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In Search of the Sacred Book: Religion and the Contemporary Latin American Novel

Anibal Gonzalez

ISBN 10: 0822965046 / ISBN 13: 9780822965046
Published by University of Pittsburgh Press
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: In Search of the Sacred Book: Religion and ...

Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press

Binding: Paperback / softback

Book Condition: New

About this title


In Search of the Sacred Book studies the artistic incorporation of religious concepts such as prophecy, eternity, and the afterlife in the contemporary Latin American novel. It departs from sociopolitical readings by noting the continued relevance of religion in Latin American life and culture, despite modernity's powerful secularizing influence. Analyzing Jorge Luis Borges's secularized "narrative theology" in his essays and short stories, the book follows the development of the Latin American novel from the early twentieth century until today by examining the attempts of major novelists, from Maria Luisa Bombal, Alejo Carpentier, and Juan Rulfo, to Julio Cortazar, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Jose Lezama Lima, to "sacralize" the novel by incorporating traits present in the sacred texts of many religions. It concludes with a view of the "desacralization" of the novel by more recent authors, from Elena Poniatowska and Fernando Vallejo to Roberto Bolano.


"We have read the Latin American novel as reconfigurations of history, ethnological recoveries, and political interventions, but we neglected to look at the powerful undercurrents of belief, faith, and epiphanic vision that are a true dimension of their inner creativity. González and his book of revelations discover that poetic knowledge has shaped their storytelling with epiphanies and transfiguration. Nothing of the human experience was estranged to these fictions, not even religion."
--Julio Ortega, Brown University

"González, one of his generation's most accomplished scholars of Spanish American literature, offers a remarkable, erudite, and imaginative rereading of the region's modern fiction, with the compelling argument that, culminating with the Boom, the novel aspired to a reader experience comparable to effects generated by what many cultures regard as 'sacred texts, ' only to critique and dismantle these aspirations in the late twentieth century and new millennium."
--Vicky Unruh, University of Kansas

"Gonzalez's framing of Latin American narrative covers significant ground."

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