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A World in Words, A Life in Texts

Revisiting Latin American Cultural Heritage – Festschrift in Honour of Peter R. Beardsell

Edited By Victoria Carpenter

This volume presents a number of close readings of Latin American literary and cultural phenomena. The overarching theme of the collection is the revision of the accepted view of Latin American national identities as represented in twentieth-century Latin American literature and culture. The book examines the complexity of national identities forged among political crises, economic upheaval and intercultural influences.
The essays included here focus upon internal contradictions of national identity and the factors contributing to this discord. Among these are the nature of the Latin American intellectual, Latin American modernity and exile, and the psychological underpinning of the re-creation of history. Some of the chapters challenge the existing theoretical framework for Latin American literary analysis by employing non-literary theories to analyse hitherto overlooked textual anomalies.
The book is a Festschrift for Professor Peter R. Beardsell, reflecting the importance of his contribution to Latin American literary and cultural studies.


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Unfinished Business: Lagartija sin cola (2007), Donoso’s Lost Novel - PHILIP SWANSON 161


Philip Swanson Unfinished Business: Lagartija sin cola (2007), Donoso’s Lost Novel Some eleven years after his death in 1996, a ‘new’ novel by Chilean writer José Donoso was published under the title Lagartija sin cola (2007). The manuscript for the novel was located by the author’s daughter, Pilar Donoso (who was engaged in research for a proposed biography of her father) amongst the papers he had sold to Princeton University’s Firestone Library. Pilar found a passing reference in one of Donoso’s diaries (written in 1973, during his period of residence in the town of Calaceite in Aragón, Spain) to a novel she had not heard of before, La cola de la lagartija. It seems that Donoso began writing the novel in that year but later abandoned it. When Pilar tracked the text down it was incomplete, but she later found the remainder of the story in the form of a draft of an apparent novella, pos- sibly called Papanicolau,1 catalogued by Princeton as an untitled ‘Posible cuarta novelita burguesa’. Donoso had published his Tres novelitas burguesas around the same time (1973). The tone of this unedited story was similar to that of the collection of novellas, as was the setting (Barcelona and its environs).2 The uncertainty of the cataloguers is understandable, but, 1 There are a few (very undeveloped) passing references to the term ‘papanicolau’ in Lagartija sin cola (most notably Donoso 2007: 196). The contextual significance is not terribly clear. The reference presumably relates to the...

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