Interpreting Latin American Literature: Obsession until Dissociation

Faculty Sponsor

Stacy Hoult-Saros


Arts and Sciences


Foreign Language and Literature

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-4-2017


Latin American literature plays a significant role in not only the Hispanic world, but also in various cultures today. Notably, Julio Cortázar, Horacio Quiroga, and Gabriel García Márquez are three esteemed Latin American authors whose themes and thematic ideas relate to individuals on both a historical and everyday level. One such thematic idea is the obsession with something "other," which plays an important role in the development of not only the plot, but also the interpretation of the literature. Specifically, in the short stories "Axolotl," "Las armas secretas," "Las babas del diablo," and "Cartas de mamá" by Cortázar; "La gallina degollada" by Quiroga; and "Sólo vine a hablar por teléfono" by García Márquez, the obsession with something "other" results in an immersion in this object until the protagonist dissociates from him- or herself, or reality. These obsessions and immersions occur in relation to three types of objects — an animate object, an inanimate object, and an abstract idea — and each focal point of obsession is due to a distinct interpretation of either history, guilt, or a sense of abandonment, respectively.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Leena Aljobeh is a senior Spanish and chemistry double major from Valparaiso, IN. She is interested in Latin American literature and cultures, and their societal effects. She has published an original poem in the Spanish literary magazine Letras. Leena will be attending medical school in the fall and hopes to continue pursuing her interest in Latin American culture.

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