La novela de artista : el Künstlerroman en la literatura española finisecular
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This dissertation is focused on the Künstlerroman, or artist-novel, which can be understood as a variation of the Bildungsroman, or novel of formation. The artist-novel describes the creative learning of a young artist and is centered on the development of the protagonist's aesthetic ideals, the struggles to accomplish them, and the quest for self-achievement. This quintessential Modern genre emerges in Germany at the end of the 18th century. However, it is not until the late 19th and early 20th century when esteemed writers from Europe and the Americas, fascinated by the narrative possibilities of its premises, raise it to a higher artistic status and confer upon it great critical prestige. In spite of its importance in the Spanish context, artist-novels and their relation to turn-of-the-century aesthetics have not been properly addressed. This dissertation analyzes five Künstlerromane of key Spanish authors of this period: Pío Baroja's Camino de perfección (1902), José Martínez Ruiz, Azorín's La voluntad (1902), Emilia Pardo Bazán's La Quimera (1905), Vicente Blasco Ibáñez's La maja desnuda (1906), and Gabriel Miró's La novela de mi amigo (1908). Considering the critical and theoretical framework of the Künstlerroman as a point of departure, this approach studies how these novels incorporate and develop its structures and conventions by concentrating on three essential aspects. First, it examines the fictional portrait of the artist as a "divided self." Deriving the concept from Maurice Beebe, this dissertation argues that the tensions of Modern society have a direct influence on the artist-hero's portrayal and perspectives of self-realization. Second, it considers the voyage as a key narrative device that functions as a structural component in these novels. Third, it discusses the Künstlerroman as a synthesis of creative contemporary issues. Specifically, the combination of two concepts of language--one that exists in space with one that exists in time--contributes to the analysis of modern relationships between literature and other artistic expressions, especially painting and architecture. As a conclusion, the Künstlerroman implies an exploration of new anti-Realistic modes of representation in search of an innovative lyrical and subjective discourse: the novel of the artist becomes simultaneously an art of the novel.