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Aesthetic and Political Discourses in the Intersection of the 19th and 20th Century Literature from Colombia and Venezuela

  • Author(s): Daza, Yulder
  • Advisor(s): Fornazzari, Alessandro
  • et al.

After the wars of independence in Latin America (1810-1821) the first attempt to articulate and write a literature project that supplemented the political process of emancipation was developed by the 19th century lettered men. That project was characterized by the use of the written word as an organizing and legislative principle designed to give cultural and political form to the recently emancipated nations of Latin America. There was; therefore, an inherent link between politics and aesthetics and the literary project of the 19th century proposed by the letter men. At the turn of the 19th century, the modernist writers postulated a new paradigm of literary representation. The new project was conceived as a depuration of the literary field from the insidious influence of political thought. Literature produced under the rubric of this new paradigm, exhibited tensions stemming from the desire to separate the political realm from the aesthetic realm. This paradigm shift is explored by the literary critic Julio Ramos whose work sheds light on the professionalization of the Latin American writer and its impact upon the writing of literature at the intersection of the 19th and 20th centuries in Latin America. In the European academy, a new perspective on aesthetics has been proposed by the Algerian French philosopher Jaques Rancière who using the works of Plato and Aristotle, examines the close relationship between aesthetics and politics in artistic production, specifically the origin and differences between mimetic and aesthetic art and their relation to the birth of politics. In this thesis, I explore the change in the literary representation from the organizational paradigm proposed by the 19th century lettered men to the highly aestheticized literary field proposed by the modernist of the early 20th century. My study will explore the relationship between those two paradigms and their intrinsic link to the political phenomena of that time. Finally, I reveal how the production of literature is crucial and historically linked to the current political transformations occurring in Latin American countries such as Venezuela and Colombia. In these social transformations, important aspects of the literature produced during the periods mentioned above are present; those aspects are: the concepts of equality, justice and the participation of the common people in the political and cultural transformation in their countries.

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