Novelando en el Periódico y Reporteando en la Novela de América Latina

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Novelando en el Periódico y Reporteando en la Novela de América Latina

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Title: Novelando en el Periódico y Reporteando en la Novela de América Latina
Author: Munoz Solano, Nefer
Citation: Munoz Solano, Nefer. 2013. Novelando en el Periódico y Reporteando en la Novela de América Latina. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: This study investigates the imbrications and porosity between journalism and narrative fiction in Latin America. It examines how three journalist-writers, Afonso de Lima Barreto (Brazil), José Marín Cañas (Costa Rica) and Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia) write in a fluid double-sided process of textual creation during the twentieth century. In their journalistic production, these writers include characters or situations that are false or imagined and, at the same time, while working in newspapers, write novels based on their journalistic reports. This discursive dialogism results in works with different degrees of hybridity that relativize the argument of those who see rigid boundaries between journalism and literature in Latin America. The literary figure of the journalist-writer, who produces narrative fiction while simultaneously working full-time for newspapers, magazines and news services, is a deeply rooted tradition in Latin American letters. In this study, special attention is given to the complex deployment of reference, hyperbole, deception and lying. During the twentieth century, when Latin American newspapers wanted to appear less political and more commercial to their readers, the journalist-writers continually masked their political views under the cloak of a fact-oriented journalistic discourse. This dissertation analyzes genre borders and develops concepts like "favela de las letras" ("Favela" in contradistinction to the Republic of Letters) and "diarismo magico" ("magical journalism"). The dissertation also examines the conundrums of verisimilitude raised by the imbrication of journalism and literature referred to above. The notion "magical journalism," which echoes "magical realism" yet structurally is more akin to the ambivalence that Tzvetan Todorov detects in the fantastic, produces its effect by the doubt that arises from the tangle of two principles of decoding: the realist, naturalist one that is expected of journalism and the preternatural. The latter is not the realm of the supernatural, as in marvelous verisimilitude, but ensues from apparently immeasurable political power, which in the texts of these writers is presented not only in a realist mode but coded through literary devices like allusion, allegory, hyperbole. In this way, the texts both refer to a concrete reality and simultaneously register it in a literary mode that produces astonishment, consternation and a range of effects of verisimilitude.
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