Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures


Oswaldo Zavala

Committee Members

Magdalena Perkowska

Sarah Pollack

Oswaldo Zavala

Subject Categories

Basque Studies | Comparative Literature | Latin American Literature | Other Spanish and Portuguese Language and Literature


Basque Literature, Latin American Literature, Magical Realism, World Literature


My dissertation, “El ascendiente latinoamericano en la literatura euskaldun: ‘realismo mágico’, ‘literatura mundial’ y la emergencia del campo literario vasco” (“The Latin American Ascendency of Basque Literature: ‘magical realism,’ ‘world literature’ and the emergence of the Basque literary field”), analyzes the influence of Latin American literature in the formation of modern Basque literature vis-a-vis contemporary debates of World Literature. Contradicting the nationalist agenda governing the metanarrative elaborated by Basque literary histories, my work uncovers the Latin American ascendency of modern Basque literature in the canonical works of a group of Basque writers who played a key role in the modernization of Basque literature and the formation of the field in the 1970s and 1980s. As my research shows, the alleged “magical realist” manifestations of these writers are cosmopolitan responses to the exclusivist understanding of Basque identity fostered by nationalism. For one, this exposes the nationalist agenda behind the metanarrative elaborated through volumes of literary history; since this negates the recourse to insularity exploited by Basque literary historiography, aimed at bypassing the influence of Spanish literature and culture in the Basque Country. At the same time, the fact that the modern literary canon of Basque literature is dominated by authors who adopted those new narrative techniques coming from Latin America’s literary “boom” helps reconfigure the global erasure performed by those proponents of World Literature, like Pascal Casanova, Franco Moretti, and David Damrosch, who constructed their World Literature paradigms on inevitable lacunae resulting from historical and political erasures of literatures not entirely belonging to the symbolic coordinates of the literary fields of Europe and the United States.

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