Modern Experimental Narrative: A Critical Reading of Political Novels by David Viñas
In this study, I intend to examine modern literary text's relation to history and politics, and the way the modernist novels textualize the sociohistorical context. Considering misleading the idea that reality and fiction constitute two irreconcilable realms, my critical inquiry is based on the more intricate relations between "ordinary life" and its refiguration in literature. Until the professionalization of history in the late nineteenth century, there were strongly interactive relations between novelistic and historical narratives. With the modern division of labor, history begins to pursue its own scientific self-understanding through rigorous explanatory procedures, whereas the novel undergoes a proliferation of experimental innovations in narration accompanied by self-reflexive theory, displaced religious quest, grotesque realism, montage, interior monologue, disrupted dialogue, and so forth. It is only recently that professional historians have become more attentive to the implications of the historians "voice' or "voices" in narration and analysis, for the theoretical understanding and practice of their discipline. These new tendencies cast a different light on the debate over objectivity and subjectivity, and bring out the limitations of an assumed unity between authorial and narratorial voice in historiography. Therefore, my reading of political novels by the Argentinean author David Viñas attempts to articulate the seemingly opposing tendencies between historicism and formalism in a more complementary and mutually reinforcing way by exploring the textual unconscious functionings.
Keywords: Modern experimental narrative, Contemporary psychoanalytic literary criticism, Critical dialogue between historicism and formalism, Textual unconscious
Ms Mi Soo Park
Third Year PhD student. Teaching assistant, French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies, University of British Columbia