by Gustavo Pérez Firmat
Duke University Press, 1986
eISBN: 978-0-8223-9716-8 | Cloth: 978-0-8223-0658-0
Library of Congress Classification PQ6045.P47 1986
Dewey Decimal Classification 860.9

Recent literary studies and related disciplines have given much attention to phenomena that seem to occupy more or less permanently eccentric positions in our experience.
Gustavo Perez Firmat examines three of these marginal or liminal phenomena—paying particular attention to the distinction between "center" and "periphery"—as they appear in Hispanic literature. Carnival (the traditional festival in which normal behavior is overturned), choteo (an insulting form of humor), and disease are three liminal entities discussed. Less an attempt to frame a general theory of such "liminalities" than an effort to demonstrate the interpretive power of the liminality concept, this work challenges conventional boundaries of critical sense and offers new insights into a variety of questions, among them the notion of convertability in psychoanalysis and the relation of New World culture to its European forebears.

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