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Arturo Pérez-Reverte: Narrative Tricks and Narrative Strategies

Arturo Pérez-Reverte: Narrative Tricks and Narrative Strategies

Series: Monografías A
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 186
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  • Book Info
    Arturo Pérez-Reverte: Narrative Tricks and Narrative Strategies
    Book Description:

    The writings of Arturo Pérez-Reverte, one of Spain's most renowned contemporary authors, have been described as a minefield. This monograph examines the complexities behind the narrative technique employed in creating such a minefield, including an analysis of the role played by both male and female characters, the relevance of the past as a motif, and aspects of the role of storytelling in creating mystery where none should exist. Both Revertian novels and journalistic writing are seen to be part of an over-all game which is played between their author and his readers. Film, too, forms part of the material reviewed as, though Pérez-Reverte is not a script writer, many films have been based on his novels. The text-centred analysis concludes that the themes of interest in all Revertian output revolve around two main areas: the significance of the past, whether historical, cultural, or literary, and the role of the written word in communicating, in rescuing and in challenging versions of that past in order to combat what Pérez-Reverte terms 'dismemory'. ANNE L. WALSH lectures in Hispanic Studies at University College, Cork.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-517-8
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Anne L. Walsh
    (pp. ix-xiv)

    To attempt an analysis of the works of any contemporary writer is fraught with difficulty, particularly when the author in question is given to creating texts which trick and trap an unwary reader. Such is the case of Arturo Pérez-Reverte who has described his own process of writing as being ‘like laying a minefield’. In that minefield, he ‘places his tricks, traps and false leads’.¹

    When a reader becomes aware of having been fooled by one of those tricks, traps or false leads, the natural reaction is to try to understand why. A possible response may be to blame oneself...

  5. 1 Arturo Pérez-Reverte and the Game of Literature
    (pp. 1-14)

    As mentioned in the Introduction, this chapter intends to explore reasons why one of the pervading feelings experienced when finishing a novel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte is that of disappointment or disillusionment. It would be easy to say that such a feeling suggests a badly written novel, one that plays facile tricks on a gullible reader. However, there may be much more at stake than that. The continuing high sales of Revertian novels indicate that, gullibility aside, readers enjoy the experience of being thwarted. At some level, it seems, they are satisfied that they fail to predict the outcome. Part of...

  6. 2 Characterisation: Role Models
    (pp. 15-48)

    ‘Todos miran como miro yo’ [They all look on the world as I do].¹ So states Arturo Pérez-Reverte in an interview in 2002. In this one sentence, he creates a link between author and created character that, as will be seen, has ramifications for how his novels may be interpreted. The dilemma faced by critically-aware readers is, we are told, that character and narrator and real author are not to be confused. They are separate entities, only one of which, namely the author, has any existence in real life. What happens, then, when characters in fiction exhibit traits that are...

  7. 3 Rescuing the Past
    (pp. 49-81)

    ‘Ya no es malo ni es bueno. Sólo es historia’ [It is no longer either good or bad. It is just history]. So says Arturo Pérez-Reverte when discussing Spain’s past, and the temptation to use that past for political ends.¹ His point is that history, the past, is only dangerous when it is manipulated in the present. We need not fear it except when we are ignorant about it, for then others can retell it, reshape it and, in so doing, mould it and us to their purposes. However, knowledge of events, a memory of them, whether direct or indirect,...

  8. 4 The Art of Storytelling
    (pp. 82-110)

    ‘The reading invents the narrative no more than it is invented by it.’¹ This statement points to the balance existing between narrative and its reader, an area to be explored in this chapter. A story is useless without a reading while, without the story, there can be no reading and, consequently, no reader. Yet, unless a story captures its reader, it is quite likely that the reading will be prematurely ended, with the reader becoming bored and unwilling to continue being involved. What are the key elements of a good story? That question has been the subject of much debate,...

  9. 5 Journalism and Cinema
    (pp. 111-136)

    There are two areas outside his fictional works for which Arturo Pérez-Reverte is known: his weekly column inEl Semanaland the films based on his novels. The columns have been published in four collections:Obra brevePatente de corso (1993–1998);Con ánimo de ofender (1998–2001); andNo me cogeréis vivo (2001–2005). In this chapter, it will be seen that there are unifying themes running through the articles in these collections, namely, a disillusionment with present-day Spain and a certainty that many of Spain’s woes have their origins in a lack of knowledge of its past. On...

  10. 6 Order out of Chaos: El pintor de batallas
    (pp. 137-152)

    The time has come to attempt to draw together the various strands of this analysis of the work of Arturo Pérez-Reverte. Following certain conventions, the expected result would be to state that there has been a development in his work. Certainly such is the conclusion reached by Rocío Ocón-Garrido when she states that Pérez-Reverte leans ‘at first more towards modernity and later, more towards postmodernity’.¹ However, this present analysis has indicated that there has been a consistency of vision throughout Revertian writing that is concerned with communicating the necessity of remembering the past because it is still relevant to the...

    (pp. 153-156)

    The six chapters of this study have undertaken to examine the writings of Arturo Pérez-Reverte from a number of perspectives. Chapter 1 looked at the context of this writer, the various links between his work and that of other contemporary writers in Spain, the role of narrative, its importance in telling the stories of the past and the cultural status of narrative as a link with that past. Chapter 2 considered how Pérez-Reverte’s characters could be interpreted in a variety of ways, particularly as representations of his readers. The binary male–female opposition in that context becomes not a feminist...

    (pp. 157-166)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 167-172)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 173-173)