Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel: Revisiones literarias en la era poscolonial y digital

Title: Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel: Revisiones literarias en la era poscolonial y digital
Authors: Ismail, Heba
Date: 2015
Abstract: Taking into account an indigenous pre-colonial, a European colonial and a hybrid postcolonial history, in addition to cruel post-independence authoritarian regimes, postcolonial literatures reflect very often the difficult experiences of nations who struggle to find their identities. This is the case of Equatorial Guinea, whose writers, many of them in exile, use their works to raise both national and international awareness about the miserable conditions of a people suffering the consequences of colonialism and two dictatorships. One of these writers is Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel (1966), the subject of this thesis. This dissertation explores how Ávila Laurel’s writings dialogue with Western literary tradition to represent a postcolonial society still in the process of nation-building. In the second chapter, we study Avión de ricos, ladrón de cerdos (2008) as a picaresque novel, and in the third, Arde el monte de noche (2009) as a Bildungsroman. After presenting an overview of the main characteristics of these genres, we demonstrate the similarities of Ávila Laurel’s narratives with the canonical texts, and at the same time, how their rewriting in a postcolonial context leads to fundamental revisions. The final chapter is devoted to Ávila Laurel’s blog Malabo that he has been publishing in the digital journal FronteraD since 2009. We understand his blog as the author’s effort to write political essay, a genre with a longstanding tradition, benefitting from the advantages the new media and communication tools provide. As we argue in this thesis, the author uses Western literary genres that also surfaced in times of deep social and political crisis, to protest against poverty, corruption and abuse of authority, and to denounce hypocrisy and the persistence of colonial and neocolonial structures in Equatorial Guinea. Writing from a hybrid “third space,” Ávila Laurel’s works are, above all, a desire to tell a collective story and create an archive for generations to come.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/32950
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