Narrativas de la suspensión: una mirada contemporánea desde la literatura y el cine argentinos

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This dissertation focuses on the theoretical and philosophical concepts of narration, experience, and the contemporary. In this study, I analyze works of Argentinean writers and film directors from the last two decades, principally those of Sergio Chejfec, Martín Rejtman, Lisandro Alonso, Diego Meret and Lucrecia Martel. The dissertation examines how being contemporary is not only a condition of the present, but also a critical confrontation with our own time. Through the concept of narrativa I argue that seemingly plotless texts can still narrate experience even though experience can no longer be grasped - as elaborated by Walter Benjamin and Giorgio Agamben. As I understand it, suspensión refers to the possibility of narrating experience, in spite of the inherently ephemeral and fleeting nature of human experience in the present age. Suspensión is related to a way of narrating experiences without following a storyline because these narratives do not progress towards an end. They are not attached to any specific objective, a position that I connect to Deleuze and Guattari`s views on desire analyzing capitalism. For these authors, in our current society all desires are attached to a specific object of desire. Through the detachment of the narration from a linear plot and an end these narratives break from the dominant impositions of capitalism.

My dissertation explores how the selected works, by opposing the rapid pace of the technological and information era, ―suspend‖ the linear plot. They choose instead to narrate through duration, which I define as a narrative that lingers in images (Chapter 2, Alonso y Chejfec), through inertia, a narrative that progresses following automated characters and moves forward through disjointed situations (Chapter 3, Rejtman), and through pause, a narrative that emphasizes inactivity and passivity (Chapter 4, Martel and Meret). In the context of entrenched neoliberalism and globalization, I propose these are three different aesthetics that show the sense of emptiness and lack of shock within our contemporary society. At the same time, I see these aesthetics as a way of dealing with the aforementioned features as they shed light on the shadows and obscurities of the present.