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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Narrativas marginales y guerra sucia en México (1968–1994)
by Gomez de Unamuno, Aurelia, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2008, 320; 3349264
Abstract (Summary)

Ten days before the 1968 Olympic Games, the Mexican Government violently repressed a massive Student Movement as a result of its unwillingness to negotiate with social sectors that had been adversely affected by the modernization process of the "Mexican Miracle". After the repression, the government projected an image of stability and progress under the so called "apertura democrática". Nonetheless during the decade of the seventies, Mexican citizens experienced state violence, and a counterinsurgency war known as the Dirty War, in which subversive groups who were considered dangerous for the National Security—university students and professors, campesinos, and guerilla fighters—were systematically targeted.

Narrativas marginales y guerra sucia en México is framed between two grassroots social movements that represent watershed events in Mexico's political life: the Student Movement of 1968, and the Zapatista guerrilla uprising in 1994. This dissertation addresses the issues of political marginality, state violence, representation of torture and political imprisonment, construction of official history, and individual and collective memory. To shed light on the issue of political imprisonment, I analyze the novel ¿Por qué no dijiste todo?, and the prison dairy Los diques del tiempo by Salvador Castañeda, as well as the political prisoners' anthology Sobreviviremos al hielo by Manuel Anzaldo and David Zaragoza. In discussing the construction of official history, and the role of memory I analyze the novels Pretexta by Federico Campbell, and Muertes de Aurora by Gerardo de la Torre.

These texts were published in the decade of the eighties as "fiction". Nonetheless, they can be consider marginal for several reasons: (1) some of these writers were guerrilla fighters and not "intellectuals", therefore they had to assault the lettered city (dominant discourses and state cultural institutions) in finding an in-between space (Silvano Santiago); (2) the novels of Campbell and de la Torre are not considered canonical, and have been ignored, even though both these writers belong to the lettered city; (3) all texts expose the mechanisms of authoritarian power, and the contradictions of representation, give voice to marginal subjectivities, and reveal alternatives to official history.

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Indexing (document details)
School: University of Pittsburgh
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 70/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Latin American literature, Latin American history
Keywords: Dirty War, Dirty War in Mexico, Marginal narratives, Memory, Mexican literature XXth c, Mexico, Political prisoners, Tlatelolco massacre
Publication Number: 3349264
ISBN: 978-1-109-05407-1
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