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Roberto Bolaño and the metaphysics of violence

Grant number: 16/10515-6
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): August 10, 2016
Effective date (End): December 09, 2016
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Comparative Literature
Principal researcher:Marcos Piason Natali
Grantee:Marcos Piason Natali
Host: María Raquel Mosqueda Rivera
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Coyoacán (UNAM), Mexico  


If the literary criticism devoted do Roberto Bolaño's work commonly associates his oeuvre with violence, at times even identifying the latter as his work's organizing principle, this research project seeks to analyze the narrative structure of a selection of short stories by the Bolaño to test the hypothesis that his narratives in fact constitute an inventory of possible ethical positions in the face of violence, a repertory that does not simply authorize the conclusion that the world is indifferent or immune to the ethical subject. Instead, close analyses of the discursive material of Bolaño's narratives tend to find narrative movement, enunciative complexity and structural instability, upsetting the idea of violence as the general meaning of history and existence, even when the narrative includes a prophecy of violence. Throughout the stories, there is recurring tension between a somber principle, often recognized and announced explicitly in the text, many times in its opening, and its remains, that is, with that which exceeds or interrupts the principle. With the underlying doubt regarding what will here be called a metaphysics of violence, the project will be an exercise in comparative reading in three different fronts: Bolaño's short narrative production; its literary criticism; and the representation of violence in a selection of contemporary philosophical works. The project seeks to research, in the indicated bibliography and after inquiry in UNAM's libraries, theses hypotheses, which will in turn be tested in public presentations for professors and students in UNAM's Instituto de Investigaciones Filológicas. (AU)

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