity and representing the protagonist through unfigured subjects, reified presences and the implications of naming a character. In chapter III I illustrate the way in which postmodern identity is attained through processes of alterity and differential grouping. Chapter IV explores three patterns of resistance that challenge the modern notion of a center: (1) resisting incorporation, (2) assimilation, and (3) domestication.^ The conclusion demonstrates that the very notion of myth is subverted in the process of defining a postmodern identity, thus creating a postmodern literary epic. This subversion vindicates the evolving literary production in Colombia and its participation in the postmodern cultural debate. ^

Subject Area

Literature, Latin American

Recommended Citation

Baron-Fritts, Doris Amanda, "Identidad y representacion del personaje posmoderno: La saga de "Maqroll el Gaviero"" (1999). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9952672.