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Traces of crime fiction in Latin American literature: Machado, Borges e Bolaño

Grant number: 09/12949-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2010
Effective date (End): February 29, 2012
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature
Principal Investigator:Marcos Piason Natali
Grantee:Raquel Vieira Parrine Santana
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Crime fiction has been treated with apathy by the Brazilian literary critic. However, the picture is not the same in the rest of the world, especially in countries in which this gender has flourished as well as in those in which it had illustrious adepts (for example, in Argentina). It has become one of the most popular literary genders in the world, therefore its influence has been even greater than the one of the indifferent critics themselves. In this project, the aim is to study some of these influences in the so-called high literature, mainly in some pieces of Machado de Assis, Jorge Luis Borges and Roberto Bolaño. The first one was stroke by the impact of Edgar Allan Poe works, also known as the creator of crime fiction as we know it. Consequently, the works of the "Cosme Velho Wizzard" show these inheritance in short stories such as "A causa secreta", "A cartomante" and "O relógio de ouro". In Borges, the influence of crime fiction over his work is more clear, for he was himself a crime fiction writer. Nevertheless, we can see it as well in the whole of his work. He was also a great reader of english-spoken literature, and Poe is one amongst his favorite writers. In order to seek for these characteristics, there will be an analysis of the short story "El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan". At last, Bolaño, a great reader of Borges, considers crime fiction as the essence of all narratives, as they are all a search for the truth. In his novel Los detectives salvajes, the impact of crime fiction is clear already in the title. Less obvious, however, is the contribution of the debates raised by XXIth century crime fiction by his short story "William Burnes". The approximation of such authors intends to reveal connections between them which stay hidden by the aesthetics and linguistics barriers that affect our continent.