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Title: Anarquismos literarios: Jorge Luis Borges y Macedonio Fernández
Authors: Rosa, Luis Othoniel
Advisors: Nouzeilles, Gabriela
Piglia, Ricardo
Contributors: Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures Department
Keywords: aesthetics
Subjects: Latin American literature
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: The theme of my dissertation is the disarticulation of the origins and principles of liberal capitalism, and the postulation of an anarchist aesthetic. The historical context in which my dissertation focuses is the interwar crisis of capitalist liberalism before World War II, when the historical avant-gardes flourished as a political and artistic reaction to the bourgeois cultural institutions and the mercantilist logic of capitalism that reduced art to a commodity. My object of study is the literary production of two avant-garde writers of this period, whose work is united by, among other things, their relation to the Argentine anarchist movement; Jorge Luis Borges (1898-1986) and his mentor, Macedonio Fernández (1874-1952). My dissertation argues that the literary production of these two intrinsically related writers executes an anarchist disarticulation of the liberal principles of property, representation, and the individual. These disarticulations are accompanied by a set of proposals for a theory of anarchist aesthetics. In the first chapter, "La participación de la literatura", I argue that the autonomy of literature that these writers posited amounts to a fundamental political critique of both artistic and political representative systems in the novel Museo de la Novela de la Eterna and the short story "El Congreso". I conceptualize their critique of representation as a literature conceived as participation, and how this participation of literature in the social sphere challenges representative politics in the rise of national populism in Argentina in 1916 and 1946. In my second chapter, "Las sensibilidades de la literatura" I study two literary practices shared by Borges and Fernández: the first is the ironical use of the literary self-portrait and the second is what Fernández called the "metafísica ayoica" (selfless metaphysics), which provided the philosophical underpinnings for Fernández's treatise "No toda es vigilia," and the many essays in which Borges discussed aspects of this treatise. It is my contention that, when we read these two literary practices in their context of production, this critique is in dialogue with the anarchist conception of the individual as a "resultant" of collective forces (Bakhunin), as opposed to the bourgeois notion that the individual is an essential and free entity, as theorized in the English Philosophical tradition that goes from John Locke to Herbert Spencer. In the third chapter, "Las propiedades de la literatura", I study the conceptions and uses of plagiarism, falsification and intellectual theft in the literature of Borges and Fernández and the ways in which these two authors conceived of literature as a collective labor of readers, thereby challenging the idea of the author as the proprietor of the text as well as the capitalist logic of private property that the anarchist tradition considers as theft (Proudhon). In this chapter I trace the textual precursors of a famous short story by Borges, "Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote", and the passage of a conception of literature as "expression" to a conception based on "allusion".
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: es
Appears in Collections:Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures

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