Browsing Languages, Literatures, & Cultures Theses and Dissertations by Author "Battauz, Cecilia Edith"
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ItemROBERTO FONTANARROSA: HISTORIA Y LITERATURA A CONTRAPELO. INODORO PEREYRA, EL RENEGAU(2022) Battauz, Cecilia Edith; Sosnowski, Saúl; Spanish Language and Literature; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)As a result of Spanish colonization, nation-building in Latin America followed distinctive and diverse processes, and a protracted chronology that spanned an entire century. The new nation-states that emerged from the nineteenth century wars of Independence forged their own symbols, imagery, and foundational narratives to provide a framework to disparate populations. Throughout the continent, literature played a fundamental role in the construction of symbolic narratives, which inexorably intertwined with official national history. In Argentina, one such myth was built around the “gaucho”, the cowboy of the Pampas plains who freely roamed the countryside. Once an actual social type, the “gaucho” disappeared around the end of the 19th Century due to changes introduced by modernization as Argentina transformed and refocused its economy to supply raw materials for European industries. As a literary figure, however, the gaucho survived as the dominant character of poems, novels, and short stories that conform a unique national literary genre: Gauchesca Literature.In my dissertation I study the comics Inodoro Pereyra, el renegau by Roberto Fontanarrosa (1944-2007), which features an atypical gaucho accompanied by his loyal talking dog. I analyze how Fontanarrosa deconstructs the national literary myth of the horse riding “gaucho” unveiling the inherent racism, social injustice, and ideological manipulation it has conveyed for the last two centuries. Fontanarrosa’s creation, which appeared regularly in the Argentine press and in book format for over thirty-four years until the author’s death, not only denounces the unspoken influence this traditional figure has had in shaping Argentine society, but it also highlights the common misrepresentation of indigenous communities and the unfair treatment to which they have been, and continue to be, subjected. Using parody, humor, and caricature, the comics revise national history and canonical literature along with artifacts from contemporary popular culture, such as films and folk songs. In addition, it offers a postmodern approach to the foundational narratives of the nation. My claims are that the comics offer an ex-centric perspective and that its subversive message defies traditional views of identity as fixed forms that could be predetermined. I propose that the narrative genre of comics—still marginalized from the literary canon—constitutes an excellent medium to present an alternative and irreverent approach to the subject, since its literary standing challenges the centrality of the official canon. At the same time, the comics suggest the need to see tradition and identity as concepts under constant change, thus showing a postmodern critique to monolithic grand narratives. Although my study concerns Argentine society, I believe it to be microstructurally significant for its premises may be applied to other societies built upon national myths, such as those created by most nation-states in the Americas after gaining their independence from colonial administration and cultural hegemony.