New books at a glanceIn Search of the Latin American Faulkner Lanham-New York-London: University Press of America, Inc, 1995. xii + 290 pp. ISBN Hb.: 0-8191-9892-7 $44.00/ Pb.: 0-8191-9893-5 $32.00.
Reviewed by Kristine Vanden Berghe
Table of contents
This study about Faulkner in Latin America starts with a rejection: Fayen denies the truism that William Faulkner was the author who had influenced the Latin American novelists of the so-called literary 'boom' of the sixties. She disagrees with this thesis because the concept of influence implies a false assumption of an inferiority/superiority relationship. She therefore replaces the influence theory with a connection of equivalence, arguing at the same time against the widespread thesis developed by James E. Irby in La influencia de William Faulkner en cuatro narradores hispano-americanos (1956) that the connection between Faulkner and the modern Latin American writers is due to factors that are external to literature, a sort of Zeitgeist. Fayen on the other hand argues that the relationship should be studied within the literary realm. For this purpose, she analyses the translations of Faulkner's works in Latin America, paying special attention to a Jorge Luis Borges' translation of The Wild Palms. This study, however, is limited to the second part of the volume (chapters 7 to 10), while the six initial chapters develop the theoretical framework and sketch Faulkner's critical reception in the United States and Latin America.