Literary Truth in Transition

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Publication Conference Paper, other
Title Literary Truth in Transition
Author(s) Hemer, Oscar
Date 2010
English abstract
A transition does not necessarily imply a move from a closed society to an open one, but the transition period itself is usually a period of opening, and it is therefore especially interesting from the perspective of literary and cultural production, since the dialectic between culture and society comes in the open. Literature has, perhaps more than other forms of expression, an ability of looking back and looking forward simultaneously, reinterpreting the past and forecasting the future. Rewriting modernity, or history – even writing history for the first time, exploring material that has been left untouched, waiting to be narrated. In South Africa, literature – and the arts in general – have played a proactive role in the transition process of the ‘90s, mainly endorsing the new democratic government, but also taking a critical stand, deconstructing prevailing myths, rather than forging new identities. In Argentina, the role of literature has until now been reactive, at best. There are several reasons for this difference, some of which have to do with dissimilar historical contexts, others with diverse literary traditions. But the basic explanation is political. In South Africa, the former “terrorists” are now the ruling party. In Argentina the armed struggle of the ‘60s and ‘70s ended in total defeat. It is easier to stretch out a hand of forgiveness from a position of power, and in the conviction that this position was obtained through the struggle. In Argentina a quite common leftist view would be that the (class) struggle continues, and there has been little self-examination among surviving representatives of the guerrilla groups. The idea that the aged mothers and grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo – now in their eighties – or the children and grandchildren of the disappeared, who have often been politically radicalized from their infancy, would extend a hand of forgiveness to the torturers and murderers, who for the most part have never been convicted for their deeds, is almost unthinkable.
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Truth
Transition
Development
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION::Aesthetic subjects::Literature
Note "THE PRODUCTION OF ISOLATION: ANTHROPOLOGY OF A CLOSED SOCIETY" 17TH BATH READINGS, arranged by New Literary Observer, Moscow 2-4 April
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/9511 (link to this page)

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