El Sueño de la Razón y la Pesadilla de la Historia en las Trilogies De Carlos Rojas / The Dream of Reason and the Nightmare of History in Carlos Rojas’s Trilogies

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Based on contemporary literary theory, this study analyzes how different narrative strategies produce diverse readings of Rojas’s fables.

This study explores the narrative art of Spanish writer Carlos Rojas (1928- ) based on the analysis of his mature fictional works, or the Trilogies written between 1978 and 1995. The motif that structures expressed in the phrase, “The Dream of Reason and the Nightmare of History,” or from Goya’s Dream of Reason to James Joyce’s Nightmare of History.
Reason is necessary to confront madness (the monsters that the dream or the abandonment of reason produces); likewise it constitutes a blindness, another type of dream, one that leads to the rationalist monster. Rojas humanizes the monster and his tormented characters are called to awake from their personal and collective nightmare.
The study dismantles Rojas’s multiple-layered texts espousing his art of fabulation. Different narrative strategies and theoretical themes lead to diverse readings: mythical, ekphrastic, historical, existentialist, metaphysical, and ideological. The novels form a palimpsest where surrealism and the baroque, the modern and the postmodern, history, art, and myth are layered.
This work is based on contemporary literary theory: Eco’s Open Work, Kristeva’s intertextuality, Hutcheon’s Poetics of Postmodernity, White’s History as Narrative, Turner’s Liminality, Kreiger’s Exphrasis and Bakhtin’s Dialogic Imagination. This book contains six color photographs and two black and white photographs.


“From now on Cecilia Castro Lee’s study, a work of intelligence and love, will be mandatory reading for those who want to investigate the magical and mythical world of Carlos Rojas.” – Prof. Carlos Feal, SUNY Buffalo

“Lee has done an admirable job in making Carlos Rojas, a demanding writer, accessible to serious readers of Spanish peninsular literature. Her book is an important contribution to literary scholarship in the United States and across the Spanish-speaking world. It should find its place in the library collections of any and all research libraries offering advanced degrees in Spanish letters.” – Prof. Diane Glad, Spelman College

“. . . a comprehensive study of a prominent writer, a memorable book.” - Prof Carlos Vásquez-Zawadzki, Universidad Javieriana

Table of Contents

1. La trilogía de Sandro Vasari
2. La trilogía de los jardines
3. La trilogía Memoria de la Historia
4. Memorias de un novelista
Apéndice: Apostilla a las ilustraciones
Obras consultadas
Índice onomástico

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