INSTITUTO ROSARIO DE INVESTIGACIONES EN CIENCIAS DE LA EDUCACION
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
(Mis)appropriating Europe: the Argentine Gaze in Ricardo Piglias Artificial Respiration
BLAR (Bulletin of Latin American Research)
Lugar: London; Año: 2010
The cultural crossings between Argentina and Europe, or simply the West, inform the way history, politics and cultural memory are symbolically represented in Ricardo Piglias novel, Respiración artificial (1980), through the use of voice, translation, quotation, and the proper name. In my paper I examine how these textual strategies subvert the antagonism between the ideologemes of civilization and barbarism as they are set in dialectical tension following Walter Benjamins notion that there is no document of civilization which is not at one and the same time a document of barbarism. I further discuss the tensions that arise when European culture is transposed, grafted or translated into the social and political coordinates of a peripheral country and any easy or reductive cultural and political opposition between Self/Other is confronted its own internal contradiction. Finally, the literary strategies of displacement, paradox and irony are studied as literary forms that vindicate the tradition of those who were defeated, silenced and subjected by this hegemony. Since I argue that Piglias novel suggests new forms of reading the literary, cultural and political tradition of Argentina that work as a correction (or a (mis)reading, or a reading against the grain) of a previous (social) text, my own analysis attempts to situate those readings in the present context of post-default Argentina.