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The Cinematic Novel and Postmodern Pop Fiction

The case of Manuel Puig

image of The Cinematic Novel and Postmodern Pop Fiction

Décio Torres Cruz approaches connections between literature and cinema partly through issues of gender and identity, and partly through issues of reality and representation. In doing so, he looks at the various ways in which people have thought of the so-called cinematic novel, tracing the development of that genre concept not only in the French ciné-roman and film scenarios but also in novels from the United States, England, France, and Latin America. The main tendency he identifies is the blending of the cinematic novel with pop literature, through allusions to Pop Art and other postmodern cultural trends. His prime exhibits are a number of novels by the Argentinian writer Manuel Puig: Betrayed by Rita Hayworth; Heartbreak Tango; The Buenos Aires Affair; Kiss of the Spider Woman; and Pubis angelical. Bringing in suggestive sociocultural and psychoanalytical considerations, Cruz shows how, in Puig’s hands, the cinematic novel resulted in a pop collage of different texts, films, discourses, and narrative devices which fused reality and imagination into dream and desire.

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