Narratives, Bodies and the Self in Rosa Montero's La hija del caníbal
The continuing prominence of narrative self-consciousness in Spanish fiction reflects larger trends in American and European literary production. A cursory glance through book and film reviews published in national and international journals, newspapers and literary supplements over the last several years reveals an abundance of fine examples of how contemporary culture produced on both sides of the Atlantic continues to reflect a fascination with metafiction. And even while the theoretical debate as to whether postmodernism is a good thing or a bad thing rages on, it remains clear that regardless of their ideological grounding, contemporary novelists and filmmakers continue to use narrative not only to explore the processes of narrative creation itself, but also as a key to understanding ourselves, our cultures and our histories. The classic studies of narrative self-consciousness by Robert Alter, Robert Scholes, Linda Hutcheon, Patricia Waugh and Robert Spires, among others, have shown that metafiction serves to blur the distinction between reality and fiction in order to draw attention to the dynamic processes of literary representation.1 But it has become increasingly necessary to address a fundamental issue overlooked by many earlier treatments of metafiction: namely, the importance of consciousness itself to this type of writing. Like their European and American contemporaries, Spanish novelists such as Rosa Montero, Nuria Amat, Javier Cercas, Juan José Millás, Javier Marías, Antonio Muñoz Molina and Carlos Cañeque all represent major examples of how self-reflexive storytelling can be used to explore the construction and articulation of personal identity.
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