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Juan Goytisolo: Territories of Life and Writing


Stanley Black

This collection of essays looks at the most recent work of Juan Goytisolo from a variety of perspectives and critical stances. The contributors, all specialists in the work of the Spanish author, employ theories of intertextuality, postmodernist irony, queer ethics and even the esoteric science of Hurufism to uncover the complexities of Goytisolo’s creative practice, in particular his radical blurring of the generic boundaries between fiction, autobiography and literary criticism. Such challenging of genre conventions is seen as both integral to the author’s own questioning of his identity as an expression of his radical dissidence and essential to the response his work evokes in the reader. Life and writing, autobiography and fiction, constitute the interconnecting poles of Goytisolo’s artistic universe. The essays included in this volume explore the varying patterns of confluence of these twin strands in the writer’s later work as a whole, but particularly in novels such as Las semanas del jardín (1997) and Carajicomedia (2000). The essays are set in context by a contribution from Juan Goytisolo himself in which he sums up his philosophy of life and writing as a pursuit of ‘non-profitable knowledge’.
Contents: Stanley Black: Introduction – Juan Goytisolo: In Praise of Non-profitable Knowledge – Linda Gould Levine: Confessions of a Goytisolo Critic: Who’s Reading - and Creating - Whom? – Stuart Davis: Reading Author and Text: Juan Goytisolo and Makbara – Stanley Black: Fictions of the Self: Autobiography in the Fiction of Juan Goytisolo – Alison Ribeiro de Menezes: Ventriloquism and Double-Voiced Discourse in Juan Goytisolo’s Literary Criticism: The Case of José María Blanco White – Marco Kunz: Egocentrism and Polycentric Writing: the Inscription of the Author in Las semanas del jardín – Randolph D. Pope: The Paradox of the Inimitable Model: Carajicomedia and the Shape of Life – Peter Bush: Translation and the Necessity of Creation: Juan Goytisolo’s A Cock-Eyed Comedy – Ángel Sahuquillo: To Cervantise. Homing, Heritage and Queer Ethics in Goytisolo’s Carajicomedia: A Mestizo and/or Dis(s)identifying Essay (parts academic, queer and ironic) Concerning Novels and Lives of Little Exemplarity – Brigitte Adriaensen: Conflicting Ironies in Juan Goytisolo’s Novels.