Contemporary Peruvian Narrative and Popular Culture

Contemporary Peruvian Narrative and Popular Culture: Jaime Bayly, Iván Thays and Jorge Eduardo Benavides

ROBERT RUZ
Series: Monografías A
Copyright Date: 2005
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 140
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt9qdn3x
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  • Book Info
    Contemporary Peruvian Narrative and Popular Culture
    Book Description:

    This book provides the first look at the dynamic resurgence of Peruvian narrative since the late 1990s. Talk-show host Jaime Bayly's seven novels have scandalized Lima's society with their treatment of homosexuality and have attracted record sales throughout the Spanish-speaking world with their exciting re-creation of Lima slang and focus on McOndo themes. University lecturer Iván Thays has vigorously opposed this light narrative by providing a "high" cultural alternative. His three novels have played an important role in the regeneration of Peruvian culture since the fall from power of President Alberto Fujimori. Madrid-based Jorge Eduardo Benavides' narrative has offered an aesthetically challenging and explicitly politicized alternative. His marrying of aesthetics and politics stands in importance alongside Mario Vargas Llosa and José María Arguedas in terms of the mediation between culture and politics in Peru since the 1930s.. ROBERT RUZ completed his PhD at Cambridge University under the supervision of Geoffrey Kantaris. En este libro se ofrece la primera perspectiva del dinámico resurgimiento que ha experimentado la narrativa peruana desde finales de la década de los noventa. Las siete novelas de Jaime Bayly, presentador de televisión, han escandalizado a la sociedad limeña debido al tratamiento que en ellas se da al tema de la homosexualidad y han generado un récord de ventas por todo el mundo de habla hispana debido a su apasionante recreación del argot limeño y a su concentración en los temas del grupo McOndo. El profesor de universidad Iván Thays se ha opuesto firmemente a esta literatura light, ofreciendo en su lugar una alternativa culta. Sus tres novelas han desempeñado un importante papel en la regeneración de la cultura peruana desde la caída del poder del Presidente Alberto Fujimori. La narrativa de Jorge Eduardo Benavides, radicado en Madrid, ha presentado una alternativa estéticamente estimulante y explícitamente politizada. Por lo que respecta a la mediación entre la cultura y la política en el Perú desde la década de los años treinta, la labor de unificación de la estética y la política de Benavides se halla, en cuanto a importancia, al nivel de Mario Vargas Llosa y José María Arguedas.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-391-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. vii-vii)
  4. NOTE ON THE REFERENCE SYSTEM
    (pp. viii-x)
  5. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-20)

    Peruvian narrative has undergone a dynamic resurgence since the early 1990s, after the predominance in the 1980s of the short story and of poetry (especially by female writers), with the exception of the continuing novelistic projects of Mario Vargas Llosa and Alfredo Bryce Echenique (writing predominantly from outside Peru). Within this dynamic resurgence, which solicits urgent critical analysis, the bipolar, oppositional stances of Jaime Bayly (talk-show host and leading exponent ofliteratura light) and Iván Thays (university lecturer, literary critic and advocate ofnarrativa culta) stand out as leading alternatives, or as part of what will be understood in this...

  6. 1 HOMOSEXUALITY AND GAY IDENTITY IN BAYLY’S NO SE LO DIGAS A NADIE, FUE AYER Y NO ME ACUERDO AND LA NOCHE ES VIRGEN
    (pp. 21-42)

    Gay/lesbian literary studies and queer theory now hold an increasingly visible position in humanities departments in British and US universities and in English/French critical theory. In the USA and UK, queer theory has branched off from gay and lesbian studies; the move to queer represents a theoretical shift linked to the socio-political. It is possible to analyse in Foucauldian terms the historical shifts in identity (self-)categorization from homosexual to gay/lesbian and then to queer. ‘Gay’ was a term appropriated in the late 1960s in order to represent a positive social identity in contrast with ‘homosexual’ as a form of behaviour...

  7. 2 JAIME BAYLY: POSTMODERN NARRATIVE STYLE AND MASS CULTURAL MARKETING
    (pp. 43-63)

    Jaime Bayly’s seven novels published to date are first-person narratives that display an agile control of language (with an emphasis on oral characteristics) and reflect what one critic has termed ‘el pulso de su tiempo’.¹ The aim of this chapter is to discuss this narrative style within the theoretical framework of US/Latin American/Peruvian postmodern debates and in the broader context of Bayly’s work as a whole (television, self-marketing, profile in Lima), as well as Peruvian socio-political concerns. A consideration of postmodernism as a period or movement is immediately problematic in the case of Bayly/Peru – especially if it is defined...

  8. 3 IVÁN THAYS: POSTMODERN PERUVIAN NARRATIVE OF ‘HIGH’ CULTURE
    (pp. 64-86)

    Iván Thays is the most prominent and successful alternative to the mass cultural marketing of Jaime Bayly of the more than twenty novelists to have emerged on to the Peruvian literary scene since the early 1990s. It is the aim of this chapter to study Thays’ three novels published to date –Escena de caza, El viaje interior, La disciplina de la vanidad– in terms of the three ways in which they have played an active part in the regeneration of Peruvian narrative since the late 1990s: (1) their oppositional response within Peruvian culture and postmodern narrative to the...

  9. 4 JORGE EDUARDO BENAVIDES: THE PERUVIAN POLITICAL NOVEL REVISITED
    (pp. 87-107)

    In Chapter 3, Iván Thays was introduced as the most successful and prominent Peruvian alternative to the mass cultural marketing of Jaime Bayly since the mid-1990s, and it was argued that Thays’ central exploration of the relationship between history and literature focuses on the idea that narrative can build on and challenge versions of social, political and cultural events and ‘facts’: ‘narrar es suplantar […] es hacer paréntesis ahí donde no hay un texto oficial’.¹ With the publication ofLos años inútilesin 2002, Jorge Eduardo Benavides challenges Thays’ prominence and success (especially outside Peru) and offers an aesthetically challenging...

  10. CONCLUSION
    (pp. 108-116)

    Throughout this book I have argued that Bayly’s narrative is more interesting than most critics have suggested in terms of writing sexual identities and that three of his novels can be interestingly engaged with queer theory.¹ Critics have repeatedly dismissed Bayly as ‘low’ culture or mere entertainment. Though the narratives of both Bayly and Benavides aim to break down divisions between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture, criticism of Bayly’s work – such as that by Thays – is shown to be ideologically motivated and often misinformed. This ties in with Pierre Bourdieu’s analysis of a ‘pure’ and ‘popular’ aesthetic and of...

  11. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 117-126)
  12. INDEX
    (pp. 127-130)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 131-131)