The Expansion of Consciousness in Roberto Bolaño’s Distant Star
CitationNovoa, Daisy. 2020. The Expansion of Consciousness in Roberto Bolaño’s Distant Star. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractThis thesis is a comparative analysis of two of Roberto Bolaño’s works published in 1996, “The Infamous Ramirez Hoffman” from the book Nazi Literature in the Americas and the novel Distant Star, a duplicated and extended version of the short story. This thesis examines how Bolaño represents consciousness in both works and how the author seeks to expand in Distant Star the representation of a consciousness sufficiently prolonged in time in which the reader himself becomes an active participant, or “lector cómplice” as Julio Cortázar advocated, while demonstrating that Borges’ Pierre Ménard is not simply an allusion to a “rewriting” but is used in a much more complex manner related to the concept of consciousness.
What consciousness is and how Bolaño understands and represents it in his narrative is carefully examined by using current scholarship in the field of literature and cognitive science and by doing close readings and comparative analyses of his works and interviews. The influence of Cortázar and Borges on Bolaño’s works is also investigated. Bolaño’s short story and novel explore the same themes of literature and evil interwoven in basically similar plots; however, in Distant Star Bolaño creates a deeper and more complex ontological exploration by taking a very different creative and structural path where intricate semantic games and interpersonal interactions allow the reader to become an active participant in the construction and interpretation of the narrative.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37365645