Baltasar Porcel o l’òptica aberrant sobre el món. Prosa de ficció (1958-2004).

Barbera-Farran, Frederic (2007) Baltasar Porcel o l’òptica aberrant sobre el món. Prosa de ficció (1958-2004). Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat, Barcelona. ISBN 978-84-8415-990-2

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Baltasar Porcel is thought by some to be the best living novelist in Catalan. He has been widely translated into several world languages and has received prestigious literary prizes in Spain, Italy and France. However, in the American market novels by foreign writers are expected to fit into a literary genre or specific cultural stereotype. In this context, this monograph assesses the narrative works of fiction by Porcel in relation to the stereotypes coined outside Catalonia by critics in English, French and Spanish. An initial analysis shows those stereotypes at work among American critics, for whom 'Springs and Autumns' is considered to rival 'magic realism', and 'Horses into the Night' is branded a 'Gothic novel'. Cultural commonplaces are critiqued, such as those prompted by French language critics who refer to well-known Spanish (Castilian) genres like the Picaresque to define Porcel's writing, or place his work within the boundaries of a 'pens'e m'ridionale'. Similarly, the issue of how Spanish (non Catalan) critics use political criteria of Spanish unity to place Porcel in a 'Spanish literary tradition' is explored. This initial section concludes by focusing on the view of a Spanish critic, Rodr'guez Padr'n, who goes beyond cultural stereotypes to identify a key asset in Porcel's writing: how it reproduces the world's ambiguity rather than representing reality. In the following chapters, this valuable critical assessment is advanced to explore the modernity of Porcel's distanced narrative approach, and the links between his fiction and the 'real' external world are established. In this context the full scope of his treatment of memory and history is made clear, and the relevance of the fantastic element within it is explored.

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06 Mar 2008 16:41
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22 Nov 2022 12:17