The Tension Of Paradox: José Donoso’s the Obscene Bird of Night As Spiritual Exercises
by Pamela Finnegan and Pamela May Finnegan
Ohio University Press, 1992
Paper: 978-0-89680-169-1 | eISBN: 978-0-89680-511-8
Library of Congress Classification PQ8097.D617O234 1992
Dewey Decimal Classification 863


Pamela Finnegan provides a detailed criticism of a major novel written by one of Chile’s leading literary figures. She analyzes the symbolism and the use of language in The Obscene Bird of Night, showing that the novel’s world becomes an icon characterized by entropy, parody, and materiality. Her study concludes that all linguistic ordering fictionalizes, that the lack of spirituality within the novel’s world is symptomatic of language gone stale, and that blindness to this fact leads to dogma or solipsism, each counter-productive to communication and human endeavor. To revive the linguistic system, she argues, we must revive the creative power of language.

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