Estudios de literatura comparada
Edited By Rogelio Guedea
6 Locura, sentido y búsqueda del paraíso: reflejos hispanos en el El laberinto (2005) de Gerhard Roth
Simon Ryan 6 Locura, sentido y búsqueda del paraíso: reflejos hispanos en el El laberinto (2005) de Gerhard Roth abstract Together with other evidence of his reception of Hispanic literature and culture, this essay examines the uptake of Cervantes’ Don Quixote de la Mancha by the major Austrian writer Gerhard Roth (1942–) in Das Labyrinth (2005), the central novel in his second seven-volume narrative cycle Orkus (1992–2012). An overarching theme in Roth’s writing is humanity’s age-old search for a paradise. In our longing to escape the unbearable reality of everyday existence and attain or return to a paradisiacal state, he argues that we human beings involuntarily enter or wilfully cultivate various forms of madness. Roth’s interest in Hispanic literature first emerged some thirty years before Das Labyrinth appeared. In the mid-1970s, following a period of engagement with experimental fiction, in his search for new narrative models he read intensively Latin American fiction in German translation and was particularly struck by the marvellous or magic realism of Alejo Carpentier and Gabriel García Márquez. Roth also found inspiration for his thinking on human attention, hunting and the act of photography in the work of the Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset. In Das Labyrinth Roth’s fictional construction of madness and sense engages with works by four Spanish painters, El Greco, Diego Velázquez and Goya. In this novel Cervantes and Don Quioxte de la Mancha contribute significantly to Roth’s creation of a metafictional apparatus in which he...
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