Literary Reimaginings of Argentina’s Independence

BookLiterary Reimaginings of Argentina’s Independence

Literary Reimaginings of Argentina’s Independence

History, Fiction, Politics

Liverpool Latin American Studies, 23


January 5th, 2022


Read now

Read (Open Access)

Download (PDF)


Other Formats



An Open Access edition of this book will be available on the Liverpool University Press website and the OAPEN library.
 As the moment of the birth of the patria, Independence enjoys a privileged role in the historical imaginary of many Latin American nations. In Argentina as in other countries, the period has been fundamental to state discourses of nation-building and identity, lending its figures and central narratives a powerful symbolic function. It has also attracted significant literary attention, and this book offers an innovative reading of texts that provide irreverent, metafictional, or self-reflexive retellings of this foundational moment. This type of fiction is usually read through well-established frameworks on the contemporary Latin American historical novel that emphasise its destabilising of knowledge and single truths. Instead, this work foregrounds the much more immediate, concrete political points at stake when we read these texts through both their direct engagement with contemporary circumstances and the politics of the history they evoke. It therefore argues for a new approach to reading contemporary Latin American historical fiction that showcases its response to politically urgent questions.

“This is a tightly argued, rigorously researched book which makes for compelling reading. The author has produced a finely calibrated set of readings which have been mobilised to make a serious and important point: that the purpose of historical narratives which employ postmodern techniques is not merely to debunk any claim to historical ‘truth’ or to indulge in playful postmodern techniques but to offer alternative, political versions of the ‘official’ past from very specific political present.”
Catherine Davies, Institute of Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London

Author Information

Catriona McAllister is a Lecturer in Latin American Cultural Studies at the University of Reading.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
INTRODUCTION: Writing and rewriting independence
Reading Latin American historical fiction
Writing Independence, Envisaging the Nation
Rewriting Independence: Texts and Contexts
CHAPTER 1: Revolution and Democracy: Martín Caparrós’ Ansay ó los infortunios de la gloria and Andrés Rivera’s La revolución es un sueño eterno
Revolution: Victory, Death, and Critique
Ansay ó los infortunios de la gloria: The Violence of the Absolute
La revolución es un sueño eterno: From the Ideal to the Real
Conclusion: Defining the Political
CHAPTER 2: Fragmenting the Nation: Martín Kohan’s El informe: San Martín y el otro cruce de los Andes and Osvaldo Soriano’s El ojo de la patria
Malvinas, Militarism and Democracy: Questioning the Patria
El informe: San Martín y el otro cruce de los Andes: Myth and Military Epic
El ojo de la patria: Epistemology and ‘Postnational’ Dystopia
Conclusion: Values Lost and Refounded
CHAPTER 3: Peronism and the Popular: Washington Cucurto’s 1810: la Revolución de Mayo vivida por los negros and Manuel Santos Iñurrieta’s Mariano Moreno y un teatro de operaciones
History, Peronism, the Popular
1810: la Revolución de Mayo vivida por los negros: Carnival and ‘Contamination’
Mariano Moreno y un teatro de operaciones: Democracy and Revolution
Conclusion: Owning the Past
CONCLUSION: Fiction and the Political Uses of History