Elective Affinities: The Spectacle of Melodrama and Sensationalism in Cinco esquinas by Mario Vargas Llosa

Part of the Literatures of the Americas book series (LOA)


Guerrero argues that Mario Vargas Llosa’s Cinco esquinas [Five Points] is an ironic and self-reflexive parody of yellow journalism that advances a harsh indictment of both yellow journalism’s political uses by Alberto Fujimori’s regime in Peru, as well as its place in contemporary democratic culture. Based on the premise that the aesthetics of melodrama is intrinsic to sensationalism, the chapter examines the ways in which the novel imitates the excesses of sensationalist journalism through an ample repository of melodramatic techniques. Guerrero further contends that, through the playful engagement with other intertexts—notably Peruvian criollo music—Cinco esquinas is self-derisory about its skeptical perspective on culture and politics, thus undermining, in a postmodern fashion, the discourse of a narrator whose views mirror those of the author.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Modern Languages and LiteraturesUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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