Fringing Visibility: Otherness, Marginality and the Question of Subaltern Truth in Antes Que Anochezca, La Virgen De Los Sicarios and Cidade De Deus

by de Barros, Sandro Rodrigo

Abstract (Summary)
This dissertation examines how otherness and marginality are articulated in three literary works: Reinaldo Arenas’ Antes que anochezca (1992), Fernando Vallejo#8217;s La virgen de los sicarios (1994) and Paulo Lins’ Cidade de Deus (1997). Furthermore, this study investigates whether the representation of subjects historically viewed as peripheral, both inside and outside the borders of the nation, perpetuates or undermines the conceptualization of the Latin American continental identity as “Other” in relation to dominant Eurocentric and North American perspectives. The choice of the texts of Arenas, Vallejo and Lins as paradigms of representation in the Latin American context is not fortuitous. Antes, La virgen and Cidade de Deus are works that underscore renewed perspectives on the significance of the nation inasmuch as they challenge the conventionality of historical discourses through the articulation of marginal subjectivities as prevailing accounts of reality. Arenas’ autobiography constitutes a narrative in which the exilic Self subverts the hegemony of the Cuban socialist state by contesting history and its truth through the account of a homosexual and political dissident who witnesses and personally contributes to one of the most defining moments of the nation’s past; Vallejo’s representation of the formerly exiled intellectual in La virgen, in complicity with the sicariato class with which he associates himself, inscribes the marginal elements of Colombian society onto the present narrative of the nation; and Lins’ re-imagination of the favelado space in Cidade de Deus dismantles the conventional perception of Brazil as a racial paradise by denouncing the poverty found in the slums of Rio de Janeiro as a social condition intrinsically tied to the country’s racial “invisibility.”
Bibliographical Information:


School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:otherness marginality autobiography post nationalism truth identity fernando vallejo paulo lins reinaldo arenas


Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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