Images of the sign : semiotic consciousness in the novels of Benito Perez Galdos
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The author has chosen to organize the discussion of Galdos's novels on the basis of paradigmatic considerations. The use of paradigms, however, is not intended to reduce the complexity of the individual text to predetermined or categorical patterns, but simply to provide a useful framework for the analyses that follow. The first chapter serves an umbrella function for the subsequent chapters. In its synchronic orientation, this study will depart from the chronological readings of such prominent scholars as Casalduero, Correa, and Montesinos. Although what I call "semiotic consciousness" cannot be seen strictly as an inherent attribute that resides within the texts, the concept can provide a useful interpretive framework for the critic. Moreover, this framework contains within itself a self-critique, since it dramatizes the undecidability between two different ways of interpreting the text. In the analyses that follow, I hope to show the complexity of Galdos's realist enterprise, which is inseparable from his works' self-conscious reflection on language.
Table of Contents
Maxi and the signs of madness -- The myth of the natural sign in El doctor Centeno -- The struggle for autonomy in Tristana -- La incognita and the enigma of writing -- History as language in the first series of the Episodios nacionales.