Characters are made, scripted, and invented, but Creators and Created Beings in Twentieth-Century Latin American Fiction explores what occurs when literary creations become creators themselves. Representing Latin American fiction’s increasingly skeptical gaze in the early- to mid- twentieth century, these literary creators breach the metafictional frame in order to problematize themes including life and death, gender and sexuality, and technology. Drawing upon a diverse range of literary works by canonical and non-canonical authors including Jorge Luis Borges, Horacio Quiroga, Carlos Onetti, Julio Cortázar, María Luisa Bombal, Carlos Fuentes, Roberto Arlt, Juan José Arreola, Eduardo Ladislao Holmberg, Clemente Palma, Adolfo Bioy Casares, and Pedro Angelici, this study excavates critical ontological and epistemological inquiries and delves into questions of identity, power, scientific knowledge, and the transformative nature of fiction.
Amy Frazier-Yoder is professor of Spanish and Hispanic cultures at Juniata College.
Introduction: Creating Questions
Chapter 1: Creating a Worried Embrace: The Shared Anxieties and Exuberance of Early-Century Science Fiction
Chapter 2: Frame Crossings, Author Spotting, and Power Struggles: Metafictional Readings of Character Creation by Arlt, Onetti, and Cortázar
Chapter 3: The Word Made Flesh: Ontological Disruption in Character Creation in Works by Borges
Chapter 4: Making Lovers: Power, Desire, Gender, and Identity Construction in Works by Bombal, Arreola, and Fuentes
Conclusion: Questioning Creations, Creators, and Created Beings
This book reflects years of Frazier-Yoder’s deep intellectual engagement with the works of some of Latin America’s most beloved and respected writers. Her analysis of what she dubs character creation as a vehicle for “epistemological questioning and ontological disruption” allows for fresh interpretations of canonical and lesser-known texts alike. In fact, the four areas of inquiry she identifies in these twentieth-century works feel especially relevant for twenty-first-century readers and scholars of Spanish-language literature.
Creators and Created Beings in Twentieth-Century Latin American Fiction: Creating Questions is an excellent contribution to Latin American studies. It adds fascinating new perspectives to readings of widely recognized literary masterpieces by a group of authors that includes Roberto Arlt, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, María Luisa Bombal, Carlos Fuentes, Horacio Quiroga, and Juan Carlos Onetti, among others. Focusing on early- to mid-twentieth-century fiction, Amy Frazier-Yoder examines how writers create authorial figures who, in turn, become authors themselves. In elucidating the workings of creators of created beings, the analyses are particularly in tune with our contemporary world’s technical and scientific developments, the presence of avatars, gender issues, and lovers’ qualms. Although this study relies on fiction from Mexico to Southern Cone countries, the book is a very well-informed examination of the intellectual, artistic, and scientific background of the times, greatly enhancing the depth of the readings. These intelligent and sophisticated analyses undoubtedly expand previous interpretations. After reading this investigation, my appreciation of classics such as Fuentes’ Aura or Bombal’s La última niebla has certainly increased.