An Analysis of the Short Stories of Juan Carlos Onetti Fictions of Desire

Author: Millington, Mark
Presents a comprehensive analysis drawing on concepts from psychoanalytical theory and paying particular attention to the representation of gender. After an exploration of the main theoretical concepts deployed, the emerging thematic and textual features in the early stories are defined. The study then concentrates on the stories of the 1950s and 1960s. A repeating pattern in the analyses is the elaboration of a reading and then the discovery of how the coherence of that reading unravels as the stories' textuality disrupts any simple desire to `make sense'. The reading process itself is problematized via concepts drawn from psychoanalysis which help to elucidate the non-transparency of the texts and transferential effects in reading. The final chapter considers the nature of repetition in Onetti: the fact that the stories return again and again to certain ideas is viewed as disabling of a final resolution of the gender problems which are implicit in the stories. Conversely, the fact that these problems are not resolved is also enabling of further writing and invention.