Líneas de fuga. Literatura y política en Reinaldo Arenas y Juan José Saer (1960-1975)
Quintero Herencia, Juan Carlos
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This dissertation is an analysis of the political specificities of Latin American literary practices during the turbulent 1960's. It focuses on selected novels and short stories by Reinaldo Arenas (Cuba, 1943-1990) and Juan José Saer (Argentina, 1937-2005) to inquire about how and why these literary works were not identified or recognized as political texts during the 1960s. The 1960s was a period of radical transformations in Latin America, beginning in 1959 with the utopia of the Cuban Revolution and ending in the late 1970s, with the establishment of military regimes in many countries of the region. The era was dominated by a particular notion of political practice, which naturalized itself subsuming all forms of social and cultural discourses, including literature. Problems such as the social role of writers and their commitment to the revolution, the links between armed and artistic vanguards, or the debates on the uselessness of intellectual work, were some of the ways in which the preeminence of this notion of political practice became evident. Accordingly, most of the existing critical works concentrated on the responses of literature to the demands of politics, conceived as a public dimension external to literary creation. In contrast, this research focuses on the specific power of literature to reconfigure what was visible and sayable in the representational order of The Sixties. Following Jacques Rancière, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's idea of politics, the dissertation argues that Arenas and Saer's texts should be read as political interventions, which propose a radically different interpretation of what "revolutionary" means. These texts subvert pre-defined categories of knowledge, de-classify political subjects and create new forms of communities. In so doing, they let us see that which has no precise definition or stable classification: alterity, raw materiality, and potentialities that could be imagined, and allow opening a new world.