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Grotesque Deconstruction of Oficial Colonial and Postcolonial Latin-American Identities

From Valle-Inclan’s Tirano Banderas to Silviano Santiago’s Cosmopolitismo do pobre

Pedro Santa María de Abreu    Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal    



This article explores the deconstructive function of grotesque elements in contemporary Spanish and Ibero-American Literature. Starting with Tirano Banderas. Novela de Tierra Caliente (1926), a highlight in Valle-Inclan’s esperpento aesthetics, mocking what authors as Bakhtin or Foucault pointed out as “official truths”, both collective and individual. It is argued that grotesque representation establishes a subversive relation when confronted with epic or tragic modes, as established by aristotelic-horatian and dogmatic poetics. This may shed some light on the relation between grotesque structure and critical deconstruction, from the so-called Baroque era up until modernist and postmodernist essay, such as it is the case of one of the most thoroughly sophisticated contemporary writers in Brasil, Silviano Santiago, whose collection of essays O Cosmopolitismo do Pobre (2004) is the third pillar of our analysis.

Dec. 11, 2018
April 1, 2018
Feb. 8, 2018

Keywords: BaroquePostcolonial identitiesClassical and contemporary poeticsIberian and Latin-American Comparative StudiesSilviano SantiagoDeconstructionModernismGrotesque esperpentoValle-InclánContemporary narrative

Copyright: © 2018 Pedro Santa María de Abreu. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.