Monsters and Power in "El obsceno pájaro de la noche" by José Donoso

Carmen Martin


The essay “Monstruos y poder en El obsceno pájaro de la noche” studies the figure of the monster in the novel El obsceno pájaro de la noche by Chilean author José Donoso. Based on Michel Foucault’s definition of the monster developed in his work Los anormales, this analysis focuses on the way in which the figure of the monster, understood as a marginal entity, threatens social systems and structures by proposing a new discourse in which such conventions are denied, subverted and replaced.

Therefore, the monster appears in essence as a transgressive figure, which can be understood as an attack on the establishment and furthermore as an allegory to those institutions and social values that frame modern societies and more specifically those established in Chile in the 1970s.


monster, subversion, Foucault, Los anormales, José Donoso, El obsceno pájaro de la noche, power and marginalization.

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Donoso, José. El obsceno pájaro de la noche. Santiago: Alfaguara, 1997. Impreso.

Foucault, Michel. Los anormales. Buenos Aires: FCE, 1999. Impreso.

Frías, Eugenio. Lo grotesco. Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana, 1998. Impreso.



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