Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Learning to Think Otherness: Towards a Typology of World Views in Contemporary Basque Fiction

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2016), 93, (10), 1123–1139.

Abstract

This article outlines a typology of the various world views that can be observed in contemporary Basque novels, analysing the stance adopted by authors on fundamental philosophical questions such as the nature of reality or the limits of human knowledge. The criteria to establish the taxonomy are those of reason and telos, which have been central to the debates developed in the last third of the twentieth century around the project of modernity and the response given to it by postmodernism. Thus the proposed typology delineates an evolution in contemporary Basque novels from essentialist representations of reality to non-essentialist ones. With regard to other recent taxonomies that follow diverse narratological criteria, the contention is that a classification according to world views gathers in a more coherent and significant way the noticeable heterogeneity that characterizes the subject area. Also, the evolution towards non-essentialist world views pointed out here converges with the thesis that Basque literature has entered a postnational stage, but it also suggests that thematic criteria should be discarded when it comes to identifying the most representative works of that stage.

Este artículo esboza una tipología de las diversas cosmovisiones que se manifiestan en la novela vasca contemporánea, analizando para ello la posición adoptada por los distintos autores ante cuestiones filosóficas fundamentales como la naturaleza de la realidad o los límites del conocimiento humano. Los criterios para establecer dicha taxonomía son los de razón y telos, centrales en los debates desarrollados durante el último tercio del siglo XX en torno al proyecto de la modernidad y la respuesta dada al mismo por parte del postmodernismo. La tipología aquí propuesta delinea así la evolución que en la novela vasca contemporánea debe observarse entre visiones esencialistas y no-esencialistas de la realidad. En relación con otras taxonomías recientes que atienden a criterios narratológicos heterogéneos, se argumenta que la clasificación en función de cosmovisiones permite recoger más coherente y significativamente la considerable diversidad que caracteriza al corpus objeto de estudio. Por otra parte, la evolución hacia modelos de realidad no-esencialistas aquí señalada confluye con la tesis de que la literatura vasca ha iniciado una fase postnacional y la confirma, pero invita también a descartar criterios temáticos a la hora de identificar las obras más representativas de dicha fase.

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Mercero, Gorka