capítulos de libros
Shadows of Science in the Río de la Plata Turn-of-the-Century Gothic
Latin American Gothic in Literature and Culture
Routledge - Routledge Interdiciplinary Perspectives on Literature
Lugar: Nueva York; Año: 2017; p. 185 - 224
In this work, I focus on a corpus of Argentine short stories published between 1888 and 1927 that incorporated elements of the Gothic with a scientistic perspective. Both topics and environments of the Gothic tradition were updated by the inclusion of the scientific and pseudo-scientific imagery: concepts of Forensic Medicine, Evolutionism, Empiricism, Zoology, Radioactivity, Mediumship, among others. With these crossings, stories sought to reinforce the terrifying or sinister nature of the events, mindful that, in those years, the new scientific theories and certain overlaps between scientificism and spiritualism seemed to inherit the aura of magic, superstition or the mysterious. The sustained development of scientific disciplines in Argentina since 1870 and the dissemination of scientific innovations in the press encouraged the emergence of a brief narrative that combined in new ways the Fantastic, the Gothic and Scientificism. The fact that all plots were situated in Argentina, in the readers? ?here and now?, is also an indication of the deep bond between these short stories and the culture of their time.In this chapter, I analyze the following corpus of short stories that adapted some recognizable elements of the Gothic tradition to Argentine?s culture: La primera noche en el cementerio (written by Eduardo Wilde, 1888), in which the topic of the living-dead is treated with irony and from an Medical Hygienist?s perspective; Nelly (by Eduardo L. Holmberg, 1896), a ghosts-story in which the Castle is replaced by an estancia bonaerense (ranch) and the specter?s nature is verified with scientific instruments; Un fenómeno inexplicable (Leopoldo Lugones, 1898), in which the figure of the ghostly doppelganger is combined with Darwinism and Theosophy; and finally, El almohadón de plumas (1907) and "l espectro (1927), by Horacio Quiroga, in which notions of Zoology, artificial life, photography and cinema, configure sinister atmospheres that include cases of vampirism and animism.