Entre la nación y la nada : un análisis hermenéutico de la figura del desierto en la producción literaria del siglo XIX


Rossi, María José




125 p.


Atribución-NoComercial-SinDerivadas 2.0 Genérica (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)




Siglo XIX


Towards the end of the 19th century, the consolidation of the national State was strongly linked to the production of an entire discursive activity tending to build an imaginary that put precise limits on what should be understood as a national identity. In this context, the figure of the desert was fundamental to define those limits, to delimit the borders that define who should be excluded and who should be integrated into the nascent "political community", becoming the "common place" of a wide range of discourses and texts of the time. For all this, the present work tries to determine what is the status that the desert acquires in the productions of the literary field, emphasizing on The captive, by Esteban Echeverría; Facundo, by Domingo Sarmiento and An excursion to the ranqueles indians, by Lucio Mansilla. The inclination to investigate in the literature of the time is mainly due to the determining role that written texts had in the formation of imaginary in a century like the XIX, a period where textual culture predominates mainly. On the other hand, the specific choice of these texts is due to their enormous relevance in the period: the first two are fundamental writings by two of the most significant authors of the so-called thirty-seven's generation, the starting point of this thesis. The third of them acquired substantial importance in the 1970s —that is, a few years after the so-called “Desert Campaign” —, even managing to transcend national borders and achieve some international relevance.

Thus, the work seeks to determine the character that the desert assumes in these texts, raising the need to think of it as a figure or paradigm, and this for two central things: the first one, because this notion allows us to investigate the traditions, pasts, senses and affections that a figure like the one of the desert drags precisely at the time of its update in a certain context, in our specific case, the Argentina of the 19th century. This implies considering that it is itself a repetition, that is, that it can be traced from past times, having served different purposes in different contexts. Secondly, because although this notion opens the possibility of investigating what is repeated —that "common place"— in all these cases, it also allows us to analyze the semantic and affective variations that the desert suffers in the immanent evolution of the texts; so speaking of repetition does not imply speaking of identity. In other words, thinking in figurative terms also makes it possible to grasp, in the singularity of each of the texts, the difference, that is, the existence of certain lines of meaning that, even, may not directly take communion with the political project that it is finished consolidating towards the end of the century —they can also be contradictory with it—. And this is so, since another of the assumptions from which this work is based is that the relationship between literature and politics is never linear, but is structured on the basis of multiple mediations and tensions, of constant twists and turns between the two. In other words, this thesis also considers that literary and aesthetic production must be considered in its relationship and in its difference with politics, especially in a period when it was normally conceived —with its images, in particular the one of the desert— as a mere instrument of it.

Título obtenido

Magister de la Universidad de Buenos Aires en Comunicación y Cultura

Institución otorgante

Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Ciencias Sociales

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