City Fictions: Language, Body, and Spanish American Urban Space

City Fictions: Language, Body, and Spanish American Urban Space

City Fictions: Language, Body, and Spanish American Urban Space

City Fictions: Language, Body, and Spanish American Urban Space

Synopsis

Using concepts from urban and cultural studies, City Fictions examines the representation of the city in the works of five important late-twentieth-century Spanish American authors, Octavio Paz, Julio Cortazar, Christina Peri Rossi, Diamela Eltit, and Carlos Monsavais. While each of these authors is influenced at least partially by a specific Spanish American city, be it Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, or Santiago, the element that brings them together is the way in which the city is fictionalized in their work: they all equate both language and the body with urban space. In these metaphors, language breaks down and the body disintegrates, creating a disturbing picture of violent decline. The poetry of Paz associates the urban surroundings with dissolving sentences and desensitized, fingertips; for Cortazar, characters walking through cities are seen as both creating and unraveling written texts;
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