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El espacio p�blico y el derecho a la ciudad en el Santiago de Alberto Fuguet


This dissertation compares the portrayal of the city of Santiago de Chile in the novels Mala onda (1991) and Sudor (2016) of Alberto Fuguet (1964-), analyzing the evolution of Santiago from a boring and hostile city to a stimulating and welcoming metropolis. From an urban and economic perspective, it examines how the representation of the reorganized spatiality and segregated urban layout embodies the sociopolitical and economic dynamics of Santiago, particularly since a series of macroeconomic reforms became the direct reason why the city was reconfigured at such drastic level. Through a comparative study of both novels, I argue that the representation of loss and recovery of public space highlights the impact of the market economy in the urban development. The portrayal of Santiago in Mala onda is of a city whose physical form changed abruptly after neoliberalism was consolidated as the new orthodoxy at the end of the 20th century, pointing to the economic model as responsible for the privatization and loss of public space. The representation of Santiago in Sudor displays the recovery of public space, a dynamic that while worth celebrating, illustrates how Santiago has not been able to escape neoliberalism’s logic, since the improvement is in response to urban competitiveness in the 21st century. My thesis is that Santiago’s portrayal shows how the amendment to the general urban plan of the city and large territorial extension has changed under an economic system that favors the accumulation of globalized capital over the well-being of local communities. Furthermore, I read Alberto Fuguet’s novels through the theoretical lenses of the “right to the city” by tracing the urban evolution represented in his work, which delineates a new Santiago that integrates the inhabitants’ rights through urban criteria and a democratic response to the challenges of urban life. This dissertation asserts strategies and transformative social and political processes within urban society, whose problems are exercised in the public spaces of the city.

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