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This project analyses the various ways in which representation of space has been used to construct Asia, especially China and Japan, by nineteenth-and twentieth-century Spanish-American writers. I approach this study with an understanding of space as a social construct delineated by the subject's relationship to the knowledge acquired through readings and real live experiences in Asia. The main authors studied are José Martì, Julián del Casal, Rubén Darìo, Enrique Gómez Carrillo, José Juan Tablada and Efrén Rebolledo. My theoretical framework draws from the geographical theories of Michel Foucault, Benedict Anderson and Henri Lefèbrve. By reading representations of spaces (spatial practice, representations of space and representational spaces) from various Spanish-American writers through a geographical representation of landscape as a social construction, I respond to the growing interest of scholars such as Julia Kushigian and Araceli Tinajero to study the complexities of Asia as a spatial construction of Hispanic Orientalism and its relation to Asia by Spanish-American writers of the nineteenth-and-twentieth-century. In the first part of this project, I analyze how Spanish-American writers who have not made the trip abroad describe and represent Asia in their writing, especially in short stories, novels and poetry, where they constructed an Asia they imagined and visit yearned. In the second part, I examine the construction of Asia and the representation of the Oriental subjects by the Spanish-American writers who actually traveled to Asia to experience their pre-existing sensations. It is here that I compare and contrast the differences and similarities between the intellectual travelers who did not travel versus the ones who experienced Asia. The writers who visited Asia add a new perspective to the image. The discourse of perceived and lived space described in the chronicles of Enrique Gómez Carrillo, José Juan Tablada it is not the same discourse as the conceived and imagined space of the chronicles, the newspaper, and the travel text before experiences. Finally, I undertake a study about early twentieth-century Hispanic Orientalism. Here I concentrate on the constructions, representations and interpretations of Efrén Rebolledo an author from Mexico who wrote Rimas japonesas. My intention with this chapter is to compare and contrast the discourse used by late nineteenth-century writers with the early twentieth-century writers' discourse about Asia and see if new perspectives have been implemented by the Contemporary writer to further construct the imaginary Asia presented in early texts or to deconstruct the fantasized perception of Asia by offering a much more richer and trustful representation of the far East.
Orientalism, Travel Chronical, Modernism, China and Japan, Exoticism, Spatial Theory
Date of Defense
July 23, 2007.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
José Gomáriz, Professor Directing Dissertation; Christopher Shinn, Outside Committee Member; Roberto Fernández, Committee Member; Ernest Rehder, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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