The present thesis uses as its primary source of inspiration Argentine author Abel Posse's El largo atardecer del caminante (1992), which boasts the historically-based, unconventional Spanish conquistador, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, as its main protagonist and narrator. I explore the juxtaposition of two opposing forms of metaphorical consumption in the novel. To highlight the first, I apply to the fictional Cabeza de Vaca the general concept of antropofagia cultural, or "cultural cannibalism," as described by Brazilian writer Oswald de Andrade in his "Manifesto Antropófago" (1928). I specifically examine the symbolic development of Posse's Cabeza de Vaca as the first latinoamericano via cultural anthropophagy. Over time, the life-altering experiences during the course of his wanderings in North and South America convert him into an antropófago cultural by virtue of his conscientious, metaphorical consumption of the Other. By extension, Cabeza de Vaca becomes a model for the first latinoamericano, wrought, not through miscegenation, but rather through cultural contact. The second kind of consumption, on the other extreme, is represented in the novel through sixteenth-century Spain and its quasi-literal, compulsive consumption and subsequent expulsion of the New World Other. This is seen through the optic of the fictional Cabeza de Vaca in his waning moments in Seville. Posse's rendition of Spain, as seen through his historically-inspired narrator, is representative of the metaphorical indigestion caused by a thoughtless consumption of products, practices, lands, and even people from the New World. I put on display the manner in which sixteenth-century Spain is portrayed in the novel as suffering a figurative bloating, consuming so much, so fast, seemingly growing large and powerful until it is ultimately revealed as being sick and weak.



College and Department

Humanities; Spanish and Portuguese



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Abel Posse, anthropophagy, anthropoemia, antropofagia cultural, Cabeza de Vaca, cannibalism, consumption, cultural anthropophagy, cultural cannibalism, El largo atardecer del caminante, indigestion, latinoamericano, Oswald de Andrade, the Other