Historia, memoria y novela en la Argentina de la posdictadura. La cuestión de la responsabilidad extendida

Title: Historia, memoria y novela en la Argentina de la posdictadura. La cuestión de la responsabilidad extendida
Authors: Paz-Mackay, María Soledad
Date: 2013
Abstract: In Argentina, the violence of the recent past has become the central analysis of History and Collective Memory. The crimes and human rights violations that occurred during the last dictatorship (1976-1983) have been the object of dispute. The “two demons” theory that derived from the report of the “National Commission of the Disappeared” assigned equal responsibility to the two parties involved in the conflict: the dictatorship and the militant opposition. The theory positioned Argentinean society as a spectator or victim of the violence. Since the return of democracy in 1983, Argentinean social discourse has shown fluctuations in the conflictive relationship between History and Collective Memory regarding this traumatic time period. The literary discourse, as an integrated part of the social discourse, shares common arguments and topics which are inscribed and transformed in post dictatorship literary texts. This dissertation analyses the fictional representation of History and Collective Memory in four Argentinean novels published between 1995 and 2002: Dos veces junio (2002) by Martín Kohan, El secreto y las voces (2002) by Carlos Gamerro, Ni muerto has perdido tu nombre (2002) and Villa (1995) by Luis Gusmán. I argue that these novels present the necessary equilibrium between the two narrations of the past. By introducing narrating voices outside the dual format of victims and victimizers, the characters seem to extend responsibility for what had happened to other groups of individuals. These novels also introduce the children of the disappeared, who want to recover their “incomplete” family identity. I assert that these characters bring into question the theory of the “two demons”. They signal that there are other protagonists of the crimes: the witnesses who kept silent for many years. The question of social responsibility during the last dictatorship is embedded in the representation of the conflictive relationship between Collective Memory and History. Impunity for the human rights violations intertwines the four novels by highlighting the omission, silence and cowardly attitudes possessed by the characters. Those who witnessed the crimes that erased many identities, and remained silent, share part of the responsibility.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/24048
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