Accepted paper:

Néstor Perlongher's poetic social thought: space, subject and perception


Constanza Ceresa (University College of London)

Paper short abstract:

Néstor Perlongher claimed the annihilation of the figure of the subject crucial to the functioning of capitalist logic. This paper will examine some of his poetic cartographies in order to show how the discontinuous relation between space, bodies and language open emancipatory possibilities.

Paper long abstract:

Within the field of Latin American cultural criticism stands the poetic and critical work of Néstor Perlongher. His figure in current Argentine contemporary debates has become a reference point to current generations of cultural critiques and writers.

In Perlongher's oeuvre his anthropological, poetic and critical oeuvres complement each other to create a comprehensive poetic social thought from where to think the relation between subject, language and social space. He was interested in dissident forms of subjectivation able to confront State power (more specifically the authoritarian regimes of Argentina and Brazil which at that time were engaged in a neoliberal economic project): 'El tan mentado 'sistema' no se sustenta solamente por la fuerza de las armas ni por determinantes económicos; exige la producción de cierto modelo de sujeto 'normal' que lo soporte', he states in his essay "Los devenires minoritarios". Yet, despite his activism in homosexual movements, Perlongher's work should not be read as a demand for recognition of sexual minorities or representation of any particular identity, but as an attempt to dismantling the stability of identity as the only way of destroying the basis on which the logic of capitalism functions.

This paper will examine different types of poetic cartographies made by the poet in order to show how the discontinuous relation between space, bodies and language open emancipatory possibilities where perception plays a key role. Finally, it will discuss the influence of this poetic social thought in current critical debates and literary works in Argentina.

panel P19
Latin American cultural criticism today: new forms, new politics