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ASSESSMENT OF THE DOCTORAL THESIS

PhD: ROBIN FIDDIAN once the defense of the Thesis titled: Decir sin ser vista: subversión
neobarroca en los relatos de Silvina Ocampo, developed by RAISA GORGOJO IGLESIAS is
finished as a member of the Tribunal that has to evaluate the above mentioned thesis and in
compliance with the established Regulation in the article 38.5 of the Regulation of PhD Studies,
Governing Council Agreement of 17 de June 2013 (Official Gazette of the Principality of Asturias
–BOPA- of 25 July 2013), I express the following assessment:
The thesis displays considerable intellectual ambition, in both its theoretical grounding
and in the scope of its subject matter. Essentially, it frames readings of a number of
stories by twentieth century Argentine writer, Silvina Ocampo, within a broad feminist
and Gender Studies framework at the same time as it relates the Ocampo corpus to the
theoretical construct of the Latin American neo-baroque. Both of these frames pre-exist
‘Decir sin ser vista: subversión neobarroca en los relatos de Silvina Ocampo’. One of
the strengths of the thesis is to offer a nuanced synthesis of, for example, the Latin
American neo-baroque as formulated by Carpentier, Sarduy and others including their
commentators, and then to critique the established models on the grounds of their
partialities and exclusions—viz, the voices of the indigene and women. In Chapter Two,
the author of the thesis traces the development of concepts and models of the Baroque
and the neo-baroque from the seventeenth century into the twentieth, citing Eugenio
D’Ors’ conception of ‘eons’. This is a useful tool for constructing a model of History, in
the author’s view, but in her eyes it cannot measure up to the dimensions and diversity
of experience of the New World (especially Latin America): for this, a revised or
expanded model is required, hence the conceptual schemes of Carpentier et al. which
contested the intellectual and political authority—‘el logos metropolitano’--of Europe.
However, theories including ‘lo real maravilloso’ and the neo-baroque are also partial
and incomplete, especially with regard to the gendered subject. Repeatedly side-lined in
the discourses of patriarchy, she can create a voice and place for herself in a neo-
baroque that is re-cast in a postmodern mould.

This summary provides a flavour of the intellectual ambition and dialectical power that
drive ‘Decir sin ser vista…’ In the following chapters, we find an impressive catalogue
of the narrative and thematic mainstays of Ocampo’s work, ranging from narrative
digressions, displacements and gaps, to the candidate’s typology of seven principal
features of Ocampo’s brand of ‘the fantastic’ (see pages 159-60). In drawing the strands
of her thesis together, the candidate assimilates these features to the category of the
‘neo-baroque’.

[If the candidate envisages publishing the thesis in the form of a monograph or book,
she must iron out a number of flaws in presentation. These include items in the
bibliography that appear out of alphabetical order, also items that are mentioned in the
body of the thesis but then do not make it into the bibliography at all. For a thesis of
some 400 pages, the number of solecisms and grammatical errors is small, however they
should all be identified and rooted out].
NOTE: “The Secretary will be responsible for the documents regarding the defence of the doctoral thesis, and shall send
them to the International Graduate Center within 5 working days starting from the date of the defence” Art. 38.5 of the
Doctoral Studies’ Regulation.

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