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Journeys of Formation

The Spanish American "Bildungsroman</I>


Yolanda A. Doub

Ideal for students of modern Latin American literature, Journeys of Formation: The Spanish American ‘Bildungsroman’ offers a lucid introduction to the Bildungsroman as a genre before revealing how the journey motif works as both a plot-forming device and as a means of characterization in several of the most canonical Spanish American Bildungsromane. In the process, the author demonstrates the overlooked importance of the travel motif in this genre. Although present in the vast majority of Bildungsromane, if the journey is discussed at all by critics it tends to be in superficial terms. The author contends that no discussion of the Spanish American novel of formation would be complete without an exploration of travel. Yolanda A. Doub articulates the role of travel as a catalyst in the formation process of young male and female protagonists by examining in detail six representative novels from three different countries and time periods – from Argentina: Ricardo Güiraldes’s Don Segundo Sombra (1926) and Roberto Arlt’s El juguete rabioso (1926); from Peru: José María Arguedas’s Los ríos profundos (1958) and Julio Ramón Ribeyro’s Crónica de San Gabriel (1960); and from Mexico: Rosario Castellanos’s Balún Canán (1957) and Elena Poniatowska’s La «Flor de Lis» (1988).


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Acknowledgments vii


Acknowledgments here are many people who have contributed to the completion of this book. I am greatly indebted to Peter Elmore, whose insightful readings of Bakhtin helped inspire this work, and to Luis González del Valle, for his expertise, professionalism, and friendship. I am also grateful for Juan Pablo Dabove’s critiques and suggestions for further reading, which stimulated me to explore new angles in my analysis, as well as for the thoughtful input of Vincent Barletta and Robert Ferry. This project benefited greatly from many discussions with friends and colleagues. I would like to thank in particular Rose Brougham, for many late-night conversations on bibliography and subjectivity; Vitelia Cisneros, who provided in- sights into Peruvian receptions of Arguedas’s Agua; Beatriz Loyola and Itzá Zavala, who generously shared their knowledge of Mexican Bildungsromane with me as I constructed the corpus of my study; and Fernando Fabio Sánchez for his suggestions regarding the critical literature on urbanization in Mexico. Many thanks to my colleagues and Dean at Fresno State for their encouragement, and to Saúl Jimé- nez-Sandoval for taking the time to proof and edit my chapter on the Mexican Bildungsroman. My graduate students serve as a constant reminder of why I so enjoy this topic; their questions and enthusiasm spurred me to continue my research into travel and formation. Finally, I wish to express gratitude to my editors at Peter Lang for their kind support throughout this process. T

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