Mr Cristóbal Pérez Barra

DPhil Candidate in English
Pérez Barra
LL.B. (Hons), MA

I studied Law in the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, where I later was a Lecturer of History of Law and Director of Institutional Relations.

I also worked as Artistic Advisor to the General Director and Secretary to the Board of Directors of the Municipal de Santiago, the Chilean National Opera; I was also representative of the city of Santiago in the Réseau International de Villes de l’Aéropostale and Legal Advisor for the Chilean Home Secretary and Vicepresident.

I currently serve as a member of the Oriel College MCR Committee, as one of the two coordinators of Oriel Talks.

Research interests

I am a literary critic and scholar with interests in varied areas: my DPhil thesis is on the work of J.M. Coetzee, especially his Late Style, the idea of the South and the possibility of an Hispanic element therein, and my MA thesis was a comparative study of L. N. Tolstoy’s Childhood, Adolescence, Youth and Coetzee’s Scenes from Provincial Life. I am also interested in the Literatures of the South and the inclusion of the Literature of the South Cone in it, especially the works of Pablo Neruda and Jorge Luis Borges as early Latin American examples of writers of the “Global South”; the writers of the Latin American Boom as public intelectuals, especially Jorge Edwards and Mario Vargas Llosa and their political shift; the work of Julian Barnes and his interest in fin-de-siècle French writers, especially Gustave Flaubert and Alphonse Daudet; the Literatures of the Self, especially the idea of l’espace autobiographique in Philippe Lejeune; and the relationship between Literature and other art forms, notably Cinema and Music (especially in the works of Thomas Mann, Vladimir Nabokov, Luchino Visconti, Benjamin Britten and Richard Wagner).

I am also a writer, and have written a short stories book, El descorazonamiento, and a novel, Una sombra en la noche. Moreover, I also like to translate. From English, I have translated J. M. Coetzee’s Two Elizabeth Costello Lessons and Julian Barnes’s In the Land of Pain; and, from French, Alphonse Daudet’s La Doulou. I also edited these translations and wrote the introductions for them.

I also like to write essays and reviews occasionally. I recently wrote an essay on Jorge Edwards’s Late Style for Revista Universitaria and a review of Aquellos años del Boom, the most important book on the phenomenon to have appeared in the Spanish speaking world.

My new project, which is in its early stages, is a book of conversations with the Chilean writer Jorge Edwards, winner of the Cervantes Prize, in which I am working with Chilean Scholar Dr. Roberto Hozven. It is to be published by Fondo de Cultura Económica in 2018.

Selected publications


El descorazonamiento (short stories). Santiago: Chancacazo, 2012.

Dos lecciones de Elizabeth Costello (Spanish translation and introduction of J.M. Coetzee’s “As a Woman Grows Older” and “The Old Woman and the Cats”). Santiago: El Faro, 2015.

Una sombra en la noche (novel). Santiago: Uqbar, 2016.

En la tierra del dolor (Spanish translation and introduction of Alphonse Daudet’s La Doulou and Julian Barnes’s In the Land of Pain). Santiago: El Faro, 2017.

Book chapters:

“Dos visiones decadentes del amor: Tristán e Isolda y Lolita”. Concurso de ensayo. Selección de ensayos premiados. Santiago: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 2005.

“La travesía eterna. Muerte en Venecia: Mann, Britten, Visconti”. Concurso de ensayo. Selección de ensayos premiados. Santiago: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 2006.

Selected Reviews, Essays and Shorter Articles:

“Claudio Arrau León, músico de Chile”. Santiago: Realidad. March 2003.

“El estilo tardío de Jorge Edwards”. Santiago: Revista Universitaria, nº 122, May-June 2013.

“Un largo regreso al boom”. Santiago: La Tercera, 14 December 2014, p. 70.

Conference Presentations:

“Translating J.M. Coetzee in South America: In Search of a Transatlantic Spanish”. Reading Coetzee’s Women. Monash University Prato Centre, Italy, 2016.

“La poesía, el cuerpo y la política: Coetzee y Neruda”. La obra de J.M. Coetzee en Latinoamérica. Universidad Nacional San Martín, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2017.

“Following Borges’s Footsteps: J.M. Coetzee’s Biblioteca Personal”. Coetzee and the Archive. School of Advanced Study, Senate House, University of London, 2017.