Date of Award
Eric Gould, Ph.D.
Cultural commodification, Globalization, Hegemony, Indigenous folklore, José Donoso, Postcolonial
José Donoso’s The Obscene Bird of Night is often described as a grotesque labyrinth of symbols and images representative of the Latin Boom literary moment. The novel’s purposefully ambiguous construction opens itself up to two opposing readings that reveal discrepancies and conflicts in postcolonial and globalization studies, and as such, my project consists of two papers, easily read separately or in conversation with one another. The first proposes a reading of the novel as an assertion of marginal identity onto the world stage, ultimately upholding the indigenous native as a source of strength. Here, the novel’s appropriation of the folklore works to subversively challenge imperial and global power structures through the native’s own narrative. The second proposes an understanding of the novel’s cultural appropriation as an exploitative commodification of marginal identity. Here, the novel privileges imperial power by creating a narrative that functions as a continuation of imperial ideology and control through narrative. Both readings, however, work to understand the power of narratives and rhetoric to uphold or alter global power structures. Ultimately, the novel assists in revealing a disjuncture between the rhetoric and practice of contemporary narrative, establishing the paradox of postcolonial thought to perpetuate that which it works to condemn.
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Welty, Allison, "Rhetorical Imperialism" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 697.
Received from ProQuest
Latin American literature, Folklore, Archaeology