A study of the use of colour terms in the six major collections of short stories by Horacio Quiroga
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The thesis examines the use Horacio Quiroga makes of colour and pattern related to colour in the six main collections of his short stories. As no previous systematic study of any aspect of Quiroga's style appears to have been made, it was decided to list and examine in their context all references to colour (including objects and substance of a characteristic colour, as also references to light and dark). A spot check was made on five contemporary Latin American authors in order to ascertain whether the findings were in any way unusual, and it was found: 1. That colour and pattern are closely interconnected, and 2. that black and white play an overwhelmingly large part in Quiroga's use of colour. In Part III the findings are discussed, and reasons for the unusual features sought. Biophysicological factors may be involved in his black and white view of the world, and the very large number of references to glaring light can perhaps be explained along these lines. Quiroga's tendency to polarize, seen also in other aspects of his writing, is considered to be one of the reasons for the predominance of black and white in his colour references, while at the same time it seems clear from what Quiroga has written on the art of writing that he deliberately restricted his colour range for artistic reasons. This capacity to work within the limitations of monochrome links his work (as do other aspects) to the cinema of his day, in which he was intensely interested. Finally, in addition to yielding the above statistical information which throws new light on Quiroga the man and the artist, the study makes it abundantly clear that Quiroga was not, as is so frequently claimed, indifferent to matters of style, but rather that both in theory and in practice he gave much thought to this aspect of his craft.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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