Abstract

Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s iconic photograph has taken on mythical proportions since his death. Though his image has ironically been exploited by the apparatus of capitalism against which he fought, his translation into a symbol has assured that his foothold within popular culture remains largely unassailable. While recent films and biographies perpetuate the revolutionary myth, novelists Abel Posse in Los cuadernos de Praga (1998) and Jay Cantor in The Death of Che Guevara (1983) strategically subvert the other staple of Guevara’s intellectual iconicity: his published diaries. Building upon Guevara’s existing self-criticism and overt awareness of writing for an audience in these supposedly personal documents, Posse and Cantor construct apocryphal diaries under the guise of official archival additions. These false documents, or what I define as “con-scripts,” allow the authors to deconstruct Guevara’s iconic status through the inconsistencies in his personal writing, a space unique to fiction and its ability to confuse the border between mimetic representation and invention and to interrogate the textual conventions that define assumptions about the objectivity of historiography or biography.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2153-6414
Print ISSN
0018-2133
Pages
pp. 700-711
Launched on MUSE
2013-12-19
Open Access
No
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