Three women and an unmarked map: a literary journey through Argentina and Chile

Parrott, Fiona G. (2006) Three women and an unmarked map: a literary journey through Argentina and Chile. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis interweaves the lives and works of three Latin American women writers – Victoria Ocampo, Alfonsina Storni and Gabriela Mistral – into a travel narrative undertaken as part of a research project. The journey begins in Glasgow, Scotland and takes the reader as far as Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Santiago, exploring the legacies left by Ocampo, Storni and Mistral. Through a variety of interviews, encounters and experiences, against the backdrop of political unrest of 2002/3, a colourful tapestry unravels to reveal why and how these three women made such a profound impact on their people and countries. The researcher/traveller was able to explore culture, custom and history through the generous hospitality of local artists China Zorrilla, Monica Ottino and Eduardo Paz Leston. The narrative recalls relationships shared between Victoria Ocampo and Virginia Woolf, Jorge Luis Borges and Graham Greene. Questions of class, society and the after effects of Argentina’s Dirty War are considered, and Chile’s past is investigated through the open testimonies of present day Chileans. The researcher/traveller learns 9sometimes the hard way) valuable lessons about how to survive as a twenty-something woman travelling on her own and reflects on the changes time has imposed, not only on south America but also on herself. The focus on the ‘inner journey’ is vital to the overall theme of women and the sense of self. By staying in youth hostels an element of the backpacker’s subculture is incorporated into the overall story, which in turn surfaces as a parallel theme.

The narrative is broken up into forty-one chapters which are divided into two separate sections; one relating to Argentina and Uruguay, the other to Chile. The section on Argentina and Uruguay makes up the majority of the text, while the section on Chile can be interpreted as an extended epilogue. Both sections are completely unique in terms of circumstance and material but complement each other in their preoccupations with the troubled terrain of gender, writing and travel.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > Hispanic Studies
Supervisor's Name: Gonzalez, Prof. Mike and Maley, Prof. Willy
Date of Award: 2006
Depositing User: Geraldine Coyle
Unique ID: glathesis:2006-1092
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:33

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