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A World Torn Apart

Representations of Violence in Latin American Narrative


Victoria Carpenter

This collection of essays derives from a conference on Violence, Culture and Identity held in St Andrews in June 2003. It is a contribution to the understanding of representations of violence in Latin American narrative. The collected essays are dedicated to the study of the problematic history of violence as a means of ‘civilizing’ the region: violence used by dictatorial regimes to eradicate the collective memory of their actions; violence as a result of the history of marginalizing segments of the population; sexual violence as an attempt at complete control of the victim. The essays establish a clear link between historical, political and literary constructs spanning the past five hundred years of Latin American history. Close readings of political texts, historical documents, prose, poetry and films employ identity theories, postcolonial discourse, and the principles of mimetic and sacrificial violence. The volume adds to the ongoing critical investigation of the relationship between Latin American history and narrative, and to the key role of representations of violence within that narrative tradition.
Contents: Victoria Carpenter: Introduction: Violence and the Narrative of Latin American Identity – Margarita Serje: Violence as Context: Colonial Landscapes and Frontier Narratives in the Interpretation of Conflict in Colombia – Ori Preuss: ‘Hatreds of an Almost Spanish American Crudity’: Brazilian Interpretations of the Tumultuous First Republic, 1889-1898 – Sarah Barrow: Violence, Nation and Peruvian Cinema: A Critical Analysis of Bajo la piel (Francisco Lombardi 1996) – Christopher Harris: Hegemonic Masculinity and Violence in Juan Rulfo’s El llano en llamas – Gabriel Inzaurralde: Letters from Hell: The Theme of Violence in La pesquisa by Juan José Saer – Mar Langa Pizarro/Jennifer French: Violence in Paraguayan Narrative – Gilda Waldman: Fiction and Politics: Dictatorial Violence in Contemporary Chilean Literature – Victoria Carpenter: ‘La sangre en el cemento’: Violence, Fantasy and Myth in Poetic Accounts of the 1968 Tlatelolco Massacre – Claire Williams: The Favela’s Revenge: Portrayals of Life in the Shantytowns in Recent Brazilian Fiction – Márcia Hoppe Navarro: Indigenous Women and Forms of Violence in Recent Latin American Literature – Betina Keizman: The Others’ Shame: Variations of the Argentinean Abduction Narrative.