In recent decades, the proliferation of Mexican organized crime has led to a boom of Mexican literary fictions portraying the phenomenon from different perspectives and different genres. In this article, I analyze three Mexican novels that, traversing different decades and geographies, scrutinize the status of crime, violence, and justice across the nation. I argue that Paco Ignacio Taibo II's No habrá final feliz (1981), César López Cuadra's La novela inconclusa de Bernardino Casablanca (1996), and Daniel Sada's El lenguaje del juego (2012) suggest that crime is no longer a narratological means as it was for more traditional genres like the detective novel and the hardboiled. Instead, crime emerges as a conditio sine qua non that allows us to map the socio-cultural transformation that Mexican society has undergone. This shift has had consequences that not only revolutionized genre-based literary analysis, but have also enhanced the role of Mexican literature in its attempt to portray historical events and the way these have shaped the relationship between Mexicans, crime, and justice.


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pp. 395-407
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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