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Barbarism in the Muck of the Present: Dystopia and the Postapocalyptic from Pinedo to Sarmiento

From: Latin American Research Review
Volume 48, Number 2, 2013
pp. 131-147 | 10.1353/lar.2013.0017

Abstract

Abstract:

In this article I consider the temporality of postapocalyptic narrative and use a contemporary postapocalyptic novel, Plop (2004), by the Argentine author Rafael Pinedo, to open up new considerations of Domingo Faustino Sarmiento’s classic Facundo: Civilización y barbarie (1845). Following the method proposed by Jorge Luis Borges (1966) in “Kafka and His Precursors,” it is my position that Pinedo’s novel invents a new, postapocalyptic Facundo, thus converting Sarmiento into one of the American continent’s first postapocalyptic authors. Furthermore, Pinedo’s novel re-frames the “civilization or barbarism” debate under the contemporary sign of ecological catastrophe, allowing the reader to arrive at new and startling conclusions about language, the environment, and disaster.

Resumen:

En este artículo, el autor considera la temporalidad general de las narrativas posapocalípticas, y el uso particular de una de esas narrativas en la novela Plop del argentino Rafael Pinedo (2004), para luego abarcar nuevas consideraciones sobre Facundo: Civilización y barbarie de Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (1845). Movilizando la metodología histórica-literaria propuesta por Jorge Luis Borges en “Kakfa y sus precursores”, se avanza que la novela de Pinedo inventa un Facundo nuevo y posapocalíptico, convirtiendo así a Sarmiento en uno de los primeros autores posapocalípticos del continente americano. Pinedo logra esto al replantear el debate civilización o barbarie bajo el signo contemporáneo de la catástrofe ecológica, hecho que destaca nuevas y asombrosas conclusiones sobre el lenguaje, el medio ambiente y el desastre.



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