The war of the worlds may well start in Latin America: Gabriela Alemán’s filmmaking approach of writing and the decentring of global narratives

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Abstract

This article analyses the literature-cinema dialogue established by the Ecuadorian writer Gabriela Alemán in her short story collection La muerte silba un blues (2014). Firstly, I revise how Alemán borrows the production methods of the cult Spanish filmmaker Jesús “Jess” Franco to craft a collection that aids us to see the world as an interconnected whole. Secondly, I close read the story that opens the collection, El extraño viaje, which takes Orson Welles’ radiophonic adaptation of The War of the Worlds to the Ecuadorian context. My argument is that, in making the city of Quito the target of H.G. Wells’ Martian invasion, Alemán engages with a rich history of multimedia adaptations and places Ecuador’s capital at the centre of a global narrative. I argue that her work decentres and recentres world literature dynamics where Latin American literature in general, and Ecuadorian writing in particular, sit at the periphery of world literary systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-429
JournalJournal of World Literature
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • world literature
  • Latin America
  • Ecuador
  • Gabriela Alemán
  • Jess Franco
  • contemporary Ecuadorian literature

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