From mourning to reconstruction: Argentine postdictatorial fictions of the 1980s-2000s
Hidalgo, Emilse Beatriz (2009) From mourning to reconstruction: Argentine postdictatorial fictions of the 1980s-2000s. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.
This thesis proposes to read Argentine postdictatorship fictions of the 1980s–2000s not, as has frequently been the case, from the point of view of mourning, memory and defeat but from a more positive perspective oriented towards the reconstruction of a fuller national history and identity. As in Borges’s “Pierre Menard”, the argument is essentially a critical hermeneutic one: it is based on a dynamic rather than static thinking of history and textuality that seeks to open up the reading of texts to the present rather than leave their interpretation statically closed off in the past. The social, political, and economic crisis known as “the Argentinazo” (December 2001), the annulment of the Amnesty Laws in August 2003, and the politics of memory and human rights that ensued thereafter provide in this thesis a distinct historical context from which to rethink both “early” (1980s/1990s) and “new” (post–2001) postdictatorial literature. My suggestion all along is that the linkage of literature, artistic and activist cultural politics, including a politicised reading of literature, will necessarily have as its aim the formation of a popular or collective critical consciousness. Overall the main contributions of this thesis are twofold. Firstly, the interpretation of postdictatorial fictions from a pedagogico-political perspective makes the textual analysis of these fictions new and original in their own right. And secondly, this research demonstrates that postdictatorial fictions constitute a cultural reservoir or a cultural archive of historical resistance, dissent, and human rights struggles from which it is hoped present and future generations can learn to live more democratically.
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