Between literature, chronicle and politics: strategies against the oblivion within border literatures

  • Laura Alicino University of Bologna
Keywords: politics and literature, detective fiction, border narratives, documental poetry, new chronicle.


After the failure of the policies against drug trafficking and the consequent rise of extreme violence in the US-Mexico border, many writers have started to investigate the ethical and political responsibility of writing about citizens’ pain caused by this kind of violence. This paper discusses the strategies of writing and social practices of the border writers, both Mexican and Chicanos. In particular, I analyse the function of the detective fiction as a form of social and political complaint and the function of documental poetry. The aim of this literature is not only to present the horror produced by violence, but also to reveal what can remain to the survivors. The experimentalism of the detective fiction, for example, explains how the simple resolution of any detective case is not enough, if the risk is after all the oblivion. Through the theory of representation of pain by Susan Sontag and the concept of opacity of the subject to itself stated by Judith Butler, the aim is to demonstrate how this authors can avoid the risk of the “reification” of pain.


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Author Biography

Laura Alicino, University of Bologna
PhD candidate in Modern, Comparative and Postcolonial Literatures. My main fields of expertise are contemporary and colonial Spanish American Literatures. I am part of the editorial board of Confluenze. Rivista di Studi Iberoamericani.



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How to Cite
Alicino, L. (2016). Between literature, chronicle and politics: strategies against the oblivion within border literatures. Between, 5(10).
Logics of Power, Practices of Resistance