Gustavo Sainz: An analysis of Obesesivos dias circulares
Caram, Dorothy F.
Boorman, Joan Rea
Master of Arts
The purpose of this study is to analyze Obsesivos días circulares, the second novel written by the young Mexican novelist, Gustavo Sainz, while he was writer-in-residence at the State University of Iowa for the academic year, 1968-69. Gustavo Sainz has stated frequently in interviews that he wrote Obsesivos días circulares as a novel intended for an "elite” type of reader and not for the general masses. This ‘'elite” reader is one who does not read novels solely for entertainment, but chiefly as an intellectual challenge) one who views the novel as an aesthetic object complete unto itself. In order to meet this intellectual challenge and to show how Sainz has structured his world, this investigation analyzes Obsesivos días circulares with particular attention to the structure of the narrator and the world content. The structure of the narrator in this contemporary novel is very complex despite the fact that at first view it would seem to present a first person dramatized narrator-protagonist. Sainz, being highly conversant with the techniques of Henry James, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, and his own mentor, James Joyce, has written a novel in which all the dialogues and descriptions are presented in streams of consciousness, in interior monologues, or in letters, with ample instances of flashback, automatic writing, montage, and oneiric descriptions. He has assembled quotes from many literary sources, gathered clippings from newspapers, reproduced posters, and employed cinematographic references. The world content of the novel is derived from the cosmos of its language; the purpose of the author is to create a novel in which language at first is quite coherent, but gradually and systematically is decomposed until only one graphic sign remains. The characters, their perception and experiences of the world, the levels of reality, settings, motifs, and motivations are so structured that the reader is always conscious of the importance of languages a language of psychic phenomena not of physical reality. Nevertheless, when the world content is presented in its full physical reality (organized into rational, lineal spacial-temporal components), the sensation of living in the Mexico City of the late 196's emerges vividly with its multitude of everyday situations and problems street traffic subway construction, water, educational and moral-ethical debates, entertainment and cultural happenings, and especially political and criminal elements -- all of it scrutinized in the light of a brilliant irony.