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Cifrado gótico en Santa Evita de Tomás Eloy Martínez y Una casa vacía de Carlos Cerda: espacios subterráneos, espectros e insepultos de las dictaduras

  • Author(s): Cerpa, Armando Enrique
  • Advisor(s): Bergero, Adriana J
  • et al.

My dissertation explores the presence of the Gothic mode in two literary works connected to two periods of rupture in the Southern Cone: during the presence of Eva Peron in the Argentinean political ground, beginning in 1946, and throughout the military regime in Chile between 1973 and 1990. The novels Santa Evita, by Tomás Eloy Martínez, and Una Casa Vacía, by Carlos Cerda, each contain gothic forms of representation related to individuals who are repressed and excluded by authoritarian regimes. My analysis reveals these author's attempts to recuperate and unveil forbidden memories and seemingly buried periods of time, characterized mainly by the dissemination of terror.

In Chapter One, I explore, identify and develop the main historical and theoretical approaches to Gothic representations in literature in England and the Americas. I pay particular attention to the themes of death, gothic space and the dichotomies of reason and unreason, as well as the concepts of the uncanny and the abject from a psychoanalytical standpoint.

In Chapter Two, I analyze the novel Santa Evita, by Tomás Eloy Martínez, to better understand and illustrate the reasons that motivated the Argentinean government to "disappear" Eva Peron's body, and erase her image from the nation's collective memory, in addition to showing how these failed political maneuvers transformed her image into a haunting and lingering presence.

In Chapter Three, I analyze the novel Una casa vacía, by Carlos Cerda, emphasizing the return of the female Gothic figure who had been subjected to torture during the military regime in Chile. In this chapter, I argue that the return of this figure, as portrayed in this novel, restitutes and conciliates a memory that has been repressed in the Chilean society during the last four and a half decades.

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