Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2011

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Romance Languages and Literature: Hispanic Studies

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



My dissertation explores literary manifestations of the new subjectivities that surfaced during and after the socio-economic crisis in Argentina in 2001. I identify a group of remarkably connected novels published between 2003 and 2008 that propose a return of affect to literature through innovative ways of representing the fragility of subjectivity under turbulent social conditions. I argue that the specific new type of insurrection of December 2001 in Argentina and the restaging of the love story in the new novels of love abandonment constitute a political affirmation of a vulnerability that had been anesthetized during the neoliberal nineties. The novels I work with are about the simultaneous occurrence of two disasters: the end of love and the fall of a nation. They are narrated from the point of view of the abandoned protagonist, who is violently ejected from the scene of love before the story begins. Against the romantic cliche of the certainty of the love-event and of the struggle of the loving couple against external forces threatening their pure bond, we are given the lonely wandering of an outlandish character through long chains of inner reflections about love after the end of love. I contend that, unlike previous canonical works, these novels do not allegorize a national traumatic event in terms of a personal crisis. Rather, they represent the two actions as inseparably intertwined. Informed by the readings of Giorgio Agamben, Roland Barthes, Maurice Blanchot, Gilles Deleuze, and Friedrich Nietzsche, I propose that the figure of the abandoned lover holds a critical potentiality as force of disidentification. I analyze its potentiality in Gabriela Massuh's La intemperie, Oliverio Coehlo's Ida, Juan Jose Becerra's Miles de aeos, and Alan Pauls' El pasado. Four modes of writing (intimate diary, epigrammatic notes, inventories, translation) correlate with four modalities of inhabiting the outside, which I pose as questions organizing each of my chapters: how to write the disaster (imagination), how to disappear (territories), how to stop time (temporalities), and how to escape the past (memory), respectively. The unfolding of these interrogations pulls us outside our allegedly secure and self-identical subjectivity and dissolves the strict separation of inside and outside, private and public, self and other.


Spanish (es)

Chair and Committee

Andrea Friedman

Committee Members

Elizabeth Borgwardt, Mary Ann Dzuback


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Available for download on Friday, May 15, 2111