UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Otro discurso del programa politico de contorno : la novelistica de David Vinas de los anos sesenta Park, Mi Soo


The following investigation examines the phenomenon of politization of culture and literature initiated by the leftist intellectual engagement movement in Argentina during the 60s in the past century. As a way of supplementing the prevailing socio historical inquiries into the political effectiveness of the literary revolutionary project, and informed by various contemporary post-structural, post-Marxist, and psychoanalytic theoretical frameworks of language, subjectivity, the political, and the social, the present thesis explores the ways in which the poetic discourse unsettles the seamless surface of the rational political program intended by one of the most emblematic expressions of the Argentinean nationalist New Left, the literary journal Contorno (1953-1959). The present study intends a comparative reading of Contorno’s political project in its theoretical and practical formulation of “literature as political action”, according to which the socialist reform of the nation is thought to be channeled and achieved mainly by Marxist politization of literary revisionism under the Sartrean dictum of active social engagement of the writer. The basic premises that guide this reading understand the political as a discursive process overdetermined by contingent, transient, and unconscious conditions; broaden the scope of Contomo’s socialist/nationalist political program to include novelistic discourses that it produces, mainly by its most prominent writer and founder David Vinas; enable the poetic discourse with distinctive dynamics to account for unconscious political imaginary and fantasies that counteract the official political discourse; and suggest certain unstable, sublime, and traumatic traces in Contorno’s foundational narrative along the generational, reproaching, and moralist axis of its main revisionist agenda. To conclude, the thesis delineates suggestive hysteric inscriptions within the Contorno’s political program, posing them as random and disregarded yet intelligible traumatic counterparts to seemingly euphoric and sublime surface of the journal’s foundational narrative. By implementing concepts and notions selected from the works of Sigmund Freud, Peter Brooks, Hayden White, Dominick LaCapra, Julia Kristeva, Ernesto Laclau, among others, this thesis contemplates on the possibility of furthering the study of Contomo tradition and its unconscious motivations, and inquiring on the role of these profound dynamics in the advancement of democratic political projects.

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