Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2010

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Balderston, Daniel

Second Advisor

Gollnick, Brian

First Committee Member

Filios, Denise K

Second Committee Member

Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Ana

Third Committee Member

Kuenzli, Rudolf


My dissertation analyzes the way in which Latin American novelists use the Faustian tradition to symbolize the inclusion of marginal groups into mainstream cultures. The establishment of a national culture that holds citizens together depends on its ability to subsume different cultural sources and to assign to each one of them a space within the nation. This stratification of culture is the result of the negotiation of authority within hegemonic groups. In my dissertation I trace the negotiation of authority in the aesthetic choices that authors make when it comes to compose a new rendition of the myth of Faust.

The study of works produced between 1956 and 1967 allows me to focus on the height of the internationalization of Latin American literature. The works that constitute the main corpus of my study are: João Guimarães Rosa's Grande Sertão: Veredas (1956) from Brazil, Miguel Ángel Asturias's Mulata de tal (1963) from Guatemala, and José Donoso's El lugar sin límites (1957) from Chile. As a way to trace the issues at stake in these works back to the nineteenth century, I also include a chapter on the Argentine poem entitled Fausto (1867), composed by Estanislao del Campo. This enables me to present early stages of the Faustian tradition in Latin America, and how it relates to the conflict between city and rural regions.

My dissertation not only interprets Latin American texts within their context, but also explores the way in which lettered urban groups integrate an international tradition in the evaluation of these contexts. My dissertation presents the way in which authors from this part of the world intervene in well-established Western literary traditions and not only read their reality from this stand point, but their realities modify the reach of traditions such as that of the man who sells his soul to devil.


Estanislao Del Campo, Faust, Guimarães Rosa, José Donoso, Literature, Miguel Ángel Asturias


2, vi, 206 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 203-206).


Copyright 2010 Carlos Mario Mejía Suárez