Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Michael Millar

Second Advisor

Dr. Antonio Isea

Third Advisor

Dr. Benjamín Torres

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Kristina Wirtz


Guatemala, cosmopolitan, Central America, Miguel Angel Asturias, Augusto Monterroso, Rodrigo Rey Rosa


This dissertation examines various works of literature produced by three Guatemalan authors: Miguel Ángel Asturias (1899-1974), Augusto Monterroso (1921-2003), and Rodrigo Rey Rosa (1958) in order to trace a trajectory in the narrative written by Guatemalans from a nationally focused literature to one that is increasingly global. The first chapter provides an overview of the study and clarifies the terminology applied throughout the dissertation. In chapter two I analyze El Señor Presidente (1946), Hombres de maíz (1949), and Mulata de Tal (1963) as key examples of Asturias’ nationally focused works, which continually represented and mythologized Guatemala. In chapter three I concentrate on the narrative of Augusto Monterroso, with whom Guatemalan literature moves beyond the boundaries of the concept of nationhood and toward a more cosmopolitan perspective. I examine short stories, fables, essays and anecdotes from Obras completas (y otros cuentos) (1959), La oveja negra y demás fábulas (1969), Movimiento perpetuo (1972), La palabra mágica (1983), La letra e (1987), and his only novel, Lo demás es silencio: la vida y la obra de Eduardo Torres (1982). Finally, Rey Rosa is studied in the fourth chapter as the more global author. This is shown through the analysis of his collection of short stories Ningún lugar sagrado (1998), and several novels: El cojo bueno (1996), La orilla africana (1999), Caballeriza (2006), and Severina (2011). Throughout the study, I use an interdisciplinary approach that incorporates the ideas of a wide array of scholars, including Benedict Anderson, Doris Sommer, Ulrich Beck, Ulf Hannerz, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Edward Said, and Bernat Castany Prado.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access