Behind the Scenes? The Paradoxes of Representing Intimacy in Contemporary Autofiction in Chile and Argentina

01 October 2014 → 30 September 2018
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • Language studies
    • Literary studies
Chili paradox autofixion
Project description

The project examines two important tendencies in contemporary literature in Chile and Argentina in relationship to one another: intimacy and autofiction. Autofiction, which refers to first-person narratives that mix reality and fiction, has become popular in Latin-American literature during the last decade, and has been the subject of several studies. It has only been tangentially related to the representation of intimacy. The project aims to examine how intimacy is represented in contemporary autofiction, and to explain its functions in the specific political context of the two countries. Representing intimacy is paradoxical, because it involves bringing outside what is supposed to be related to the interior. In order to examine how the Chilean and Argentinean writers deal with this paradox, I will focus on the role of the ellipsis. This figure will be understood
as a significative omission in the narrative structure of the text. The ellipsis is connected with the shortness of the texts included in the corpus. Moreover, the process of ‘gapping’ (Iser), of interpreting the ellipses, engages the reader, and can establish a close, almost ‘intimate’ relationship between him or her and the first-person narrator. In contrast with most studies on autofiction, which focus on the identification and dissociation of the author and the narrator, I will draw attention to the relationship between the reader and the narrator of autofiction.