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Romance Languages

Walking the Lost Cities

Savina Velkova ('11); Nivia Montenegro

Published in 1962, Cortázar’s Rayuela (Hopscotch) played a decisive role in the Latin American Boom of the 1960’s due to its experimental nature and tendency to break literary rules. Although Rayuela was in Paris, it is partially set in Buenos Aires, an object of the author’s obsession. With this project I wish to study how the city is “read” and transformed through the eyes of the characters from a traditional space into a reflecting surface, a character, and a central textual element. To do this, I read a number of theoretical works that introduced me to the various ideas and the terminology of urban space. I applied these concepts to Cortázar’s novel and observed how the city is disintegrated and then pieced back together in the characters’ minds and experiences, and how urban space is destroyed and recreated to inspire meditations on human contact, reality, gender, and national identity.
Funding provided by: Pomona College National Endowment for the Humanities Grant

Research at Pomona