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Yo, retrato. Autofiguración, (i)legibilidades y poesía lírica. Los casos de Borges, C. Fernández Moreno y Gelman

Urli, Sebastián (2016) Yo, retrato. Autofiguración, (i)legibilidades y poesía lírica. Los casos de Borges, C. Fernández Moreno y Gelman. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation focuses on the self-figuration processes of Argentine writers Jorge Luis Borges, César Fernández Moreno and Juan Gelman. Its principal aim is to analyze the paradox of a “lyric I” who portrays himself as constantly fragmentary, yet underlines his status as an author by using autobiographical references and remarks about his poetic practice. I argue that the figure of the author is constructed by using two modalities, or (il)legibilities. The first one includes a series of fictitious biographical references (biographemes) that are neither the coherent image of the “self” nor a subject in constant dissemination, but that still operate within the notion of plot as a discordant concordance (Ricoeur). However, the figure of the author can also be analyzed by using theories of the image (Nancy, Didi-Huberman), ideas of language as immediate mediation (Agamben), and the ambiguity of the lyric (Culler, Combe). These all posit that poems and images can exceed narrative representation and even representation itself.
The first chapter constitutes a theoretical discussion that analyzes the main concepts associated with these two (il)legibilities, while the remaining three chapters focus on the poets.
In Borges’s chapter, the tension between the two (il)legibilities is shown through the construction of an ambiguous relationship of the lyric subject with Buenos Aires; through his self-figuration as a poet that desires to live different lives but limits himself to his own practice; and through a projection of his own image onto that of others.
In Fernández Moreno, the self-figuration process deals with the figure of his father (also a poet), and with the limits and possibilities that constant displacement in space, the inevitability of time, and irony impose on language.
In Gelman, the process oscillates between the need of the subject to criticize social injustice and his use of “fake” translations and a very personal poetic language to give account of dictatorship violence and of the disappearance of his son.
By enhancing and reshaping the notion of the author, this analysis deepens our understanding of the three poets and of the challenges that the image and lyric discourse pose to self-representation.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Urli, Sebastiánsdu3@pitt.eduSDU3
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBalderston, Danieldbalder@pitt.eduDBALDER
Committee CoChairPremat,
Committee MemberBeverley, Johnbrq@pitt.eduBRQ
Committee MemberDuchesne Winter, Juan duchesne@pitt.eduDUCHESNE
Committee MemberSotomayor-Miletti, Áurea Maríaams389@pitt.eduAMS389
Date: 15 June 2016
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 7 April 2016
Approval Date: 15 June 2016
Submission Date: 14 April 2016
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 431
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Hispanic Languages and Literatures
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Southern Cone; Poetry; Self-figuration; Authorship; Image; Borges
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2016 21:33
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:32


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