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"Ese terrible espejo": autorrepresentación en la narrativa sobre el exilio del Cono Sur en Suecia
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
2008 (Spanish; Castilian)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present dissertation deals with self-representation in a corpus consisting of narrative texts about the exile from Chile, Uruguay and Argentina, that reached Sweden during the 1970s and 1980s. The first part of the analysis focuses on the representation of discursive borders that enclose identity in exile in categories based on gender and ethnicity. The second part focuses on exile subjectivity as situated in a discursive framework of space and time, where the centre of attention is on how the legacies of memories from the political oppression during the dictatorship in the exile’s past inhibit the inclusion of these memories in a pedagogical discourse of the self.

The corpus of narrative texts that are analysed consists of novels and short stories in Spanish. Latin American exile in Sweden is a central theme and can therefore be considered as part of the historical contextual framework that surrounds the discourse of Latin American exile identity in Sweden. The analysis is not focused on the authors’ individual experiences of exile, since a point of departure in the dissertation is an immanency between the author’s biography and the narrative text. The object of study is the identity as constructed in the text itself against the backdrop of Latin American exile and immigration in Sweden.

The theoretical framework applied mostly derives from poststructural and postcolonial criticism and concerns identity as relational between self and other, as well as culturally and discursively constructed. The analysis of the corpus texts is based on a conception of gender identity as relational and intersectional with identities connected to ethnicity and social class. It also takes as a starting point the assumption that the notion of exile identity is rendered from a male norm, based on the traditional association between national politics and male rationality. Another point of departure is a notion of permeability between exile and immigrant identity, of which the former is conceived as linked to discourses of political rationality and the latter to those of corporality and materiality. The analysis focuses on the way both exile and immigrant identities are represented as constituent parts of exile self in narratives.

For the reading of texts that illustrate exile subjectivity as a dislocation in space and time, the theoretical framework is based on Foucault’s notions of heterochronia and heterotopia. The analysis aims to highlight the representation of heterochronic divisions in the texts, between memories of the past and the present in exile. This representation departs from the notion of modern subjectivity as a pedagogical discourse of the self that is rendered as a narrative of the proper life. In some texts, this pedagogy of the self is represented as interrupted in exile by the suppression of memories of political oppression during the dictatorships in the exiles’ countries of origin, such as those of imprisonment, torture and violence. The analysis also focuses on the representation of strategies the individual employs to accomplish the performance of a coherent self in exile.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Institutionen för språkstudier , 2008. , 212 p.
Umeå studies in language and literature, 1
Keyword [en]
exile, narrative, Latin America, Sweden, self-representation, identity, gender, hybridity, heterotopia, memory
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1885ISBN: 978-91-7264-654-4OAI: diva2:142311
Public defence
2008-11-08, Hörsal F, Humanisthuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2008-10-17 Created: 2008-10-17 Last updated: 2009-10-08Bibliographically approved

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Lindholm Narvaez, Elena
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