Christopher Schiller

Wolf Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellow

20212022 Forum on Migration

Christopher Schiller

Comparative Literature; Philosophy, Politics, and Economics; Minor in French and Francophone Studies

CAS, 2022

Chris Schiller is a senior from New York City studying Comparative Literature and Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, and minoring in French and Francophone Studies. His research focuses on narratives of migration, displacement, and transience in the contemporary global novel, and his academic interests also include modernism, film, and French literature. On campus, Chris is a Benjamin Franklin Scholar and a French tutor at Penn Language Center. In his free time, Chris enjoys reading novels, writing poetry, and going on long walks with his chocolate lab, Riggins.

The Vagabond Novelist: Roberto Bolaño's Migrant-Artists and the Global Novel

Increasingly, cross-cultural and international narratives have pervaded into the Anglo-American cultural consciousness, with the global novel and translated novel assuming a more and more prominent position in the American literary landscape. Bolaño is perhaps more widely read in English translation than in Latin America, where authors like Horacio Castellanos Moya accuse him of not being national enough, or of playing in too much to Anglo-American sensibilities. My project will examine Roberto Bolaño’s place in this landscape of the global translated novel, analyzing his artist protagonists as migrants and vagabonds who use the process of artistic creation to escape the political and economic disasters of their nations of origins. I will then analyze the position of these artist-migrant protagonists within the context of Anglo-American readership of Latin American authors, arguing that the history of domination and exchange between Anglo-America and Latin America informs Bolaño’s narratives and their reception.