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Jose Donoso (Hardback)

The "Boom" and Beyond

Imprint: Francis Cairns Publications
Pages: 181
Illustrations: viii + 181 pages.
ISBN: 9780905205649
Published: 31st December 1988
Casemate UK Academic



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The work of José Donoso, the renowned Chilean writer of fiction, is surveyed in this volume, which concentrates on his novelistic prodiction up to 1981. Philip Swanson analyses each novel in detail and plots the twin development of narrative technique and existential outlook. He sets this development within its natural context of the "boom" - the remarkable period of innovation initiated in the 1960s by South-American authors such as Cortázar, Fuentes, García Márquez and Vargas Llosa. Swanson also analyzes the progressive breakdown in conventional structural patterns, which stemmed from Donoso's own disintegration of faith in order and existential certainties. The climax of this process was his most successful novel, El obsceno pájaro de la noche (1970). Donoso subsequently moderated such formal complexity in a transition towards resignation and acceptance. But this apparent counter-reaction, as Swanson argues, is not merely a regression to simpler forms, but disruptively subverts realism from within, and points a new way forward after the exhaustion of the experimental explosion of the 1960s and 1970s.

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