Puig's highly innovative techniques are what are most often commented on by critics of his novels. The most obvious of these is his use of popular culture in the form of movies, tangos, advertisements, and soap operas. For this reason his novels have been described as an amalgamation of "high" and "low" culture.
Puig has said that he prefers copying to creating, and this is perhaps a key to his unique style. Betrayed by Rita Hayworth consists of a series of manuscripts, interior monologues, and conversations recorded over a period of fifteen years. Rather than developing full-blown characters and weaving complex plots, he practices what Roland Barthes has called "zero degree" writing. This is style at its most transparent: writing as a window on reality. The author seldom intrudes into the text and, in fact, avoids all third person narration. Puig's intent in Betrayed by Rita Hayworth was to let the people he had known present their own characters and speak in their own voices with their unique style and vocabulary. The result is a "gallery of voices" technique, which shows Puig to be a master stylist. And while Puig is ever the invisible and nonjudgmental author, the result of the technique often borders on playfulness and parody.
The montage technique that Puig borrows from film allows him to juxtapose images and build on his theme through repetition and contrast rather than logical development. As with many contemporary...
(The entire section is 253 words.)