Juan José Saer’s La grande: another turn, the last, spiral one
Keywords:time, memory, perception, representation
Juan José Saer (1937–2005) was born in the province of Santa Fe, located in the river coastal region of Argentina, and lived there until 1968. He then moved to Paris until his death, where he also wrote most of his works. His literary project is based on a region – the zone – which represents simultaneously geography and existence: it has a real point of reference, a portion of the Santa Fe riverside area of the Paraná river, and also it is a condition for the opportunity for a conversation between friends; a debate over the representational possibilities of language, the relationship between literature and reality, the twists and turns of philosophy. The characters, native to that region, appear throughout his work; they grow old along with their maker. Each novel completes fictional configurations, progresses both in its conflicts and in those of the group they make up. Their Leitmotiven are remembrance, memory, perception and representation of time in several manifestations. La grande, a posthumous novel, is considered a compendium of Saer’s works. It is composed of seven chapters named after the days of the week, from Tuesday to Monday. The last chapter, Monday, which Saer may have conceived as a coda, consists of a single line. His death does away with time bringing an end to his literary project. This paper comprises an analysis of temporal representation in the novel: the aging of the characters in the saga; the construction of space-time coordinates for narrative development, the formal means used for its representation, the embedding of the historical time through references to Argentina’s last dictatorship, and the functionality of the reference to the days of the week for identifying the respective chapters, both in the context of the novel and the author’s work as a whole.
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors are confirming that they are the authors of the submitting article, which will be published (print and online) in journal Verba Hispanica by Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Aškerčeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia). Author’s name will be evident in the article in journal. All decisions regarding layout and distribution of the work are in hands of the publisher.
- Authors guarantee that the work is their own original creation and does not infringe any statutory or common-law copyright or any proprietary right of any third party. In case of claims by third parties, authors commit their self to defend the interests of the publisher, and shall cover any potential costs.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.