Confabulation, Collaboration, and Chromolithography: Memory as Construct in the Works of Felipe Alfau

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Title: Confabulation, Collaboration, and Chromolithography: Memory as Construct in the Works of Felipe Alfau
Authors: Villeneuve, Philippe
Date: 2013
Abstract: This dissertation examines the work of Felipe Alfau, a Spanish-American writer who wrote two novels and a collection of children’s stories in the first half of the twentieth century which were the focus of a short-lived critical enthusiasm in the early 1990s. It recognizes the important contribution made by those early critics, but also tries to make a case for a reading of Alfau at variance with the kinds of readings his work has previously received. Specifically, it points at structural and thematic complexities in Alfau’s narratives that have been attributed to his experimentation with self-reflexivity and metafiction, experimentation which many have claimed anticipates the work of writers of the second half of the century. My dissertation shows how other unrelated concerns may have led him to boldly reconsider the parameters of narrative form. I contend that for Alfau confabulation, collaboration, and art are generators of narratives that present the self as an insoluble mystery. What I intend to demonstrate is that Alfau views these sources as problematic repositories that fail to capture and preserve human experience, yet simultaneously believes that they are the only means at our disposal for doing so. His narratives communicate the frustrations such a paradox entails, but also celebrate human faith in those means in spite of such frustrations.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/24408
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-3166
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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