Bulletin of Contemporary Hispanic Studies

Chilean Childhood Around 1990: Alejandro Zambra Intensifies the Past

Bulletin of Contemporary Hispanic Studies (2019), 1, (1), 15–30.

Abstract

The article discusses Alejandro Zambra’s novel Formas de volver a casa (2011) in the context of the aesthetic idea of Bildung [education]. The author’s narratives of the past are thereby understood as an aesthetic-literary educational experience. The broader framework of this study is, therefore, as follows: while the Bildungsroman consistently features a protagonist who works on his education with regards to the future, Zambra’s retrospective mode of narration creates a protagonist who undergoes a developmental process from a position of failure and by means of retrospection. I address whether the author thereby succeeds in constructing a Bildung narrative that does not begin with a view to a promising future but rather in relation to a reinterpretation of the past. The framework for the concept of Bildung is borrowed from Friedrich Schiller, while the critical view of Bildung as idyll comes from Heinrich von Kleist.

Este artículo habla sobre la novela Formas de volver a casa (2011) de Alejandro Zambra en el contexto de la idea estética del Bildung [education]. La narrativa del autor sobre el pasado se entiende así como una experiencia educacional a través de la literatura. El amplio marco de este estudio es, por lo tanto, el siguiente: mientras que el Bildungsroman frecuentemente muestra a un protagonista con miras hacia su vida en el futuro, el modo retrospectivo de la narración de Zambra crea a un protagonista que se desarrolla desde una posición de fracaso desde una perspectiva retrospectiva. Yo trato el tema de si el autor efectivamente logra construir una narrativa del Bildung que no empieza con una visión de un futuro prometedor sino con una reinterpretación del pasado. La palabra Bildung es un concepto que ha sido tomado de Friedrich Schiller mientras que la perspectiva crítica del Bildung como idilio es de Heinrich Kleist.

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Details

Author details

CLEMENS, MANUEL