TitleLiterary ludics in 20th century Latin American fiction
NameAshbaugh, Kael (author), Sifuentes-Jáuregui, Ben (chair), Rennie, Nicholas (internal member), Braga-Pinto, César (internal member), Rojas-Paiewonsky, Lourdes (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Play in literature,
Borges, Jorge Luis, 1899-1986--Criticism and interpretation,
Cabrera Infante, G. (Guillermo), 1929-2005--Criticism and interpretation,
Cortázar, Julio--Criticism and interpretation
DescriptionThe thought that an array of 20th Century Latin American narrative could be characterized as playful is not an altogether new proposition. The language of play holds sway not only over discussions of works in which authors expressly invoke games, but also over writers and texts that are more loosely playful in their use of humor and fantasy. However, despite the currency of the play concept, the question of what is at stake in how we understand play relative to the fiction of this era is rarely examined. One point of concern arises when we consider the extent to which play theories impose a predominantly serious understanding of the ludic enterprise. I argue that in a series of works by Jorge Luis Borges, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, and Julio Cortázar we face a range of playful practices that exceeds the theoretical determination of play as seriousness. As such, all three authors at some point come to appeal to another set of experiences of play than that reflected in the concept of serious play. Taken as a whole, the dissertation offers both a broad critique of the impact of seriousness on play theory, followed by three studies that examine alternatives to that way of framing play. In this regard, the studies themselves highlight a range of ways for thinking about the use of folly. Considerable contrasts emerge between all three writers' use of play. Ultimately, the dissertation argues that the study of folly advances our understanding of these three writers and the strategies they employ, but that it also facilitates our ability to consider how playfulness draws on a wider horizon of experiences. In studying such follies, we learn something both about the moment of innovation in which they occur, and about how play theory can and should ultimately strive to encompass otherwise marginalized expressions of play.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Kael Ashbaugh
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.