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Fin de Siècle Mexican Novelists


I consider how nineteenth and twentieth century fin de siècle Mexican novelists re-imagine the porfiriato. I focus on contemporary Mexican narrative that re-explores writers and themes from the end of the nineteenth-century during Porfirio Díaz's dictatorship--1876 to 1910. In chapter 2, I explore how Pedro Ángel Palou and Álvaro Uribe's narrative fictionalize Porfirio Díaz. In chapter 3, I examine how Cristina Rivera Garza's novel appropriates Walter Benjamin's notion of the konvolute in order to revindicate ruined objects from the past. In chapter 4, I explore how Amado Nervo, Pedro Ángel Palou, and Jorge Volpi's texts consider the fear and desire of Apocalypse. I argue that these writers re-imagine the past and emplot history differently, and as a result address México 's present. The historical narratives of these novelists do not attempt to separate the past from the superimpositions of imagination, because to them this task is impossible to achieve. These novelists are aware that history is a series of superimposed imaginations. Thus, they undertake the task as historians and novelists to re-narrate and re-invent the superimposed imaginations of "the past as it came to be invented" in late nineteenth century. They attempt to make sense of the problematic aspects brought by modernization, only to find that history like fiction largely depends on who emplots the story.

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