AuthorMiller, Loyd Arthur
AdvisorPromis, Jose M.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation studies the four major works of Jose Donoso which belong to what could be termed his "Chilean cycle" of novels. This cycle comprises Coronacion, Este domingo, El lugar sin l(')imites, and El obsceno pajaro de la noche. The purpose of the study is to determine the structure of the point of view of the narrator. The research is based on semiotic theories of language, particularly those of Boris Uspensky, and includes much of the contemporary French theories of semiotic criticism. The dissertation attempts to construct a format for the study of the point of view of the narrator, basing itself on, but not restricting itself to, the theories of Uspensky. In every respect the dissertation endeavors to restrict its approach to an entirely intrinsic method, based on the idea that the novel exists apart from the man whose name appears on the cover. For the purpose of this study, the novel has been examined on four partially theoretical levels: the spatio-temporal, the phraseological, the psychological and the ideological. This method presupposes an additional distinction between what could be termed the "surface level," that which is immediately and physically observable, and the "deep structure," comprising the ideological level or "world view" basic to each novel. It could be stated that we find the "point of view" of the narrator in the surface structure of the first three levels and the "perspective" or world view in the "deep structure." The first chapter discusses in detail the history of the study of point of view in the novel as a genre, the various theories, including those of Uspensky, and sets forth the methods and procedures used. Each of the following chapters is dedicated to an individual novel, each novel being studied on all four of the levels mentioned. While the works of Donoso have often been studied with respect to their dedication of the deterioration of a particular society, this dissertation deals more specifically with following the process of destruction of the narrator himself. This process can be observed by means of a detailed examination of the structure and function of the point of view in each separate novel. The various stages of development can be observed clearly begining with Coronacion and culminating in El obsceno pajaro de la noche. In Coronacion and Este domingo we can observe the deterioration of the point of view of the narrator. In the former novel, the deterioration of the point of view is linked with the conflict between past and present; in the latter novel we see this dichotomy expanded to include two basic narrators. In El lugar sin límites there is a schism within the personality, and therefore the point of view, of the main character. The El obsceno pajaro de la noche we are confronted with an "open" novel in which the reader must participate. Here we see the complete destruction of the point of view of the narrator and, in effect, the destruction of the narrator himself. It is this process of destruction that this dissertation describes and studies.
Degree ProgramGraduate College