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From Narrative to the Spectacular: The Dramatization of the ‘Boom’

Ana M Rodriguez-Vivaldi, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Latin American writers have seldom limited themselves to monogeneric expression, both by taste and by necessity. Modern examples can be found on the foremost 'Boom' writers: Julio Cortazar, Carlos Fuentes, Mario Vargas Llosa and Gabriel Garcia Marquez who, while being known mostly for narrative fiction, where they have produced important and enduring works, have essayed other genres. They have shown interest in various forms of visual and aural arts: drama, film and radio scripts, as demonstrated by Cortazar's Los reyes, Nada a Pehuajo and Adios, Robinson; Fuentes' Todos los gatos son pardos, El tuerto es rey and Orquideas a la luz de la luna; Vargas Llosa's La senorita de Tacna, Kathie y el hipopotamo and La Chunga; and Garcia Marquez' El secuestro. As they have acknowledged an influence of cinematic and dramatic techniques on their narrative, adopting the genres themselves is a natural development and for some a return to their first works. The generic differences lying between the perception of the visual and auditive images of drama and film and the concept of the mental image of narration is one of the subjects focused on, covering ways in which they adapted technical and thematically to the change. The approach to the scripts has followed an eclectic methodology, basically semiotic, that takes into account thirteen sign systems in the written text and its intrinsic performance. As it studies the script, not its final production, only those aspects of staging revealed through the directions included and the text itself are covered. I have also focused on other traditional subjects: Title, Structure, Time, Space, Language, Characters and Themes, considering them as part of the meaningful substance of the whole system forming the work. The thematic aspects covered were isotopies, subjects that are developed through various systems, allowing the text to function as a whole. Coincidences between each author's works have been found, proving the theory that they have prevailed between generic distinctions, creating according to their own rules not those imposed by traditional definitions.

Subject Area

Latin American literature|Theater

Recommended Citation

Rodriguez-Vivaldi, Ana M, "From Narrative to the Spectacular: The Dramatization of the ‘Boom’" (1989). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI8917394.