Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Fiction as Deception: Anthropology, Journalism, and Narrative Traps in Bernardo Carvalho's Nove noites

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2014), 91, (3), 307–316.

Abstract

The relationship between Bernardo Carvalho's fiction and the reader may be characterized by deception: the use of non-literary discourses and references play, in his novels, a central role in the puzzle that is presented to the reader. In this article I explore the ways in which the novel Nove Noites (2002) uses anthropological and journalistic discourses as narrative devices to underscore the artificiality of fiction, rather than its ability to represent reality. I argue that Bernardo Carvalho uses the questions raised by anthropology and journalism about ‘authenticity’ and ‘experience’ to reverse the reader's expectations about representing identities and cultures. The novel ultimately does so by appropriating the language of ethnography and mimicking the methods of journalistic investigation, creating deceptive links with real facts that foreground the multifaceted relationship between fiction and reality.

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Benjamin, Walter, 1968. ‘The storyteller: Reflections on the work of Nicolai Leskov’, in Illuminations, trans. Harry Zohn (New York: Schocken Books), pp. 83-110. Illuminations 83 110 Google Scholar

Borges, Jorge Luis, 1969. ‘El arte narrativo y la magia’, in Obras completas: Discusión (Buenos Aires: Emecé Editores). Obras completas: Discusión Google Scholar

Bosi, Alfredo, 2002. Literatura e resistěncia (São Paulo: Companhia das Letras). Literatura e resistěncia Google Scholar

Carvalho, Bernardo, 2002. Nove noites. Romance (São Paulo: Companhia das Letras). Nove noites. Romance Google Scholar

Carvalho, Bernardo, 2004. Mongólia (São Paulo: Companhia das Letras). Mongólia Google Scholar

Carvalho, Bernardo, 2007. Nine Nights, trans. Benjamin Moser (London: William Heinemann). Nine Nights Google Scholar

Carvalho, Bernardo, 2010. ‘Fiction as exception’, Luso-Brazilian Review, 47.1: 1-10. ‘Fiction as exception’ Luso-Brazilian Review 47 1 10 Google Scholar

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Costa Lima, Luiz, 2002. ‘Bernardo Carvalho e a questão do ficcional’, Intervenções (São Paulo: Edusp), pp. 273-304. Intervenções 273 304 Google Scholar

Geertz, Clifford, 1997. Works and Lives: the Anthropologist as Author (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press). Works and Lives: the Anthropologist as Author Google Scholar

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Sontag, Susan, 1996. ‘The anthropologist as hero’ and ‘Against interpretation’, in Against Interpretation and Other Essays (New York: Delta), pp. 69-81. Against Interpretation and Other Essays 69 81 Google Scholar

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Details

Author details

Ribeiro, Marília

Ribeiro, Marília