Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy


Hispanic Studies


Alena Robin


This research analyzes the dialogue between literature and painting; specifically the convergence of aesthetic practices generated through ekphrasis. This study addresses the question of the role of ekphrasis in Hispanic literature, emphasizing the features and significance of the pictorial record in each fictional work. The research starts by delving into the theoretical discussion that has arisen around ekphrasis, in order to propose a definition that fits the needs of the investigation. It analyzes Las siete cabritas by Elena Poniatowska; specifically the narratives addressed to Frida Kahlo, Maria Izquierdo and Nahui Olin. The objective of this article is to examine the confluence between Poniatowska´s stories and female representations in the paintings of artists. Subsequently, the fictional work “Razón verídica de los encuentros y complicidades de Maqroll el Gaviero con el pintor Alejandro Obregón” by Alvaro Mutis, is examined in order to observe the relationship between Maqroll el Gaviero and painter Alejandro Obregón, which provides insight into how the Colombian author’s tale dramatically reflects the themes demonstrated in Obregón´s paintings. The following article analyzes the text of Severo Sarduy “La casa de Raquel Vega” and the story of Salvador Garmendia “Hombre de paja. Mirando un cuadro de Botero.” Both texts have in common, references to the brothel scenes represented by the Colombian painter Fernando Botero. However, the interpretations of the paitnings by the authors are remarkably different. Garmendia gives a tone of social criticism of his text, while Sarduy delves into the relationship of painting and literature. Finally, this study closes with an analysis of Riña de gatos. Madrid 1936 by Eduardo Mendoza; specifically examining how the author uses works of art to address the Spanish civil war, using art as a narrative strategy. From the results obtained in this investigation, it is proposed by this study that utilizing ekphrasis as a narrative strategy can be multifunctional in a text, which allows the author to express thought provoking ideas in a creative and original way.