Voltaire en los trÓpicos o los trÓpicos sobre voltaire: CivilizaciÓn vs. Naturaleza en historia secreta de Costaguana

Translated title of the contribution: Voltaire in the tropics or the tropics on Voltaire: Civilization vs. nature in Secret History of Costaguana

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Abstract

In the shift from “magical realism” to the “visceral or dirty realism,” urban violence has become the main narrative-almost par excellence-of “Latin-American” literature of the 21st century. Nevertheless, there are writers who have dared to defy this trend, turning instead to rewriting an almost forbidden scene. Among them is Juan Gabriel Vásquez, whose novel Secret History of Costaguana, represents an inversion of the magical-realism paradigm, since here the foundation of cities and technological advances (the train, the interoceanic canal, etc.) built in the jungle confirm the Benjaminian judgment: “There has never been a document of culture, which is not simultaneously one of barbarism.” In Vásquez´s work, Nature acquires power as destroyer, which, unlike in the magical narrative, allows for the discovery of a foundational violence that has been covered over. In this novel, magic is replaced by revenge.

Translated title of the contributionVoltaire in the tropics or the tropics on Voltaire: Civilization vs. nature in Secret History of Costaguana
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)321-340
Number of pages20
JournalRevista de Critica Literaria Latinoamericana
Volume39
Issue number78
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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