Title

The Poetics of Political Exile: Bolaño and Literary Complicity in Augusto Pinochet’s Regime

Presenter Information

Erin Goudreau

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

In the three decades following Augusto Pinochet's 1973 coup of Chilean president Salvador Allende, a politically informed artistic response began to emerge from Chile's novelists, poets, and playwrights. Due, in part, to the diasporic nature ofthe Chilean literary communitypost-Pinochet, this response was certainly not uniform. The literature that this paper will examine has been selected based not only on its categorization as work that was informed by and reflective of the political crisis in Chile, but also its interest in the degree to which literature produced under authoritarian regimes can become complicit in those regimes' functioning. Short stories, novellas, and speeches by novelist and poet Roberto Bolaiio will be used to consider the artist's understanding of the role ofthe writer within a repressive, authoritarian state. What was the relationship between Bolafi.o and the literary community at large under Pinochet? For whom, and to whom, was he speaking? What is the relationship between romantic literary notions of exile and the reality of both exile and complicity as experienced by artists during Pinochet's regime? This paper explores the politics ofliterary resistance and complicity, literary exile and literal exile, and ultimately uses an analysis of the function of literature under Pinochet to draw broader conclusions about the role of artists during times of political crisis and repression.

Category

Humanities

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Apr 17th, 10:00 AM Apr 17th, 10:20 AM

The Poetics of Political Exile: Bolaño and Literary Complicity in Augusto Pinochet’s Regime

UC 331

In the three decades following Augusto Pinochet's 1973 coup of Chilean president Salvador Allende, a politically informed artistic response began to emerge from Chile's novelists, poets, and playwrights. Due, in part, to the diasporic nature ofthe Chilean literary communitypost-Pinochet, this response was certainly not uniform. The literature that this paper will examine has been selected based not only on its categorization as work that was informed by and reflective of the political crisis in Chile, but also its interest in the degree to which literature produced under authoritarian regimes can become complicit in those regimes' functioning. Short stories, novellas, and speeches by novelist and poet Roberto Bolaiio will be used to consider the artist's understanding of the role ofthe writer within a repressive, authoritarian state. What was the relationship between Bolafi.o and the literary community at large under Pinochet? For whom, and to whom, was he speaking? What is the relationship between romantic literary notions of exile and the reality of both exile and complicity as experienced by artists during Pinochet's regime? This paper explores the politics ofliterary resistance and complicity, literary exile and literal exile, and ultimately uses an analysis of the function of literature under Pinochet to draw broader conclusions about the role of artists during times of political crisis and repression.