"...bajo el tumulto no hay nada": Formas para el mal en las literaturas hispanoamericanas del siglo XIX.

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The idea of evil is a cornerstone where different discourses have come into contact. This idea has touched philosophic discourses as well as medical and psychiatric ones, and it is part of the every day speech of ordinary people. The general opinion is that human beings are a defined species whose conscience has the power to more or less locate without difficulty where evil and good exist. Therefore, there is a social need to locate the place of evil, and this need allows the fixation of "that place" within the political and religious discourses. In this sense, evil, one of the most complex concepts, became one of the most manipulated categories at the service of power and the authoritative order. This dissertation deconstructs the fabrication process of evil's images, and the manipulative Latin America's fabric of morals trapped on the dialectic process among liberal and conservative political factions. The bipolarities Church - State, individuality - society, or rationality - instinct, among others, are reviewed as a complex set of tensions. Such tensions appeared peculiarly exposed in poetic works despite their cryptic nature. Poetry is used as a tool to unveil the same phenomenon in non-poetic texts that construct an apparently coherent political discourse. Multiple poetic and literary representations of evil have replicated the foundational narrative that centers on a dilemma for human beings: to choose between individual impulse and the restraint of public morals. Literature in Latin America shows diverse poetic notions of evil, from the orthodox Catholic idea to the materialist denial of the existence of evil. Between these two poles, other approaches arose usually in agreement with political affiliations that nevertheless proved inconsistent allowing for the proliferation of unorthodox positions. The study focuses on selected poetry works by Andrés Bello ("Las fantasmas"), Esteban Echeverría ("El ángel caído"), José Eusebio Caro (selection), Juan León Mera (selection), Rubén Darío ("El coloquio de los centauros") and José Martí (Versos libres).