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To browse Academia. Skip to main content. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Guadalupe Gerardi. The examination of these subjects together with space, movement, nomadism and travel have taken on a previously unknown vitality and scope.

But despite theoretical blind spots, the figure of the nomad is generally seen positively and its position offers the ability to have a multiple, open, diverse and liberating gaze. The nomad and at times the migrant expresses in itself the questioning of sedentary life and the illusory stability of identities that not long ago were believed to be fixed. For some theorists the nomad, and other figures such as the migrant, serve as a metaphorical and theoretical model to portray a type of thinking that is dynamic, mobile and deconstructive.

Morey ed. As a result, the polyglot is in an advantageous position to be able to deconstruct identities. In a rather humorous note, the literary critic Terry Eagleton alerts us to the view that: If men and women need freedom and mobility, they also need a sense of tradition and belonging. There is nothing retrograde about roots. The postmodern cult of the migrant, which sometimes succeeds in making migrants sound even more enviable than rock stars, is a good deal too supercilious in this respect.

All further references to this novel will be taken from this edition. All translations from this novel are mine. There were few people around.

All of a sudden the little car escaped from the boy and ended up on the rails, and it stayed there in the middle of the rails. At first the boy acted the fool, and stood there hoping that someone would return it to him. He looked at me, he looked at me and I smiled at him but I did nothing, like grownups do with kids, and then the boy insisted, and looked surprised and waiting, and then a loud sound flooded the place, I thought it was a flute at first but shortly the locomotive came into view and the noise arrived with it.

In this case, the passage of the novel quoted above is marked by an anxiety and indecision with respect to his separation from his childhood and previous context. The main character positions the anxiety and indecision on the image of the boy that he sees, but clearly the same is perceptible in the words of Demetrio.

But anxiety is not only conveyed thematically, Bariloche highlights the power of a disquieted memory through its form based on a non-linear and disjointed narrative. By contrast, the protagonist lives alone and works only in the afternoons or nights. In these fragments, the rhythm of the prose follows the cadence of days spent in solitude. In an article about the novel, Neuman explained that this plurality of voices is a response to the distinct intuitions that he had had about the plot for Bariloche: Where would I place the story and which voice would I use to narrate it?

The idea came to me in Spain, the country where I have lived and written since my teenage years. But the rubbish lorries that made the greatest impression on me where the ones I saw in Argentina, and the largest city I knew was Buenos Aires. The action was asking me to place it in my birth city. However, I imagined the narration unfolding in the Spanish in which I expressed myself daily.

To respect both intuitions, I decided that the rubbish collectors were Argentinean and the narrator Spanish. That the story would be set in a Buenos Aires degraded by the current political situation and that the characters would talk in their own dialect from Buenos Aires, while the neutral voice and its descriptions would be articulated in a Spanish from Spain.

From this linguistic fracture in the novel that was also in me arose the idea that structured the entire book: the rubbish collector character is a man who came from another place, a migrant. The two points that I would like to pick out from this text by Neuman are migration and the linguistic fracture, not only as structuring the novel but also as a way of approaching language and literature. In her book entitled Questions of Travel: Postmodern Discourses of Displacement, Kaplan observes that certain postmodern and post-structuralist theorists such as Deleuze and Guatari amongst others, privilege the benefits of distance and displacement and that by doing so they fall within the versions of modern colonial discourse.

Therefore, Kaplan makes the case for a reading of the migrant, and of migration, subject to history and to the differentiation between modes of displacement. Bariloche not only is the title of the novel, it is also the locale of the past that the protagonist tries to reconstruct and the geographical coordinates that the text offers in its very first page.

In his spare time, Demetrio Rota painstakingly dedicates himself to the assembling of puzzles of landscapes of Bariloche. The pieces of the puzzles hint at something else so, while Demetrio puts them together, the fragments start to reveal the past history of the protagonist.

The piece turns thereby into a potential reconstructing symbol of the past, previously a mystery and together with the other pieces, a revelation. A revelation that is transformed, in its turn, into expectation and doubt in its potential association with the rest of the puzzle. The seductive images of the landscapes of Bariloche contrast with the iconography of the present, of the trajectories of the rubbish lorry and of life in the city. The images on the puzzles are dissonant with the impressions of the city not only because the former are initially two- dimensional and the latter are presented with the depths of life in the city, but also because what the reader generally sees in Buenos Aires is the rubbish, the blinds of closed houses, cemeteries, the indifference of the passers-by, tiredness, bewilderment and lack of morality.

Rarely is the city presented positively or as dynamic. Instead, it seems that putrefaction has reached every character and every place in it. Neuman reasserts the multiplying and penetrating power of rubbish in an interview published just after the novel. The author explains the subject of the novel Bariloche as follows: 6 George Perec, La vida: instrucciones de uso Barcelona: Anagrama, , p. And about how both end up tangled up, either within a family or a country or a society.

In the end, the rubbish spreads on us, because it is ours, because we are responsible for it, or at least its silent accomplices. And even if we ignore it, one day it will appear in the middle of the living room of your house. And for anyone to whom meaning lies in the assembly of memory, a truncated reconstruction signifies death.

Hence, Demetrio decides to return all the pieces to the toy store and then commits suicide submerging himself in an immense pile of rubbish. As I mentioned earlier, the author highlights in that interview that the linguistic fracture of the novel is also his own.

And Bariloche also revolves around the intention of representing that fracture. Neuman himself explained the linguistic splitting of the novel as a result of his own migration: Anyone who is born in Latin America and ends up partly growing up in Spain, lives, generally, the perplexity of the dialect: the paradox of rethinking his own mother tongue and learning how to speak it again, as if it was foreign. Rather than the abandonment of a homeland, the result of that process is a crossbreeding that does not exclude a culture, indeed, it includes the two.

Neither variant of Spanish is picked, one lives in both. While there is a gradation of voices, and therefore an endeavour to overcome linguistic fracture, the latter is still blunt and evident. With this analogy I do not want to suggest that the condition of exile and migrant are interchangeable. For Said the exile is conscious of at least two cultures, two places, two homes and this plural gaze enables the exile to see a world of simultaneous dimensions.

The view on the migrant in Bariloche is not romantic. The impassability of spaces is evoked in the novel through a past in pieces, which is reinforced in the break-up of images of the landscapes of Bariloche , the different times that intertwine and at the same time exist in parallel and even the rubbish that on many occasions looks as if it should be assembled. The past stops but is not left in oblivion.

Thus, the benefits of the migrant of counting on a double gaze are counteracted by a present lived between fleeting forgetfulness and hounding of memories. I am not trying to suggest here that Bariloche is a celebration of rootedness and lack of mobility.

I am not trying to propose either that the novel impels the reader to stay tied to roots put down in the old days. Foucault, Michel, El lenguaje del espacio, in M.

Perec, Georges, La vida: instrucciones de uso Barcelona: Anagrama, Page 11 of Related Papers. By Lucy Bell. By Eva Pataki. By Micah McKay.

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Conquering Displacement With Words

To browse Academia. Skip to main content. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Guadalupe Gerardi.


Andrés Neuman

He spent his childhood in Buenos Aires, before going into exile with his family to Granada , Spain. The stories of his European ancestors and family migrations, his childhood recollections and the kidnapping of his paternal aunt during the military dictatorship, can be read on his novel Una vez Argentina. He holds both Argentine and Spanish citizenships. This novel was also shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize , [4] achieving a Special Commendation from the jury; as well as shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award , [5] being named one of "the two frontrunners who so sure-footedly outpaced the strong pack", according to an article written by the jury for The Guardian. His next book translated into English was the novel Talking to Ourselves , [6] longlisted for the Best Translated Book Award [30] , shortlisted for the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize [31] , and selected as number 1 among the Top 20 books of the year by Typographical Era. No good reader will fail to perceive in these pages something that can only be found in great literature, that which is written by true poets.


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