The New Literature of Violence and the Sociological Tradition
In the age of late modernity, it is possible to distinguish various narratives about forms of violence, drug dealing, and violent crime in contemporary societies. This is the political context where the phenomena of violence acquire new contours. Violence is a microphysics of power, i.e. a network of powers that permeates all social relations, marking the interactions among groups and classes.
This session will analyse the figuration of the following social dimensions as contained in several contemporary novels: the relationship between crime and power elites; the connection between crime and businesses, politics, and forms of corruption; and finally, the cognitive mapping of the microphysics of violence.
The purpose is to explain what could be seen as a new genre of fiction whose novelty can be perceived through the transformation of its narrative structure, albeit incorporating some trends of the classic detective novel and the roman noir.
This type of novel presents some classic characters: the agents of social control (mostly policemen), the victims, the culprit, as well as a multitude of urban professionals, the unemployed, and street people. In this sense, these literary works exhibit a specific rationality of late modernity, which includes the cognitive mapping of the microphysics of violence and cruelty. The analysis of these aspects of contemporary literary production will illustrate the existence of representations of contemporary society based on forms of violence as a social pattern, or what we call the “the novel of violence”.