Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Alice Lucille de Young Humanities and Social Science

On the Conceptualization of Space in the Work of 20th Century Latin American Author Julio Cortazar

The overall aim of the project is to provide a detailed analysis of the concept of space/place in the work of Argentinean writer Julio Cortzar, an overarching theme that echoes throughout his work and has been overlooked by both literary critics and scholars in the past. In preparation for my senior thesis for the Spanish department, I will analyze the concept of space/place via a close reading of Cortzars experimental novel Rayuela, along with a selection of his short fiction. I will focus on Cortzars depiction of topographical, societal, and perceptual landscapes, such as cities, streets, stairways, language, interactions, etc. and the meta-fictional spaces he co-creates with the readers, which allows his audience to become active participants in a process that is unique to his literature, in order to show how the author achieves to engage the reader in a pluralistic conception of reality through a unique and innovative proposal.

Message To Sponsor

I am so grateful to SURF for the opportunity given me. As a Junior transfer student and double major I feel priviledged to have been at UC for 2 years. However completing 2 degrees in that time also meant that my summer months were booked far in advance with classes, leaving very little time for personal research/reading, which maily seemed relegated to my time spent commuting. Ironically it was precisely during a commute of sorts, on a bus across the Chinese countryside, while reading Cortzar, that issues of Space, Place and non-Place, and the individuals relationship to his environment began to solidify in what became the idea for this project. To be able to dedicate an entire summer researching a topic that has touched me so closely is more than Id hoped for.
Major: Spanish
Mentor: Natalia Brizuela, Spanish and Portuguese
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