Abstract

By reading César Aira’s novel La prueba (1992) from a psychoanalytical framework, this article examines how the narrative stages both the dynamic of subject production in consumer society—a dynamic of regulated novelty and difference subjected to the law of the Other—, and a process of departure from this dynamic, i.e. a subject emancipated from this law. The article also suggests that the supermarket, an important space in the novel, serves as a topologization of the subject-effect of consumption, and that the violent destruction of this space at the end of the novel sets the stage for the process of becoming-subject of the protagonist. The article also addresses the relation between transformation and novelty in Aira’s poetics, vis-à-vis the role of these same notions in consumer society’s spaces of production and reproduction.

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