Incomplete Works: The Life and Death of Diego García Santiago

Dickson, Gareth (2010). Incomplete Works: The Life and Death of Diego García Santiago MPhil Thesis, School of English, Media Studies and Art History, The University of Queensland.

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Author Dickson, Gareth
Thesis Title Incomplete Works: The Life and Death of Diego García Santiago
School, Centre or Institute School of English, Media Studies and Art History
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010-04
Thesis type MPhil Thesis
Supervisor Dr Bronwyn Lea
Dr Roberto Esposto
Total pages 259
Total black and white pages 259
Subjects 20 Language, Communication and Culture
Abstract/Summary The creative component of the dissertation is a novel entitled Incomplete Works, which tells the story of a middle-aged, disaffected academic who is fleeing an unrevealed personal disaster. In hiding on the Gold Coast, he begins to trace the life and works of the elusive Latin American writer, Diego García Santiago, and subsequently journeys to Mexico in the hopes of finding him. Throughout the novel, the narrator’s personal history is conveyed via flashbacks to his youth, his relationships, and his career. The fictional Diego García Santiago is said in the novel to have contributed to the tradition of the microcuenta – a Latin American hybrid genre that blends elements of fiction and poetry. The critical component of the dissertation is incorporated into the novel in the form of interpolated works ascribed to García Santiago and the narrator’s commentaries thereon. It also includes a pastiche of a Borges essay that investigates the microcuenta tradition (and happens to be crucial to the plot). Just as the microcuenta is revealed to be the locus of the transgression of the definitional borders of poetry and short fiction, so the text effects a similar dissolution on the boundaries between truth and fiction in artistic creation. The Author’s Note describes how the novel progresses to an understanding of history – be it personal or political – and dependant notions of reality as unreliable constructions, fabricated by its participants and thereafter in a constant state of redefinition, a conflux of various fictions which, ultimately, yields no unifying narrative. Instead, history presents us at every turn with the opportunity to reshape the past in our own image.
Keyword Microcuenta
Latin American Literature

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Created: Thu, 21 Oct 2010, 20:40:29 EST by Mr Gareth Dickson on behalf of Library - Information Access Service