Fall 2024


9:45 am - 11:45 am

Crosslisted: SPANSH 141: The Novel after the End of the Novel (Argentina, 1925-2024)

Mariano Siskind

As a literary event, as a narrative artifact bent on capturing the totality of the real, the novel has been at war with its form, its social function, and its reading publics, at least since it emerged as a global, privileged narrative genre. These historical conditions were always particularly intense in the peripheries of the world. In Latin America, the novel was born as a battlefield where writers disputed the meaning of what it meant to be modern (what kind of novels do we need to write to inscribe ourselves in the transnational literary world of modernity where novels rule?). For them, the novel as a cultural monument revered globally was a thing of the past; they felt the need to reinvent it in order to account for their own time and marginal geopolitical situation. This course will interrogate how Argentine writers addressed these cultural dilemmas since the 1920s and, in the process, produced some of the region’s most remarkable experimental novels, non-novels, and anti-novels, as well as insightful reflections on the cultural potential and blindspots of literature as a social institution. We will read texts by Macedonio Fernández, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Silvina Ocampo, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Manuel Puig, Alejandra Pizarnik, Juan José Saer, Sylvia Molloy, Ricardo Piglia, César Aira, Tamara Kamenszain, Sergio Chejfec and Selva Almada.

In Person