Pastoralism, parricide, and the pri: Nostalgia and self-awareness in yáñez's al filo del agua

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Abstract

Parricide is deeply intertwined with the notion of Revolution: The parricide at the central point of Agustín Yáñez's Al filo del agua (1947) is thematically linked to killing the father in the political sense. In this article I relate the process of the son rising to challenge the father to the overthrow of the antiguo régimen, especially in their aftermath; the outcome of both types of parricide can lead to self-awareness, especially after [End Page 309] revolution has become " institutionalized" (as in the PRI, or Partido Revolucionario Institucional). To build my argument, I offer an excursion through the literary-historical genre of pastoral nostalgia, which informs this novel, as well as a parallel to Dostoevski's "Parable of the Grand Inquisitor" from Brothers Karamazov. I conclude that this post-traumatic introspection often leads to the classic philosophical problem of Free Will-or the lack thereof.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-330
Number of pages22
JournalHispanic Review
Volume81
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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