Allegory and the Transnational Affective Field in the Contemporary Mexican Novel (1993-2013)

Title: Allegory and the Transnational Affective Field in the Contemporary Mexican Novel (1993-2013)
Authors: Bernal Rodríguez, Alejandra
Date: 2019-10-08
Abstract: This thesis identifies continuities and disruptions within the tradition of literary allegory in Latin America and critically revisits the category of “national allegory” (Jameson 1986) in order to articulate an interpretative model suited to contemporary “transnational allegorical fiction”. Based on the analysis of seven Mexican novels that register the transition of neoliberalism from the political-economic order to a form of biopolitical control (Althusser, Foucault, Žižek), I identify the emergence of what I call a “transnational affective field”: a symbolic horizon, alternative to the nation, where the prospective function of foundational romances (Sommer) and the retrospective function of mourning akin to postdictatorial fiction (Avelar), converge. This ideological device negotiates power relations, facilitates the transfer of local/global meaning, promotes intercultural empathy and compromise, and denounces mechanisms of exclusion; thereby, reconfiguring the affective and political functions of allegory in Latin American fiction. Part One discusses critical approaches to allegorical fiction in both Latin American and World literatures. Part Two compares the representation of the binomial nation/world in three historiographic metafictions by Carmen Boullosa, Francisco Rebolledo and J.E. Pacheco through recent approaches in post-/de-colonial and memory studies. Part Three examines the depiction of the nation as simulacrum and the figuration of postmodern subjectivities in Jorge Volpi and Juan Villoro from a poststructuralist perspective. It also contends that Álvaro Enrigue’s and Valeria Luiselli’s novels are representative of an emergent meta-allegorical imagination that, in an ironic reversal of allegory (de Man), simultaneously constructs it as a mechanism of ideological control as well as a conscious strategy to resist commodification and symbolic violence (Bourdieu) in the contemporary world. The analysis demonstrates the vitality of Mexican transnational allegorical fiction as a socio-political and affective counter-hegemonic discourse that also functions as an effective strategy of recognition in the international literary field.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -