Veracity of Disguise in Selected Works of JosÉ Donoso Illusory Deception

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While much has been written about the importance of masks as a thematic element in the works of Chilean author José Donoso, little scholarship exists in which the principles of disguise are utilized to analyze the narrative structure of Donoso’s novels. The notion that language and narrative form serve as literary disguises that further distort identities already masked by sociopolitical reality is crucial to the study of much of Donoso’s fiction. In this study, the theme of the mask is considered on a variety of narrative levels in four of Donoso’s novels to approach a more complete understanding of his use of the motif. Another contribution to scholarship is the fact that an entire chapter is dedicated to the role of the double in masking/exposing identity in little-studied novel Donde van a morir los elefantes.


“Brent Carbajal’s clear-sighted study will be a welcome addition to the critical resources of any scholar or student of José Donoso. It is both practical and profound in its thematic treatment and textual analysis. . . . Carbajal has presented his argument clearly and helpfully for the student or aficionado, and provides useful critical references for additional study.” – Galen Beckwith Yorba-Gray

“Carbajal’s style flows freely and he presents his ideas in a focused, coherent fashion which allows the non-specialist to follow his arguments with ease. Nonetheless, the specialist will find much in this work to provoke thought. The ample bibliography has been carefully chosen and the notes offer insightful commentary that enhance rather than impede the reading. . . . provides a valuable and informative contribution to scholarly criticism on Donoso. The arguments are lucid and cogent; the discourse flows in an even, controlled style; and, the information is pertinent and interesting.” – William O. Deaver, Jr.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Preface by Mónica Flori
1. Masked Metamorphosis and Metaphysical Angst in El obsceno pájaro de la noche
2. Casa de campo: The Reality of Fantasy
3. El jardín de al lado: Literary Exile
4. Literary Revenge: Donde van a morir los elefantes
Conclusion; Works Cited; Index

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