Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Hispanic & Luso-Brazilian Literatures & Languages


Magdalena Perkowska

Committee Members

Elena Martínez

Francisco Soto

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Latin American Languages and Societies | Modern Literature


Latin-American fiction, travel, Trickster, semiotics, space, myth


The focus of this dissertation is the role that travel plays in Latin American novels that stem from 1928 to 1976, specifically, Macunaíma, Los pasos perdidos, El reino de este mundo, and Mascaró, el cazador americano. Departing from the fact that this period of time in history was marked by political and cultural change and upheaval, different aspects and interpretations of travel as manifested in the novels of the corpus are explored as a means of subversion and transcendence to hegemonic discourses. Travel is viewed as a means of disruption, particularly of limits and borders, be they geographical, political, and cultural. The idea of a heightened sense of potentiality inherent in travel is also explored as part of the subversive and transcendent nature of travel. The beginning of the work delves into alternative spaces that are created by voyage. These spaces are described as differential spaces using Lefebvre’s definition of the term. Following a discussion of space, myth in travel is explained as an open system that resists particular power structures. Travel’s role in disseminating myths is also studied. Subsequently, the function of the Trickster as a mythological figure and as a peripatetic storyteller is analyzed. The final aspect considered in this study is the creation and the use of alternative semiotic systems that exist inside and outside of travel that subvert and transcend authoritative discourses of power.