Roa Bastosmachine

De casualidad, recién me han pedido formar parte de un pánel en LASA sobre “Literature and Posthegemony.” Así que les acabo de mandar este abstracto que sigue. Y entonces es lo que quiere escribir este semestre, como participante en el curso. Como cualquier abstracto, es por supuesto muy especulativo. Pero bueno, para que sepan…

“Roa Bastosmachine: Explosiveness and Multitude in the Boom”

Enough of national allegories! Enough of myths of organic expression! This paper proposes to re-read key figures in the Latin American Boom, and particularly the work of Paraguayan author Augusto Roa Bastos, to show the centrality of mechanisms and machinery as they stop and start and explode beyond the borders of nation or organic community. This leads then to a posthegemonic reading of mid-twentieth-century literature that stresses the importance of the multitude (rather than the people), a subject that forever escapes and exceeds territorial or political strictures and boundaries. From the explosion at the centre of his first novel, Hijo de hombre, to the broken pen that figures the failure of full representation in his masterpiece, Yo el supremo, Roa Bastos’s fiction consistently demonstrates–and acts out–the breakdowns that afflict the project of nation-building in the era of export booms and rampant commodification. But his novels also show traces of lines of flight that indicate the presence of constituent power in all its multitudinous potential.

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