Literature, Testimony and Cinema in Contemporary Colombian Culture

Un libro in lingua di Rory O'bryen edito da Boydell & Brewer Inc, 2008

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This book provides the first in-depth examination of a representative range of contemporary Colombian cultural engagements with the conflicts known simply as La Violencia that began in Colombia in the late 1940s. These include Gustavo Alvarez Gardeazábal's now classic revision of the 'novela de la Violencia', the autobiographical cycle of acclaimed author Fernando Vallejo, versions of the testimonio by Alfredo Molano and internationally renowned novelist Laura Restrepo, as well as cinematic works by Carlos Mayolo and Luis Ospina. These cultural icons, many of whom are remarkably understudied, show how the heterogeneity of social and cultural processes condensed in La Violencia demands a deconstruction of 'violence' in Colombian culture. This argument is developed in dialogue with European and Latin American cultural theory and contributes to theoretical debates surrounding issues of memory and mourning developed in other Latin American contexts. The narratives explored in this book provide alternatives to abstract historicism and show us how to imagine ways out of deeply rooted cycles of violence. Yet their insistence on haunting and spectres signals the problems besetting the task of mourning in Colombia, positing history rather than psychology as a remainder that troubles efforts to forge collective memories and enact social reconciliation. RORY O'BRYEN lectures in Latin American literature and culture at the University of Cambridge.

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