This study examines <i>Grande sertÃ£o: veredas</i> as a novel that thematizes its own fictionality and develops a self-reflexive narrative about the value of fiction for understanding life. I argue that the shorter narratives inserted in the larger narrative exemplify and engage in metafictional play while working both to reveal reality as a faÃ§ade and the fictional as a revelation. In more specific terms, I analyze the episodes involving Fancho Bode and FulorÃªncio, as well as those centered around DavidÃ£o and Faustino, as metafictional commentaries. In addition, I consider the case of Dr. HilÃ¡rio as a meditation on the potential of fictionality. Riobaldo can therefore be read as the character who pursues a chivalric story with rewards and an âoverall outcome,â but who finds instead a different situation, one of loss and disenchantment. These are characteristics of the modern novel in the Cervantine tradition, and thus Riobaldo could be seen as a kind of Quixote or Mephistopheles of the <i>sertÃ£o</i>, carrying out a search for the fictitious and entering into a pact with the demiurgic forces of creation. Flawed in life, he is nonetheless successful in the role of a great novelâs incessantly talkative narrator.
Luso-Brazilian Review – University of Wisconsin Press
Published: May 27, 2015
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