Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Sub-Department

College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Jorge Camacho

Abstract

This study presents close readings of Rubem Fonseca’s Agosto (1990), A grande arte (1983), Bufo & Spallanzani (1985), and O seminarista (2009), to suggest they condemn Neoliberalism’s role in creating a global culture of violence, as they problematize its rhetoric of domination and uncover its heteropatriarchal, consumerist ideology, disguised as fact or ‘common-sense.’ The four chapters are divided according to the different theoretical concepts that accompany the four principal texts’ common critique of Neoliberal masculinity, as it functions to uphold the interdependent hierarchies of race, class and gender. Fonseca’s texts also imply the reader's’ complicity in a global culture of violence, whose conditions for honoring masculinities become the discursive turning point at which one either attenuates or contributes to the normalization of racialized, gendered, and/or epistemological violence.

This dissertation also finds that all four novels speak in place of Fonseca’s famously silent, ambiguous position on his own role, during the early 1960’s, when he was a corporate executive for a multinational company and allegedly penned screenplays for documentaries in an industry-led propaganda bombardment that swayed Brazil’s public opinion towards the coup of 1964 and initiated twenty years of brutal military dictatorship. Through their characters’ representations of performing and/or constructing masculinities, the novels abjure Neoliberalism and hold its ideology of domination responsible for Brazil’s scandalous violence that the federal government in 2015 estimated to be upwards of sixty-thousand homicides per year.

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