Accepted paper:

The contemporary Chilean chronicle: a literary form of collective memories


Barbara Castillo B. (University of Bristol)

Paper short abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to explore the representation of collective memories in contemporary Chilean urban chronicles, focusing on the work of two Chilean authors: Pedro Lemebel and Francisco Mouat.

Paper long abstract:

My paper explores the representations of memory in the contemporary Chilean urban chronicle, taking into account the genres' contribution as contested and contesting sites of memory. The urban chronicle has been able to depict the voices of ordinary people who have remained on the margins of the official Chilean discourse of successful modernization and stable democracy. Through a close reading of Chilean writers Pedro Lemebel and Francisco Mouat, specifically their books Háblame de amores (2012) and Crónicas Ociosas (2005), I show how these authors depict everyday life stories of ordinary people. I argue that the contemporary urban chronicle, even though it has until recently been marginalized by Chilean literary scholars and has been considered a 'minor' and hybrid genre, can be seen as an alternative form of historical memory in the Chilean neoliberal context. Precisely the flexible character of this genre, which incorporates literature, history and journalism, allows these texts to show another side of quotidian Chilean urban life.

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