Speculative Fictions (Paperback)
Chilean Culture, Economics, and the Neoliberal Transition (Pitt Illuminations)
University of Pittsburgh Press, 9780822962335, 168pp.
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Through exemplary works of film, literature, the visual arts, testimonials, and cultural theory, Fornazzari reveals the influence of economics over nearly every aspect of culture and society. Citing Karl Marx, Michel Foucault, Walter Benjamin, Willy Thayer, Milton Friedman, and others, Fornazzari forms the theoretical basis for his neoliberal transitional discourse as a logical progression of capitalism.
Fornazzari identifies Casa de campo, José Donoso’s allegory of the military coup of 1973 and the ensuing monetary crisis, as a harbinger of transitional texts, challenging them to explore new forms of abstraction. Those forms are explored in the novels Oir su voz by Arturo Fontaine and Mano de obra by Diamela Eltit, where Fornazzari examines divergent views of workers in the form of neoliberal human capital or post-Fordist immaterial labor. In documentaries by Patricio Guzmán and Silvio Caiozzi, he juxtaposes depictions of mass mobilization and protest to the mass marketing of individual memory and loss, claiming they serve as symbols of the polarities of dictatorship and neoliberalism. Fornazzari then relates the subsuming of the individual under both fascism and neoliberalism by recalling the iconic imbunche (a mutilated figure whose orifices have been sewn closed) in works by Donoso and the visual artist Catalina Parra. He continues the theme of subsumption in his discussion of the obliteration of the divide between physical labor and intellectualism under neoliberalism, as evidenced in the detective novel A la sombra del dinero by Ramón Díaz Eterovic.
In these examples and others, Fornazzari presents a firmly grounded theoretical analysis that will appeal to Latin Americanists in general and to those interested in the intersection of economics and culture. The Chilean experience provides a case study that will also inform students and scholars of neoliberal transitions globally.
About the Author
Praise For Speculative Fictions: Chilean Culture, Economics, and the Neoliberal Transition (Pitt Illuminations)…
—Mariano Siskind, Harvard University
—Horacio Legras, University of California, Irvine
“The immense virtue of Fornazzari’s book is that it quickly points us away from its somewhat simplistic premises and towards the far more interesting task of exploring the real complexity, the paradoxes and ironies as well as the continuing cruelties, of a society that is in no way as dedifferentiated as its right-wing boosters and many of its left-wing critics would like to think.”
“Will be useful to scholars interested in how the logic of business and economic policy has been transferred to noneconomic spheres. . . . Poses important questions that will be the task of future critics to explore and answer.”
—Enterprise and Society