The Birth of Spanish American Fantastic Fiction

CGS Brown Bag Lecture Series
Feb 13, 2013
01:15 PM to 02:15 PM
430 Burrowes

Jose Alvarez, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, Penn State

Many complementary and contradictory definitions of the fantastic have been circulating in the academia since the publication of Tzvetan Todorov’s Introduction à la littérature fantastique in 1970. These academic debates often forget that the origins and possibilities of the genre were theorized in very similar terms by Jorge Luis Borges, Adolfo Bioy Casares, and Silvina Ocampo thirty years earlier, in a controversial and widely read collection entitled Antología de la literatura fantástica (1940). This presentation focuses on the peculiar definition of the fantastic proposed by these Argentinean writers in 1940, analyzing the political, cultural, and social circumstances in which they declare the birth of the new genre, and discussing the specific agenda behind such project.

José Álvarez is an ABD doctoral student in Spanish. He has taught a wide variety of language and literature classes in his native country Peru, and in Penn State, where he is currently working as a course supervisor for the Intermediate Spanish Language Program. His research focuses on contemporary Spanish American literature and British Gothic fiction. He is in the process of turning his recently-defended dissertation into a book, The Gothic Tradition in Spanish America. He is also working on an essay on Ricardo Piglia’s La ciudad ausente.

This lecture is a part of the Center for Global Studies Brown Bag Graduate Lecture Series which focuses on interdisciplinary graduate research.

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