Violence in Literature: The NOVEL of Violence in LATIN America

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:00
Location: Seminar 52 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
The age of late modernity has shown an increasing crisis of social control and policing, as an expression of a worldwide social crisis. In this context, it is possible to distinguish various narratives about violence, drug dealers, and violent crime in the contemporary societies.

So, the hypothesis of this paper is to present a new genre in crime fiction, called “the novel of violence”, which show a main structural transformation of narrative, although incorporating some trends from the classic detective fiction.

To perceive this novel of violence, it seems important to remember that, since the fifties, the novel, following the metamorphosis of the social structure, undergoes a drastic formal change. The "problematic hero", present in the romantic and realist romance, leaves the scene and his place is occupied by the dissolution process of the character. To verify this hypothesis, we will analyze some novels published in Latin America countries, since the 1990s, particularly these outstanding Authors:

I.       Carlos Fuentes, from México (“La voluntad y la fortuna”, 2008 and “Adán en Edén”, 2009)

II.      Fernando Vallejo, Colombia (“La Virgen de los Sicarios”, 1994);

III.     Jorge Franco, from Colombia (“Rosario Tijeras”, 2004);

IV.    Ruben Fonseca, from Brazil (“A Grande Arte”, 1992).

V.        Elmer Mendoza ("Un asesino solitario”, 1999 and "Balas de plata”, 2008)

We will discuss: 1. The characters; 2. The plot; 3. The political actors; 4. The new forms of violent crime; 5. The solution, or not, of the enigma.

This analysis of several literary expressions around Latin America can lead us to discuss the existence of a social representation in contemporary society based in violence as a social pattern as it is figured by these “novels of violence”.