Intelectuales, literatura y sociedad civil en la novelística de Mario Vargas Llosa

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2002-05
Authors
Guadalupe de Jesús, Raúl
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Abstract

In this dissertation I analyze the vision that Mario Vargas Llosa has configured in his novels about Perú beginning with his vision of the development of modernity in Perú. For Vargas Llosa the development of a modern Perú requires social sacrifices that should be borne chiefly by Indigenous peoples. He argues that Indigenous cultural traditions are an obstacle to such development and that therefore Indigenous peoples should renounce such traditions and not thwart the modernizing process. Although we note this position in his novel El hablador, in earlier novels, such as La ciudad de los perros and La casa verde one can discern a structure of racist thought towards Indigenous cultures embedded within the discourse of his novels. In other works such as Conversación en La Catedrál and Historia de Mayta I analyze how the author’s vision of the development of Perú is a consequence of a shift away from a progressive, pro-socialist ideology and towards a neo-liberal one. Looking at novels and essays by Vargas Llosa, I also analyze in detail the author’s view of the function of intellectuals in Perú where the state responds disproportionately to the dominant social classes, dominant culture and embues the idea of “culture” with racial meaning. In order to analyze the themes mentioned above I rely on the theory of Mijail Bajtin for the analysis of the discourse of novels. I utilize Bajtinian conceptual categories such as dialogics, intentional literary hybridity and heteroglossia, in my analysis of the discourse of novels in order to scrutinize what I refer to as the “programatic discourse” in the Vargasonian novel. Changes in the political ideology of Vargas Llosa simultaneously produce changes in his literary theory from one influenced by Jean Paul Satre to one influenced by Albert Camus and Gustave Flaubert. Here I rely on the philosophy of the ethical act as theorized by Bajtin in order to criticize the semi-formalism in Vargasonian literary theory (noted in his vision and longing to recreate reality through writing) and also to criticize his view of the neutrality of literary discourse in relation to socio-cultural problems.

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