Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Spanish & Portuguese
Nina L. Molinaro
My thesis sketches a constellation of parodic works within the contemporary Spanish author Javier Tomeo's (1932-2013) immense literary universe. These novels include El discutido testamento de Gastón de Puyparlier (1990), Preparativos de viaje (1996), La noche del lobo (2006), Constructores de monstruos (2013), El cazador de leones (1987), and Los amantes de silicona (2008). It is my contention that the Aragonese author repeatedly incorporates and reconfigures the conventions of genres and sub-genres of popular literature and film in order to critique the proliferation of mass culture in Spain during his career as a writer. My heretofore unexplored theoretical model describes the structural and thematic roles of parody in Tomeo’s novelistic discourse, and it suggests that parody figures prominently in the author’s fiction from the late 1980s until 2013.
My study is organized into four chapters, in which I study how Tomeo parodies specific genres and sub-genres of popular fiction and film. My introduction describes the author’s precarious place in contemporary Spanish literature, and it reviews theory and criticism by the leading experts on parody. My first analytical chapter studies the parody of two crime fiction sub-genres, the classic detective novel and the spy novel, in El discutido testamento de Gastón de Puyparlier and Preparativos de viaje. My second chapter studies the parody of werewolf narratives and Frankenstein narratives in La noche del lobo and Constructores de monstruos. Finally, my third chapter looks at the ironic revision of sentimental and erotic romance novels in El cazador de leones and Los amantes de silicona. In doing so, I propose that parody structures Tomeo’s fiction, and that it also serves two thematic purposes. First, the author uses parody to subvert the optimistic and reaffirming worldviews commonly found in popular culture. Second, the author uses parody to criticize readers and writers of popular genre literature and film. Parody allows Tomeo to express his misgivings toward the growing influence of mass culture inside and outside of Spain, and it also allows him to project a unique image of the contemporary human condition as defined by absurdity, abnormality, and loneliness.
Pleiss, Mark W., "Parody, Popular Culture, and the Narrative of Javier Tomeo" (2015). Spanish and Portuguese Graduate Theses & Dissertations. 19.