Juan Goytisolo and the institution of the Hispanic canon
This thesis aims to study the ways in which literary canonisation occurs and how the academic institution is an integral part of the canonisation process. It takes as its focus the work of the Spanish writer Juan Goytisolo, who has been publishing since the 1950s and is universally considered an important figure in contemporary Hispanic literature. After contextualising recent debate concerning the literary canon, I discuss the influences and paradigm shifts that have conditioned reception of Goytisolo’s work, bringing him to prominence both inside and outside Spain. The study then addresses the strategies that the author himself uses in his novels to encourage debate and criticism by the institution. Whilst the second and third chapters analyse the distance between reader and novel, focusing on the difficulty of understanding both form and content in Makbara, the following two chapters study Goytisolo’s desire to situate his work in the canon through autobiographical and intertextual references. Analysis is both metacritical, in its examination of critics’ assumptions, and also textual, through its focus on Goytisolo’s novels. To conclude, the thesis demonstrates the symbiotic relationship of the academic institution and the writer, with the literary canon as the key that unlocks their common history.