CAHSS Faculty Articles

Title

Gothic Imagination in Latin American Fiction and Film by Carmen A. Serrano

Department

Department of Literature and Modern Languages

Publication Date

10-2019

Publication Title

CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries

ISSN

0009-4978

Volume

57

Issue/No.

2

First Page

175

Last Page

175

Abstract

In this groundbreaking study, Serrano (Univ. of Albany, SUNY) rereads canonical Latin American texts through a Gothic lens to elucidate how authors incorporated, adapted, and subverted elements of this aesthetic style as a way of communicating the social and political realities of their particular times. The introduction provides background on Gothic literature and traces its presence in Latin America. Serrano divides the five chapters into two parts. The first part (two chapters) examines context. Chapter 1 centers on the vampire, from its pre-Columbian origins and European transformation to its return to the Americas in works by Ruben Dario, Horacio Quiroga, and others; chapter 2 explores the arrival and ensuing influence of Gothic-inspired films in Latin American culture. The three chapters in part 2 examine cultural anxieties and aesthetic critiques, looking at, respectively, how the heroines in Maria Luisa Bombal's La Amortajada and Juan Rulfo's Pedro Paramo express their freedom from tyranny from beyond the grave; how the vampire figure and Gothic elements become metaphors for Latin American totalitarian regimes in Roa Bastos's Yo El Supremo and Carlos Fuentes's Vlad-, and the doppelganger. An epilogue outlines the Gothic in recent Latin American film, literature, and media.

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