Thomas Nulley-Valdés on ‘universalist trajectories’ and the Global South

Semi-universal trajectories from the Global South: A comparative Casanovian study of Vicente Huidobro and José Donoso

Join us for this week’s CuSPP seminar:

Thursday 22 August, 1pm, Milgate Room, AD Hope Bldg, SLLL

The Chilean poet Vicente Huidobro (1893-1948) and the Chilean novelist José Donoso (1925-1996) both demonstrated universal ambitions for their literary oeuvre: the former through his avant-garde creacionismo poetry, and the latter through formal novelistic experimentation during the Latin American literary Boom of the 1960s. A Casanovian micro/macro-level methodology rearticulates their respective literary trajectories within the literature-world by considering not solely their creative texts but also extra-literary material (manifestoes, letters, chronicles) and contexts, all mutually informing perspectives which illustrate this halfway universalisation. This critical perspective sheds light on their eventual unaccomplished desires of transcendence of the national paradigm, rejection of extra-literary political commitment, and pure dedication to literary poetics, through their eventual return and settlement within a national tradition and engagement with these very same issues. As such, Casanova’s theory is valuable for understanding these complex literary paths but is problematized theoretically in turn through an analysis of this failed universal trajectory of authors from the Global South.

Thomas Nulley-Valdés is a lecturer in the Spanish Programme at the ANU. His main research interests include: the macro and micro-level analysis of texts, authors, and contexts; contemporary short story anthologies; and World Literature theories and methodologies. For his doctoral research he has conducted over 25 interviews with contemporary Latin American authors and editors and has published some of these interviews.

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