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Reading: The Fragmented Psyche of Mexico: The Narrative Structure of La Muerte de Artemio Cruz throug...

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Essay

The Fragmented Psyche of Mexico: The Narrative Structure of La Muerte de Artemio Cruz through the Lens of Francisco Gonzalez Pineda

Author:

Kathleen Cunniffe

University of New Mexico
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Abstract

Upon reading Carlos Fuentes’s novel La muerte de Artemio Cruz (1962) for the first time, many readers find themselves confused, frustrated, and even lost, due to its complex narrative structure. With each chapter divided into three parts (Yo, Tú, Él) the reader is left searching for an explanation of such a structure and the significance of each narrative voice. Much of the novel’s early criticism emphasizes the challenges that this structure presents. Lanin Gyurko acknowledges this difficulty, noting that “...the structure is visible on the surface, like a literary exoskeleton, at times like a straitjacket over the narrative” (30). Andrea Lower suggests that the structure reflects Fuentes’s complex world vision (19), while June Carter notes, “The total movement of La muerte de Artemio Cruz for character and reader has been from disintegration to wholeness” (43). During the forty-one years since the novel’s publication, critics have taken various analytical approaches in search of a solution that explains the various fragments of the narrative structure. However, the tripartite division of the novel continues to be the subject of interest and investigation. The following study offers an interpretation by means of a previously unrecognized source. Francisco Gonzalez Pineda published El mexicano: su dinámica psicosocial in 1959, just three years before Fuentes wrote La muerte de Artemio Cruz. In what follows, I hope to shed light on the complex, fragmented character of Artemio Cruz by means of an analysis from the perspective of Gonzalez Pineda.

How to Cite: Cunniffe, K., (2007). The Fragmented Psyche of Mexico: The Narrative Structure of La Muerte de Artemio Cruz through the Lens of Francisco Gonzalez Pineda. Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies. 16(1), pp.96–113. DOI: http://doi.org/10.23870/38
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Published on 01 Jan 2007.
Peer Reviewed

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