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The Postmodern Aesthetic of Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao


  • Jonathan Urch

Summary, in English

This thesis examines The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007) by Junot Díaz as an example of postmodern fiction. The thesis begins with a background chapter that outlines the central characteristics of postmodern fiction, followed by three chapters that tackle one main postmodern aspect of the novel each: fragmentation, metafiction and intertextuality. First, the novel’s use of fragmentation is explored in relation to its effects on the reader and as a way of conveying the splintered lives of its characters. Second, the metafictional aspects of the novel—particularly its narration—is discussed as a way of opening up the history of the Dominican Republic for interpretation by exposing its status as a narrative construct, thereby alerting the readers to their processes of interpretation. Finally, the novel’s intertextual elements are considered as a way of destabilising notions of cultural identity while simultaneously creating an amalgamation of Western and Caribbean aesthetic forms that allow for a new understanding of the identities and experiences of the Dominican diaspora. Considered together, these three aspects of the novel illustrate its dependence on a postmodern literary aesthetic in fostering critical readers and reinterpreting the history and diaspora of the Dominican Republic.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (two years)


  • Languages and Literatures


  • Birgitta Berglund (FD)