Un lugar en el mundo: literatura, conocimiento y autonomía en tres novelas colombianas de finales del siglo XX
Romero, Diana Patricia
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In this dissertation I analyze three end-of-20th-century Colombian novels: <italic>La muerte de Alec<italic> (1983) by Darío Jaramillo Agudelo (1947), <italic>Sin remedio<italic> (1984) by Antonio Caballero (1945) and <italic>Basura<italic> (2000) by Héctor Abad Faciolince (1958). This analysis revisits the problematic relationship between literature and knowledge stemming from the loss of grounding of human action arising from modernity and exacerbated by end of 20th Century posmodernism and constructivist currents. Revisiting the Kantian concept of aesthetic autonomy, in which knowledge and art were closely linked, I propose that taking up again this relationship constitutes a search for a space in which literature can be conceived as an autonomous space as long as it is not separate from knowledge. This search makes sense in a context in which literature has lost its privileged aesthetic status faced with the attacks of the militant commitment of the 60&rsquos and 70&rsquos and with the fact that other cultural manifestations have become more popular with the advent of cultural studies and other postmodernist and poststructuralist trends. Each of these three novels emphasizes different social and aesthetic imaginaries such as the romantic aesthetic tradition, existentialist philosophy and cognitive science. These social and aesthetic imaginaries are activated by a <italic> credulity/incredulity<italic> (skepticism) mechanism that either makes possible the search for a space of autonomy in which knowledge and literature reconcile or that evinces a longing for their reconciliation. The question of the grounding of knowledge and values remains unsolved while heuristic and pragmatic solutions are offered.